George Mitchell released a report today. It is more than 400 pages and took almost two years and $20 million to complete.
It was supposed to be a broad and comprehensive examination of dangerous drugs in baseball, but all it did was protect the wealthiest men in the room.
This was always about taking down the players and the trainers and the Union and making sure the owners didn’t get anything on their shoes.
Mitchell covered the owner’s backs and bank accounts and turned this into a sideshow of blacklisted players. Senator Joe McCarthy would be proud.
Why do any serious work or invest any serious thought that might actually get to the root of the problem when a juicy list of names is all you need to exploit the situation?
And Mitchell knows all about exploitation.
As a member of the United States Senate, Mitchell helped further trade agreements and foreign policy initiatives that impoverish countries like the Dominican Republic. Those policies have ensured an endless stream of cheap labor for Major League Baseball. Mitchell now exploits that cheap labor in his position as a Director for the Boston Red Sox.
Players who started as desperate kids at Major League Baseball run academies in the Dominican were named today. Mitchell got guys like Miguel Tejada and Jose Guillen coming and going. And the former Senator figured out how he could make money on all of it.
Mitchell has always been an opportunistic bully and he has used his influence to amass a huge personal fortune. Along the way he made people in Maine poorer and people in the United States poorer and people around the world poorer. He now makes the game of baseball poorer.
Mitchell and the owners are, of course, richer because guys like that always walk away with all the money. The players they blacklisted probably won’t be able to walk without pain when they’re 60.
The injustice of this whole sorry episode is hard to get a handle on. Pull one of a thousand threads and it tumbles out: corruption, exploitation, intimidation, and money, money, money.
George Mitchell blacklisted a lot of decent men in a report today.
Yeah, Senator McCarthy would be proud.