Here’s the report from the ESPN newswire…
Eleven current free agents will be named in former Senator George Mitchell’s report on steroids use in baseball and all 11 players have been notified by the commissioner’s office, The Boston Globe reported on its Web site Thursday afternoon.
The newspaper, citing two agents who attended Wednesday’s union meeting in New York, said the agents confirmed this news Thursday.
Jose Guillen, a free-agent linked to a Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of a federal investigation into illegal steroid sales, is one of the 11 players who allegedly bought steroids, The Globe reported.
Baseball team officials were told last month to be prepared for Mitchell, a former Senate Majority Leader and director of the Boston Red Sox, to issue his report by the end of the year.
Mitchell’s staff sent lawyers representing some players with ties to the BALCO investigation letters that notified them of the deadline, CBS News reported Wednesday, citing a lawyer who received the letter.
So…I think that any free agent signings might be delayed a bit. Would you sign someone right now? I understand if it was one of your guy, but I certainly wouldn’t touch a guy I didn’t know right about now.
Of course the question remains, will there be any discipline for the players on these reports? Will they miss any games, or will this simply be a PR nightmare? And how many names are on the list that aren’t free agents? This report just said free agents on the list, it didn’t say the whole list was only 11 players. My guess is that this information was leaked because some folks are beginning to realize that the Red Sox have a competitive advantage here. If Mitchell knows the names on this list, doesn’t that give the Red Sox information that the rest of the league doesn’t have?
And weren’t we promised “big name” players? I’ve mentioned before, I am both nervous and excited about the names on that list. Let’s face it, would anyone here would have said Paul Byrd was using HGH? He doesn’t quite fit the mold does he? So who else could be named? The one name I’m looking for- David Big (head) Papi Ortiz. Yeah, I’ll laugh at that one. Of course, I’d personally like for all of the 2004 Red Sox to be on that list.
UPDATE: Chalk this up to another screw up by ESPN. Evidently the 11 players they are talking about were players that were asked to be interviewed by the Mitchell committee. They are not even necessarily being questioned about their own use. So in the end, 11 free agents could be tainted. Or more. Or less. Good on ya ESPN!