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Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Sad Day for Baseball

LA Times reporter Bill Plaschke said it better than we can.

"Baseball will survive, because as long as there are summer nights and bleacher seats, baseball will always survive...The good part about the report is that it represents an important step toward a clean future. The bad part is that, more than any other sport, baseball is steeped in its past."

Clearly, we haven't had a chance to read the entire 409 page document, but we all understand its basic content. First, for those items that hit close to home.

Nook Logan. A National for some of 2006 and all of 2007, released just days ago by the Club. A surprise? Absolutely. When reached on Thursday, Logan said, "I'm not talking about it. You have to talk to my agent. I just play baseball."

From Page 229:

Rondell White, a Tigers teammate, referred Logan to Radomski. Radomski stated that he sold Logan one kit of human growth hormone just before federal agents searched Radomski’s house in December 2005. Radomski mailed the package to Logan, who paid by money order. Radomski recalled having between six and eight conversations with Logan about the use of performance enhancing substances. In the course of one of these conversations, Logan confirmed that he had received the shipment from Radomski. Radomski still had Logan’s phone number in his cell phone directory at the time of his final interview with me and provided me with the phone number.

Congressman Tom Davis thinks Logan should get his money back. "I mean, Nook Logan? I mean, he ought to get his money back, whatever he paid for...They must have watered his down, man. Put some flour in it or whatever."

Next, the one that should irritate us much more. While the evidence against Logan is minimal and inconclusive, Lo Duca is clearly implicated by the Report. Paul Lo Duca.

New Nationals catcher Lo Duca's name is plastered throughout the entire report, not just in his own section. Lo Duca is cited in Eric Gagné and Matt Herges' reports with a number of accusations about him purchasing and injecting illegal performance enhancing drugs.
Page 209 begins the 37 times Lo Duca's name is mentioned:
Todd Hundley referred Lo Duca to Radomski when Lo Duca played for the Dodgers. Radomski estimated that he engaged in six or more transactions with Lo Duca. In some transactions, Radomski sent the performance enhancing substances by overnight mail to Lo Duca’s home or to the Dodgers clubhouse and Lo Duca sent Radomski a check a week or so later.
Lo Duca’s name, with an address and telephone number, is listed in the address book seized from Radomski’s residence by federal agents. During that search, federal agents also seized a note from Lo Duca to Radomski...

Now there's a great role model for young Jesus Flores. And if suspensions are put in place for Lo Duca, will Flores start on Opening Day?
Commissioner Bud Selig and Don Fehr of the Players Association addressed the matter after Senator Mitchell released the report. Selig was eager to understand and learn from the past and suggested he'd handle the situation on a case by case basis. Fehr defended players who may have been wrongly accused.
There will be a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday. More hearings scheduled for January as well. Plaschke concludes with this strong statement:
"For baseball to experience a true cleansing, it must first spend time feeling the filth that its fans feel, the grime from a 409-page dirty book that, for now, has torn apart our bleacher seats and blown out the lights on our summer nights."

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