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Friday, December 14, 2007
Others' Thoughts on the Mitchell Report

I will have more to say about the Mitchell Report later. For now, let me note a few other commentators:

1) I agree with much of Alan's point that this turned out to be much strum und drang about nothing, because the Report did not really tell us anything we did not know or at least suspect, beyond specific names (although I think I have less problem with naming names than Alan did). I also thought the divide between Mitchell ("move forward") and Selig (punishment on a case-by-base basis) was notable.

2) I second Rick's shout-out (in the Comments) to the Sean Gregory piece in Time.

3) Jack Balkin comments on the defamation issues for Roger Clemens here and why constitutional rules make it impossible for Clemens to use defamation law simply to clear his name.

4) Michael Dorf suggests that the one person who came out ahead here is Barry Bonds. First, we no longer can single out Bonds as a unique cheater, because others were doing it (this is not an excuse, but it takes the uniqueness out of the mix). Second, Bonds set his records against pitchers who themselves were juicing, suggesting that the playing field was, in some sense leveled.

5) To jump and answer a question from Jimmy H in the comments to Alan's post about the "leaked" report that included some big-name current players, including Albert Pujols: Again, defamation remains on the table, subject to NBC having done something to suggest it published the leaked names with knowledge or recklessness as to the truth of those players being in the Report.

6) See Jeff Lipshaw at CoOp taking the time to correct the media on what hearsay means and why most of the evidence in the Report is not, in fact, hearsay. I was yelling at Peter Gammons and John Kruk everytime they threw that word around without having the first clue what it means.



This report reads like a term paper that a group of our students could draft. A considerable portion of the document involves information from public sources. It does provides a detailed summary of the history of attempts to regulate and control performance-enhancing drugs, but it digests information from news articles implicating certain players -- nothing new there. To be fair, the lack of cooperation of the players contributed to this problem.

The Radomski information is the only portion that has any significant new information. The recommendations are sensible, but quite general.

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