Now that George Mitchell has released his investigative report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball, the big question remains — what happens now?
In terms of baseball itself, let’s hope this leads to more public pressure for increased testing in the sport that is, in effect, year-round. As for issues such as awards, all-time records, and the Hall of Fame, I, for one, don’t believe in erasing names or adding asterisks.
There will be those that demand Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire be permanently excluded from the Hall of Fame based on continued allegations of steroids and other substances; I’m not one of them.
If the Mitchell Report has taught us anything, it’s that these drugs were very common in the sport.
Should Roger Clemens be kept out of Cooperstown based on testimony from a former trainer that he injected Clemens with steroids? After all, he was just one of countless others that are said to have enhanced their performances.
There were too many players using various drugs to single out a small percentage because we will never know all the real culprits. Can you say with certainty that current Hall members Dave Winfield and George Brett were clean? I believe they were, but am I certain?
In my world, Clemens, Bonds and McGwire are all Hall of Famers, but let the history books show these players achieved their greatness unnaturally if it is proven to be the case. A tainted reputation is a far more severe punishment than a simple asterisk.
• The Canucks’ farm system might not be as devoid of talent as some critics would have you believe. Alex Edler looks more like a veteran than a rookie on the blue-line. Jason Jaffray and Mason Raymond have both impressed offensively this week, while Luc Bourdon looked much more confident on the ice during his recent call-up. If both Michael Grabner and Corey Schneider develop as anticipated, the youth movement is much stronger than most believed it to be a couple years ago.
• Burnaby’s Karl Alzner, New West’s Kyle Turris and Surrey’s Colton Gillies will comprise the B.C. contingent on Team Canada at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championship. PoCo’s Zach Hamill and Comox’s Ty Wishart were unable to crack the lineup, while Vancouver Giants’ goalie Tyson Sexsmith and Prince George Cougars’ centre Dana Tyrell are also headed back to their WHL clubs.
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