Local Reaction to the "Mitchell Report"

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

The "Mitchell Report" culminates the biggest baseball controversy since the "Black Sox" scandal back in 1919.

Furious rumors of illegal drug use in Major League Baseball over the past few years have left an ugly stain on the sport.

So what do area folks think about the game now that Mitchell's findings have been made public?

"It's outrageous seeing some of the names even in the past and the current guys--Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte--those guys, they're big names," said Warren East High School baseball coach, Wes Sanford.

"Well unfortunately, it's just another black eye on baseball. They've had several in the last few years," assured Steve Kessinger, store owner of Steve's Sports Cards.

It's a bitter pill for any baseball fan to swallow.

"The Mitchell Report" has seemingly laid bare the skeletons of Major League Baseball.

Kessinger says the impact of Thursday's revelations will greatly change the way we'll feel about "America's past-time."

"It'll affect it negatively in the short-term because it's obviously based on popularity. If something negative happened about a player, they decrease in popularity in the short run," Kessinger said.

Sanford says a belief that steroids make players better could influence up-and-coming sluggers.

"Athletes are going to see "steroids help you this much!" I think it's going to be key that college, high school and lower levels address the issue, making sure that they make them more aware," Sanford warned.

In recent years, college and high school athletes have also been busted for taking illegal substances such as steroids and human growth hormones.

Sanford says he hopes young athletes can take something positive from this whole situation.

"Hopefully, they don't look at that and go, 'The guys I love are cheaters. The guys I looked up to are on steroids,'" Sanford continued.

Although the legacy of "The Mitchell Report" will cast a major shadow over the game, life-long baseball fan, Kessinger, believes the sport will thrive once again.

"The thing about baseball is it's very resilient. It's been around over 150 years. It'll survive this like it survived everything else," Kessinger said.

Kessinger says because of the report, merchandise bearing the accused players' names, faces or numbers, such as baseball cards and jerseys, will likely see major sales decreases.

To read the entire Mitchell Report click here.


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