Talking to thenerdhater yesterday, there was the realization that the hours after the Mitchell Report release were kind of a haze of coffee and naps and quiet chatting... Not unlike Christmas afternoon. Everybody talks about Christmas eve (what will Santa bring), Christmas morning (look what Santa brought), but not Christmas afternoon (I think I'm gonna take a nap and eat some leftovers). If you don't celebrate Christmas, maybe you don't know what I'm talking about. Cest la vie.
So, now it's Christmas dinner. Time to take stock of what we've learned. Here's what Sandy Alderson learned (in the form of a press release). San Diego in general came off pretty well except for the fact that it was explicitly named as being a place where visiting teams could anticipate quick jaunts into Mexico for watered down beer, donkey shows and performance enhancing drugs.
What I realize after a starting into it a bit is that this is basically the bust of one drug dealer and his black book. A description of the BALCO case is included and some other names are named by Brian McNamee, but there's no telling if Kirk Radomski (aka Murdock) was even that big of a pusher. Is it so hard to believe that there were (and perhaps are) Murdock equivalents in other clubhouses? If there's even one equivalent in another clubhouse, then that could easily be another 77 players named. Do half of the clubhouses have a Murdock?
After all, it is stated that San Diego was in an ideal location to make quick jumps to Mexico. Couldn't we anticipate a contact in San Diego knowing exactly where to go to get the goods during a 3 game series? Wouldn't Los Angeles and Anaheim be similarly situated?
Unfortunately or fortunately, it's a terrible sin in our culture to speculate or to profile according to any sort of demographic. Therefore, while a lot of people are concluding that the evidence given doesn't really amount to much, I don't think many are really taking the next common sense step in their thinking: Jose Canseco might have been right about how many people took performance enhancers. It could very easily be 50%.
If it makes sense that some number of MLB cities had their Murdock equivalent, then it makes even more sense that an even larger number of Minor League cities have a Murdock. After all, the testing at the minor league level wasn't nearly as "extensive" in that time period as it was at the Major League Level. The incentive to improve performance at the minor league level is also much greater as the talent pool is so wide and it is so difficult to get noticed.
Everybody wants to move on from this, myself included. However, it might be naive to move on and have the only question be, "Should Roger Clemens be in the Hall of Fame?" At least in my mind, I'm not confident that the powers that be are extrapolating the information that they need to be extrapolating.