The blog is about fantasy baseball, but it’s sometimes hard to ignore what goes on in the real baseball world. Frankly, if we weren’t baseball fans first, we wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about fantasy baseball. So, with a heavy heart I write, yesterday was a tough day to be a fan. Taint on lots of big names, past and present — Bonds, Clemens, Pettitte, McGwire, Bagwell, Gagne, Sosa, Justice, Tejada and, um, F.P. Santangelo. The list goes on for pages. If you want to read The Mitchell Report in its entirety, you can here. It’s lengthy and pretty depressing, kinda like if Ken Burns did a seven-part documentary on Tonya from The Real World. But today is a new day, and I’m going to try and put a positive spin on things. Here is a list of some players NOT in The Mitchell Report. If you will, a tribute.
Greg Maddux – 347 wins going into 2008. In 1998, while McGwire racked up 70 homers, Maddux went 18-9 with a 2.22 ERA and 208 strikeouts. Good to hear the Padres are bringing him back for another year. Maybe he’ll pass Clemens on the all-time wins list.
Tom Glavine – 303 wins, 2570 career Ks, and a lifetime 3.51 ERA. In 1998, Sosa hit 66 homers, but went 0 for 4 against Glavine with three strikeouts. In the Cubs second game against Glavine in 1998, Sosa sat out to give Matt Mieske some at-bats.
Randy Johnson – 4616 career strikeouts. Hopefully, he can make it back for his 300th win. It would be nice to see. In 2001, while Bonds hit 73 homers, Randy struck out 372 batters, which is eleventh most for a season and the most since Nolan Ryan in 1973.
Pedro Martinez – From 1997 to 2003, the heart of the having-a-trainer-inject-my-ass-with-something era, Pedro had ERAs of 1.90, 2.89, 2.07, 1.74, 2.39, 2.226 and 2.22 respectively.
Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera – Combined they have over 900 saves and zero mentions in The Mitchell Report. What’s that? Gagne had trouble bouncing back day after day? Trevor smiles at Mariano then, “Try it for twelve years.”
Cy Young Winners from 1996 ‘til present – Jake Peavy, Johan Santana, Brandon Webb, Chris Carpenter, John Smoltz, C.C. Sabathia, Roy Halladay and Barry Zito.
Alex Rodriguez – Canseco claims Arod should be in the Mitchell Report, but he’s not. I say we give him the benefit of the doubt. BTW, he’s arguably the best hitter in the game. When you’re in that argument, you’re pretty good.
Albert Pujols – See that premature balding is hereditary! BTW, second best hitter in the game.
Todd Helton – In 2001, he batted 132/49/146/.336. Too bad it was overshadowed.
Vladimir Guerrero – Some players medicate when they’re hobbled by injuries, some hobble. Here’s one for the hobblers.
Ichiro Suzuki – For not being in The Mitchell Report — arrigato.
Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder – If they test positive, it’s because their steak was injected on the way to the slaughterhouse.
Frank Thomas – Okay, so he’s the Henry Hill of all of this, but it’s still a shame his 500 home runs came at a time when that was a ticket for Copperstown consideration and not a ticket to Copperstown.
Manny Ramirez – The thought of Manny trying to inject himself with something is ludicrous. Actually, the thought of Manny thinking is pretty ludicrous, but Manny get a hug from Big Papi for not being in The Report.
David Ortiz – While we’re here, someone Big Papi wasn’t hugging was McNamee.
Ken Griffey Jr. – Maybe if Griffey took the shortcut many of colleagues did to help recuperate from injury, he would be approaching 800 home runs. Maybe his self-respect meant too much.
I wish these players above had received more recognition then and now. There’s lots of names I’m failing to mention. Please feel free to comment below some names that weren’t on The Mitchell Report.