RUSH: I want to talk a little bit more about the steroid thing, the Mitchell Report that came out yesterday. I have had a day to digest this. Oh, and, by the way, I want to issue an apology to -- I'm not going to be to remember all the names -- Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox and Johnny Damon. PMSNBC.com published a list yesterday, in the morning, and those names were on it. In the afternoon when The Mitchell Report came out, those names and some others were not on the list, so Pujols was not on the list. Jason Varitek was not on the list. Nomar Garciaparra was not on the list (he was at first), and Johnny Damon. So I want to apologize to these people. It was a leaked list that was inaccurate at first. But I've thought about this now, and I think I understand what's going on here. I think that the purpose of this report...well... Yeah, I'll go so far as to say the purpose. But even if it's not the purpose, the end result here is this is going to end up exonerating everybody, including Bonds, in the past, and I actually do think it was a real purpose. Now, I'm going to have to qualify "exonerating," because they're not going to get away scot-free.
Some of these guys won't be elected in the Hall of Fame because the people that are really fit to be tied about this, are these Drive-By sports people: the columnists and the reporters. I mean, you could read it in your local paper, I'm sure: "Baseball, it's worse than the 1919 Black Sox scandal! It's dirty. The whole game is dirty, not just these players." Yeah, it may be, but the fans are showing up in droves. Yeah, some fans are not all that angry about it, some are. But the bottom line is this. How can Bud Selig...? By the way, Bud Selig, I want to tell you people something, Bud Selig is exactly what you think George W. Bush is. The commissioner of Major League Baseball. How else can they conclude here that everybody was cheating in the past? Even the names... What are there, 70, 75 names on this list? It's the tip of the iceberg, and basically two or three witnesses. As I predicted yesterday, Roger Clemens says, "It's not true! I didn't do this," and Mitchell is not a court of law, so what are they going to do? He has no enforcement power in terms of the law, and so all this "testimony," quote, unquote, is, in a legal sense, it's hearsay. How do you asterisk Barry Bonds but yet not Clemens? How do you asterisk Clemens but not the whole Yankee team?
How do you not asterisk the whole Giants team? This is a team game, even though we focus on individuals in this game -- and when I say "exonerate," what I mean is there's no way the league can retro-punish past performances and achievements. What they're going to do is get "serious," quote, unquote, about cleaning up the future, but Mitchell is not a court of law. His evidence is hearsay in a legal case, and the names in this list are the tip of the iceberg. I made this point yesterday. Let me ask you this. How many of those players on that list, if you're not a real baseball fan... I mean, we've all heard of Barry Bonds. We've all heard of Roger Clemens. We've all heard of Jason Giambi. We've all heard of Miguel Tejada. But do you know how many names on that list you've never heard of unless you're a dyed-in-the-wool, ardent baseball fan? And yet those guys were juicing, too. Those guys were shooting up, whatever you do: steroids, human growth hormone. Yet the juicing didn't apparently launch them to superstar status. It might have made 'em a little bit better, but it didn't launch 'em to superstar status. So we can conclude that juicing does not elevate everybody equally. It doesn't turn you into superhuman, if you're not something of that nature to begin with.
Juicing does not make everyone better because it has nothing to do with raising the baseline talent of any athlete, like hand-eye coordination or speed; how fast you can throw a baseball. You know, juicing does not automatically jump someone to superstar levels, and there are lots of outs here for Major League Baseball if they want to take it. You literally cannot... If you're going to asterisk Roger Clemens, are you going to have to take the batters that he faced, the hitters that he faced, and raise their batting average points, ten or 12 points? And if you do that -- well, of course, you can't do that, but if you tried it -- how do you know the hitters were not themselves juicing? They don't know everybody who's been juicing. They just got... It's a very, very tiny percentage. You look at this, and all these names. Up until then, they were focusing Bonds. "Bonds cheated!" Compare it to cycling or track. Marion Jones, she's in trouble because she was a multiple-times champ, and she was cheating and juicing. But when the reports on juicing in track came out, she's it. If Bonds was it, then you'd have the same circumstance there. They can strip her of her medals and so forth and they can say, "Track is clean." Floyd Landis in bicycling, the Tour de France. We had a call yesterday, "They've destroyed cycling." No, they haven't destroyed cycling. Floyd Landis is in trouble. If they were disqualifying whole teams at the Tour de France, then you would have a different situation. In baseball's case, you've got so many of these players that you simply cannot retro-punish.
You just can't do it, and how do you now single out Barry Bonds, other than he's on trial or will soon be on trial in San Francisco for perjury before the grand jury, but in terms of steroid use and his home-run accomplishments, how do you asterisk him and nobody else? How do you start asterisking all these people? If you start asterisking all these people, you can't. Once you start that, you can't. So that's why I think that part of what's going on here is to exonerate the past and wipe the slate clean in a PR sense, or try to, ask and move forward and say, "We're going to get really tough. We're going to get really tough on this." Sports is the entertainment business, right? So how about the actress with breast implants, is she cheating? How about the hitter, as I said yesterday, who wears contacts. Is he cheating? How about men who use Viagra, Cialis or whatever? Performance enhancement? Are they cheating? Are fans staying away from stadiums? No. Fans have never been all that upset with this, really, when you get down to it. It's just these sportswriters, the liberal Drive-Bys -- and I guarantee you if some of these little shrimps in the liberal Drive-By Media sports community could make themselves two feet taller tomorrow, they'd do it.
Sports are an escape from reality for a few hours for people, and they like cartoon figures and characters, like Bonds. They like superhuman performance, even without HGH and steroids. One of the great attractions -- particularly for a kid growing up wanting to play baseball -- is that the people who can do it are so unique and so rare. Their talent is so rare. You look at all the population of this country and the percentage of it that's qualified to play Major League Baseball at that level. It's rare and unique. So whether they're juicing or not, people look up to and respect and are in awe and in marvel of the talent that they possess, and they like superhuman performance. As I said, Marion Jones or Floyd Landis, when it's just one major figure in the sport cheating, then all hell will break loose because if the cheater is the champ... But lots of juicers on the George Mitchell list are nowhere near the top of performance in the league. So before this is all said and done, baseball will have appeased Congress, which was another thing this was all about: Congress, you know, hassling them to do something about this.
These names have now been made public, and a lot of people really object to that, too, because this is not a court of law. I'm telling you, this is a bunch of people trying to sweep a problem under the rug and get rid of it and say, "There's nothing we can do about the past." The only thing that's going to happen in the past is some of these guys may not make it to the Hall of Fame who otherwise would because the sportswriters will carry a grudge -- and then what if Mitchell is wrong? What if he was lied to by people? It looks like it's going to be tough for that because one of the guys that gave evidence on Clemens -- there's nine pages in this report of Clemens, and it was pretty detailed and specific. Yet Clemens out there denying it, which I predicted yesterday. But if there are people on this list who have been falsely accused, and that's provable, what do they do now to go back and get their reputations? So this is a can of worms that has been opened, I think for the express purpose of essentially exonerating the past, because you can't punish it all, and you can't asterisk it all, and you cannot say that because somebody did this, their performance was X, because some of the people on this list you never heard of, and you didn't hear of them because they're not great, and yet they were juicing. Well, what does that tell you?