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12/13/07 Our Long Nationals Nightmare Is Finally Over...

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     The long arm of the Mitchell Report reached all the way down to DC, dragging the names of five players with ties to the Washington Nationals into the spotlight that accompanies the release of the results of the Fmr. Senator George Mitchell's look into the culture in baseball that allowed what will forever be known as the "Steroid-Era" to flourish virtually unchecked for nearly a decade.

     Jose Guillen's name has been in the news for weeks now following the surfacing of allegations that Guillen had received shipments of human growth hormone at some point during the years after he joined the Nationals roster, and today, Nook Logan, Gary Bennett, Mike Stanton and Paul Lo Duca's names were included in the list of 75 players released to the public along with the complete report of the investigation.

    Jose Guillen played two seasons in DC, hitting .283 with 32 doubles, 27 HR's and 76 HR's in '05 and putting together a .216 AVG, with 15 doubles, 9 HR's and 40 RBI's in an '06 season that was shortened to 69 games by a shoulder injury.

     Nook Logan hit .300 in 27 games in 2006 after arriving in DC in a trade from Detroit, with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR and 8 RBI's in his first 90 at bats, but Logan struggled to a .265 AVG in 118 games in '07, with 18 doubles, 4 triples and 21 RBI's and just yesterday was non-tendered by the Nationals making him a free agent at exactly the wrong moment...

     Gary Bennett and Mike Stanton were both on the Nationals roster in '05, with Stanton traded at the end of the season only to return as a free agent for the '06 season. In 2005, Bennett played in 68 games for Washington, batting .221 with 1 HR and 21 RBI's. Stanton was (2-1) in 30 games in '05 with a 3.58 ERA. After a trade to Boston that brought return for Minor Leaguers Rhys Taylor and Yader Peralta, Stanton went (3-5) with a 4.27 ERA in 56 appearances before being traded to San Francisco for pitcher Shairon Martis.

     ...And how happy are the New York Mets that Paul Lo Duca is being referred to as "Nationals' catcher Paul Lo Duca" in all the reports of his inclusion on the list, although Lo Duca is alledged, according to mlb.com's Bill Ladson's article, "Nationals have ties to Mitchell Report" to have made purchases during a time period a twelve years before signing with DC. Mr. Ladson writes that Paul Lo Duca:

          "...purchased human growth hormone from Kirk
          Radomski, a bat boy, equipment manager and clubhouse
          attendant for the Mets from 1985-95. The report said that
          Lo Duca made these purchases as a member of the
          Dodgers and Marlins."

     What if any disciplinary action might be taken place against these players has yet to be determined, though MLB Commisioner Bud Selig is reportedly determined to follow through on the recommendations put forth in the Mitchell Report.

     Who were the biggest surprises on the list? How seriously can an investigation of Major League Baseball done by Major League Baseball be taken? How can players be "outed" without an opportunity to address the allegations in any significant venue? Is the idea to simply shame all those with any hint of a connection to performance-enhancing drugs in the court of public opinion?    

     And finally...Considering some of the names on the list, don't we all really have to question the effectiveness of the performance-enhancing drugs these players were ingesting/injecting? I mean, shouldn't some of them have been better?...

*Mitchell Report Links*

mlb.com's Bill Ladson's article at washington.nationals.mlb.com entitled, "Nationals have ties to Mitchell Report":

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071213&content_id=2324780&vkey=ne ws_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

AP article at msnb.com about Jose Guillen:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22135888/

mlb.com's COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE MITCHELL REPORT:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/news/mitchell/coverage.jsp