The depressing coverage of the Mitchell report on steroid use in baseball raises many questions, such as what took one Alan Huber “Bud” Selig Jr. so long to notice the syringes in the trash cans. One question that is apt for this forum: Could and should the media have uncovered this story long before George Mitchell did?
The Mitchell report would have won a Pulitzer if it had been a newspaper exposé. My understanding is that Mitchell didn’t have the power to subpoena. So did he really have that much more ability to uncover the truth than the Fourth Estate?
Unlike George Mitchell, reporters are in clubhouses every day. Did they never notice syringes in the trash, as the Twins employee did? Reporters have hundreds of sources in and around the business of baseball. Did none of those sources have the ability and inclination to help reporters uncover even a fraction of the stories contained in the Mitchell report?
I’m out of my League here. I don’t know this issue well, and I don’t work in sports media relations. But I do wonder whether sports reporters are so caught up in hero worship, relationship protection, statistical spin, and the timely boarding and unboarding of bandwagons that they were asleep at the switch as one of the biggest baseball stories in decades was unfolding all around them.