MLB, Steroids, and the Clueless Congress

Once again Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Ca.) has MLB in his sights. According to Yahoo! Sports, he recently wrote commissioner Bud Selig and union head Don Fehr and asked them whether players and owners conspired to skate around the drug-testing process back in 2004. Specifically, Waxman’s committee has information suggesting that players were tipped off in advance of what was supposed to be a round of random testing and that testing was halted for a period of time.

Breaking, scandalous news? Only for Waxman. As the author of the Yahoo! piece, Josh Peter, and J.C. Bradbury of Sabernomics (among others) have pointed out, all of this was in the Mitchell Report. You know, the same Mitchell Report that Waxman and the rest of Congress held hearings on back in January and, one would hope/assume, had vetted even before that. So it’s hard to figure why Waxman was so recently thunderstruck by this information.

Well, the narrative within Waxman’s office is that, yes, certainly, of course, he knew about the allegations at the time of the Mitchell Report hearings, but George Mitchell had scurried off before he had a chance to ask him to expound upon them. Maybe. But you’d think this sort of malfeasance–artificially deflating the number of positive tests–might warrant “before lunch break” treatment at the hearings. Apparently not.

Or maybe Waxman is just hopelessly uninformed …

Yeah, let’s go with “hopelessly uninformed.”


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