I don’t have much to say about the newly-released Mitchell Report. It’s an illegitimate waste of government time in pursuit of a political quest for ever-expanding power. Not interested. As I wrote when Rep. Tom Davis first brought this nonsense into the federal sphere:
When Rep. Davis called the inquiry into steroids in Major League Baseball, how was that not a conspiracy to seize power? It may have involved one sport industry, but Rep. Davis seemed to enjoy threatening MLB with greater congressional control if it didn’t implement a policy banning a drug that’s already illegal. I don’t think any major sport in America explicitly bans its players from money laundering, drunk driving, murder or income tax evasion, yet we never have hearings about those, even though players have been involved in all of those offenses.
My stance is unchanged. And my basic understanding of liberty requires that steroids be decriminalized.
As for the situation at hand, Major League Baseball would ban steroids in my ideal world. As a group of consenting individuals, it would be free to do so. It would level the playing field to talent alone, which is what I want to see as a fan.
Of course, it would be free to ignore my preference, too, which it clearly did throughout the latter part of the ’90s. John Cole expresses my sentiments on the shock at the report’s finding:
Imagine if, in ten years, the GOP and the media decide to get outraged about intelligence being finessed before the Iraq war, they launch an investigation, and then get shocked when they see what they find. That is the level of stupid this baseball steroid report is right now.
Naturally that doesn’t preclude politicians from going to the for the children defense of our collective outrage:
Recalling that he had raised the steroids issue in a State of the Union speech a couple of years ago, Bush said he did so “because I understand the impact that professional athletes can have on our nation’s youth.” He urged athletes “to understand that when they violate their bodies, they’re sending a terrible signal to America’s young.”
When we force our subjective opinions onto the actions of others, it sends a terrible signal to America’s young that it’s okay to be meddlesome moralists opposed to the liberty of the individual. For the mental development of our youth, I’d say what we’re teaching is far worse than what a handful of athletes are (allegedly) teaching.
Post Script: Russ Roberts sums up the best way to read the names on the list and how detrimental these allegations are (not) to my opinion of the players.