Lessons on Sport From the Mitchell Report
- Wednesday, January 02, 2008
January 2, 2007
In the wake of the release of the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, Albert Mohler interviewed fellow radio host and former major league pitcher Frank Pastore. Frank pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 1979 to 1985 and ended his career with the Minnesota Twins in 1986.
Albert Mohler: I’ve been fascinated by the discussion that has ensued after the release of the Mitchell Report on the illegal use of performance-enhancing steroids in Major League Baseball. Now, I am I’m shocked I guess by the fact that some people are shocked, it seems like this is kind of right out of the movie “Casablanca”. How in the world can you feign or pretend to be shocked at this point, given all the evidence? But I’m also surprised by a lot of the conversation, focused more on the personalities involved, the big names mentioned in this report rather than on the issues.
Frank Pastore: I am a little surprised by how many people are on the list. I expected maybe a dozen or twenty, I mean my goodness what is the count is it 52?
Mohler: I haven’t counted it myself, but it’s well over 50.
Pastore: Wow! Well, I tell you what, my initial reaction is—I’m shocked at how many pitchers are on the list. Typically back in my era, pitchers I mean, you were never to get involved with steroids because it would strengthen your muscles but not your ligaments and your tendons and you’d ended up blowing out a shoulder or elbow. So, with pitchers it was unheard of. I don’t believe a single pitcher back when I ended my career in ’86-’87 was doing it. Really, no one. We knew the regular players that were doing it because they were the double hitters in one season, they’d come back to spring training and gain 30 pounds and all of a sudden they’re popping balls out of the ball park because they had been lifting weights and eating right … yeah!
Mohler: Wheaties, Frank, Wheaties.
Pastore: We didn’t do that. I’m shocked by how many pitchers are on this list.
Mohler: I wouldn’t have known to think like about that. You’re shocked by fact the pitchers are there and some big name pitchers.
Pastore: Oh, huge! Andy Pettitt, Roger Clemens and the list goes on. And I’m just wondering … Oh my gosh! Where do we go from here now? Of course there’s the stigma on the game. I just feel sad. As an ex-major league player for eight years, I’m saddened that this is has occurred. It’s an insult. It’s almost like a family sin that is now out of the closet. But, in a good sense, now that it’s out of the closet, let’s clean it up.
Mohler: Alright Frank, before we get to the cleaning up I want us to get to what’s wrong here. There are a lot of Americans who are out there saying “This is wrong. This is scandalous.” As a matter of fact, George Mitchell, never actually said why this was wrong. He said it broke federal law and baseball policy. Well, that isn’t going to convince Americans. It certainly is not going to convince a 16-year-old high school player.
Mohler: That it violates that rule. Why is it wrong to use these substances?
Pastore: It will kill you and destroy your body number one, set aside the moral argument of cheating, because the rebuttal to that is, “Well, then let everybody do it. Let’s just start a new sport where any illegal activity you want to get involved in—all steroids—are okay. Let’s not even test for them.” Sort of what pro wrestling had become, right? Let’s set that aside.
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