Feature

Will baseball’s nightmare ever end?

Former senator George Mitchell branded more than 80 Major League Baseball players—including superstar pitcher Roger Clemens—as cheaters for using performance-enhancing drugs in a long-awaited report. There's plenty of blame to go around, said The New York

What happened
Former senator George Mitchell branded more than 80 Major League Baseball stars as cheaters for using performance-enhancing drugs in a long-awaited report released Thursday. Superstar pitcher Roger Clemens was among the players named. Mitchell’s 311-page report also sharply criticized the league and the players’ union for turning a blind eye to doping. (New York Daily News)

What the commentators said
“Now, Roger Clemens joins Barry Bonds in baseball's version of hell,” said Thomas Boswell in The Washington Post (free registration). The stain on his reputation will last “a lifetime” and beyond, because in baseball “a man’s triumphs and sins are immortal.”

If there was a “winner” when Mitchell’s report was unveiled, said Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic Online, it was Barry Bonds. The “widely reviled” Bonds’ home-run records remain “tainted,” but the report “does put his transgressions into perspective, if only by tainting the entire era of baseball and virtually everybody associated with it.”

"There is plenty of blame to go around for this travesty,” said The New York Times in an editorial (free registration). “Commissioners and owners desperate to attract fans were far too willing to look the other way. Players intent on gaining an edge were all too eager to turn to chemicals. And their players’ union adamantly opposed rigorous testing and penalties for two decades.”

The question now is what to do about it, said John Donovan in SI.com. Mitchell advised baseball Commissioner Bud Selig not to punish the players named in the report, but “this long national nightmare in our national pastime is not even close to being over yet.” There can be no healing, no moving on, until Selig punishes every one of the “cheats.”

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