Thursday, December 13, 2007
360 View
Just a bunch of entertainers
--Drew Griffin

I recently produced a documentary on steroid and drug use in professional wrestling, so I am once again drawn to an old question: if adults want to use medications to enhance their physical abilities, why should I care?

By now, professional athletes and entertainers know the benefits and risks. Both wrestling and baseball are private (not public) business endeavors. Legalized gambling is not part of wrestling or baseball. So if these private boys want to "go on the gas," why should we care?

And before you say anything about these jocks being role models to our kids, give me a break. I don't see anybody screaming about drug use in Hollywood or rock'n'roll or rap or anything else. These are just a bunch of entertainers addicted to drugs and themselves. And I could care less.

Posted 4:40PM ET




Steroids, or the gas pump..
--Joe Johns, 360 Correspondent

When I was in high school I played football and was the captain of the track team. I was the state champ in the discus throw and briefly talked with coach Woody Hayes about playing football for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He saw potential because of my track stats. But I knew I'd just become a tackling dummy at OSU. So I went to Marshall for track.

We were all in the steroid shooting world back then. I decided not to do it. But it was easy to see the guys who did. They put on ten and twenty pounds of muscle over a couple years.

I didn't do it because I knew athletics wasn't gonna be my ticket in life. But for those guys who have nothing else to look forward to in life, I do wonder whether the right thing to do is just let them make that decision for themselves.

For many, it's either steroids and muscle, or a lifetime of pumping gas.

Posted 3:07PM ET




They win, we lose
--Gary Tuchman, 360 Correspondent

I don't like cheaters. That's why I don't have much patience for professional athletes who use steroids. They do it for one reason; to give themselves an edge so they can make more money. And who pays for those salary increases? The fans who have watched ticket prices increase exorbitantly over the years.

So that gives you an idea how I feel going into a story I'm covering for 360 later today. The report by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, which literally names many alleged cheaters.

One of the saddest parts of this scandal is the "see no evil" philosophy that Major League Baseball and the players' union have had over the years. Also pitiful: how it casts a pall and suspicion on this great sport, which is unfair to what I assume is the great majority of players who don't use steroids.

The report calls for beefed-up testing by an outside agency to clean up the game. MLB isn't legally required to follow the recommendations. But it seems to me, that wouldn't go over too well.

Posted 2:57PM ET




How about a little skill
--John King, CNN Chief National Correspondent

No Manny. No Papi. No Lowell or Varitek.

That is the bright spot for me on a sad day for baseball. Not because I am a Red Sox fan. But because my children are Red Sox fans, and seeing a report outlining a culture of cheating makes me wonder about the troubling message and signal to kids who see these players as role models.

They need to know it's wrong. And maybe be reminded by the stars not on the list that you don't need to cheat; that you can be special through skill and effort.

Posted 2:29PM ET




As Gomer Pyle used to say....
--Jami Floyd, Court TV anchor

The Mitchell Report reveals a culture of doping in Major League Baseball. Well, as Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!" The report names dozens of players linked to steroid use. Well, listen up MLB: The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. To his credit, Commissioner Bud Selig commissioned the report. Now anyone left in America who really thought Barry Bonds was the only one will have to think again.

Posted 1:01PM ET




Shameful and damning
--Gabriel Falcon, 360 Writer


It is one of the darkest days in Major League Baseball. But is it really a surprise?

Some of the biggest names in baseball are on its list, including potential Hall-of-Famers. The big question may not be who's on the list, however, but what should happen next? Should the players be fined, suspended, banned? And what does this say about America's pastime?

We want to know what you think.

12:53PM ET




Al Sharpton's dance card
--Roland Martin, 360 Contributor

The Rev. Al Sharpton just told me that he will endorse one of the Democratic candidates prior to the New Hampshire primary. So far, he has refused to jump in the Presidential race, which he knows all too well as a candidate in 2004.

Many think that Sharpton will fall in line with many New Yorkers and back his home state senator. But if Obama snags the endorsement, it will be a major boon for him because many top civil rights leaders have endorsed Clinton, and it could bring some credibility among African-Americans, who are split between the top two Dems.

Posted 1:33PM ET




Fire and ice
--Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Correspondent

Politics means having to say you're sorry as soon as possible if something starts to implode. This brings us to Hillary Clinton's apology today to Barack Obama.
The backfill:
1) Clinton's Campaign Co-Chair in New Hampshire told the Washington Post that Obama is unelectable in part because his (admitted) drug use as a teenager would be red meat for Republicans who would ask questions like "did you deal drugs?"
2) Cue the furor from Camp Obama, which basically said Clinton's getting desperate.
3) The Clinton co-chair issues a statement and says he's sorry he said what he said and the Clinton campaign didn't tell him to say it.
4) The story keeps going.
5) Hillary Clinton, upon return to Washington for a vote, is asked by reporters whether she thinks the now retracted statement was appropriate. She says no.
6) The story keeps going.
7) Obama folks put out an email complaining about the accusation and suggesting people make contributions to the campaign.
8) Clinton apologizes to Obama on the tarmac at National Airport as the two of them were flying in separate planes to des moines for a DEBATE.Stay tuned, dear reader, and remember what I told you yesterday: three weeks before the caucuses what we've got here are ice storms and heated politics.
Viva Iowa.

Posted 1:08PM ET




Iowa and Bali
--David Gergen, 360 Contributor

Two stories today: The first is whether Hillary Clinton can begin turning around her campaign in Iowa in this afternoon's debate. So far, debates have been her strongest forum, helping her build up a lead, but they have faded from media focus, and Barack Obama has been out-campaigning her on the ground.

Now stories are emerging of how unhappy Bill is with her campaign (not good news for her side,) and polls show Barack ahead in Iowa and closing fast in New Hampshire. Can she seize upon this afternoon's debate to start turning things around? Not an easy format for that... so, we'll see.

The other story is really a non-story: from Bali where representatives from around the world are gathered to hammer out a new policy framework for combating climate change. At the very moment when scientists are warning that we are truly close to the edge -- and that indeed, the disappearance of Arctic ice could show us at a tipping point -- it is stunningly disappointing that so little progress is being made in Bali -- and worse, that the intransigence of the U.S. administration is a major stumbling block. Keep watching this space -- and cross fingers.

Posted 12:18PM ET
Posted By CNN: 12:46 PM ET
  19 Comments
THANK YOU - A-Rod, Frank Thomas, Manny & David Ortiz, for not completely breaking our hearts (yet)!
Posted By Laurie - Chicago : 2:36 PM ET
Now that some of America's baseball heros have been exposed, will they be hounded and prosecuted like Barry Bobnds? Mitchell says lets move on. It is amazing that some get forgiven (let's move on) and others get prosecuted based on popularity. I say it is time to move on, including with Barry Bonds. There is nothing more to gain.
Posted By Anonymous : 2:45 PM ET
Hey I've always thought that alot of the "stars" in the MLB were roided up!! I mean just look at them!! And look at their stats from year to year!! You can really see it!!

I give credit to Selig for doing the report but now let's see if they do anything about the drug use!!
Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 2:46 PM ET
What kind of a message are the "role models" of millions sending to their fans? Is it okay to cheat if you don't think you're going to get caught? Is it okay to lie if you believe that the truth will never come out? Now what does the MLB do? How do you remedy this situation and try to save face? The only thing I can say is, this has been a long time coming...
Posted By KaraMohr : 2:57 PM ET
Dear Gary,

If they can prove that these so-called athletes have been taking steroids they should be given the Marion Jones "treatment." She has been disgraced, fined, and stripped of her medals. What makes these overpaid beefcakes any better?

I agree with you, the "see no evil" philosophy of major league baseball and the player's union is the saddest part, but I am afraid that nothing will really change because there is too much money involved and that, after all, is the bottom line. Unfortunately, this illegal behavior does cast a suspicion over the players who follow the rules.

If they are going to allow this type of cheating they might as well allow the stolen signs, the spitballs, and the corked bats as well.

It's a shame, but it seems that the great American pastime has turned into cheating at any cost.

I look forward to your report tonight!

Jo Ann
North Royalton, Ohio
Posted By Jo Ann : 3:01 PM ET
I don't have sympathy for players who use steroids. I actually feel sorry more for players who are clean because they have to sort of "prove" to fans they're NOT using drugs in order for fans to keep the faith in their favorite player.
Posted By Bill V . - Durham, N.C. : 3:01 PM ET
Professional baseball players use steroids ?! I'm shocked by this revelation .
Posted By Dane P. - Omaha Ne. : 3:05 PM ET
How disappointing. Luckily, I don't have a favorite player. Not since Jackie Robinson.
Posted By WIlliam A Colorado Springs, CO. : 3:11 PM ET
If they used illegal drugs to make them better ball players, then they didn't have God-given talent to begin with. Shame on them.
Posted By Riley R - Exeter, Ma. : 3:13 PM ET
Sorry to hear baseball players use performance drugs.If I find out Anderson Cooper is roided-up, Im going to curl up in a ball and cry.
Posted By Robin, Westchester, Ny : 3:15 PM ET
It's just my opinion, but I think if you can only play and win a game on drugs, then you might as well pack your bags and call it a day..Cheating is never an option, period.
Posted By Lorie Ann : 3:19 PM ET
I usually score tickets for Opening Day, but I'm afraid to go next spring. The fans will probably be throwing plastic syringes out on to the field.
Posted By dante vargas, forest hills, ny. : 3:20 PM ET
Gary- I really don't think this has anything to do with more money; I think it has to do with getting your name in the HOF .
Posted By Tom S . Boston, Ma. : 3:25 PM ET
At my job, I have been tested for drug abuse as a condition of employment for many years. The process is totally fair and it weeds out those people who choose not to compete fairly. MLB must mandate state of the art drug testing to screen all minor and major league players and offer help to those players who need specialized care. Sadly, the past cannot be changed. The future of baseball and the integrity of the game depends on fair drug testing.
Posted By Rick at VA : 3:26 PM ET
Baseball sucks - get over it !
Posted By Scott , Philadelphia, Pa : 3:28 PM ET
There is only one group getting screwed by this scandal. It's us, the fans. All the billions of dollars we fans pay for tickets, and memorabilia and jerseys and beer and hot dogs and parking and to the advertisers for their products. It's all tarnished.
Posted By Rick C . -- San Diego, CA : 3:31 PM ET
my opinion is that since steroids have been a big part of the game for years already and players using them are competing against other players on steroids, it should be considered fair competition.
Posted By jimmy j, raleigh, nc. : 3:34 PM ET
If you can't play the game, then retire. Don't CHEAT to play!
Posted By Helena, St. Louis, Mo. : 3:39 PM ET
Steroids don't improve skill, they speed muscle growth. If you couldn't pitch before, then you're not going to be an accurate pitcher after. Same for hitting - no skill, no hit.
Posted By jamie s , columbus, oh : 4:15 PM ET
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