George Mitchell gave his people what they wanted: Blood.
He ripped into baseball players because they aren’t worth much in his world. Most of them started out at the bottom and the poor have never meant anything to Mitchell. They are just the people he stepped on to become what he is today: A watchdog for a bunch of wealthy baseball owners.
It really wasn’t a new assignment because he has always served the rich. He served them as a United States Attorney and a Federal Judge and a United States Senator. The wealthiest few percent have always been his top priority.
That made him the perfect man to protect the owners and attack the players.
Mitchell spent yesterday afternoon selling his 409-page report about steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in baseball as an “independent investigation.” But there was really no investigation involved.
Mitchell spent most of his time reading and referencing other people’s work. He read newspaper articles and he read Juiced by Jose Canseco and Game of Shadows by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada and Juicing the Game by Howard Bryant and he even read Gary Sheffield’s book Inside Power.
He should have read Away Games by Marcos Breton and Jose Luis Villegas. It’s the story of Miguel Tejada’s journey through baseball’s Dominican and minor league meat grinder.
Mitchell would have read about a young Tejada enslaved by a system that he enabled as a Senator and exploited as a team executive.
That book would have given him a glimpse of what Major League Baseball really does in the Dominican.
He would have seen 50 players at every academy fighting for their spots so they could keep eating three-meals-a-day for the first time in their lives. And he would have seen them battle for only a handful of opportunities to come to the United States and start at the bottom of the minor leagues.
He would have seen kids willing to do anything for an edge because baseball was their only chance at a decent life. And he would have seen thousands of them discarded like yesterday’s trash.
But Mitchell didn’t investigate the Dominican academy system as one of the roots of the drug problem in baseball. That’s because the owners – the people Mitchell was paid to protect – run and profit from that system and its endless supply of cheap labor.
So Mitchell stood on a stage yesterday and blacklisted Tejada. And he did it with a straight face.
Bud Selig has been selling him as “an honorable man,” but Mitchell presented a report that protected the rich and bloodied the poor and he did it all for money.
That makes George Mitchell the most dishonorable man in the world.