The fallout continues (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday December 19, 2007 12:58PM; Updated: Wednesday December 19, 2007 3:40PM
Mitchell Report Winners
And, yes, there were a few winners, even beyond George Mitchell, who hit the mother lode thanks to Radomski and McNamee (with an assist from the feds, who compelled their cooperation). The other winners:
1. Jeff Novitzky. The IRS investigator turns out to be a latter-day Eliot Ness, the single greatest force in the feds' cleanup efforts.
2. Duquette. He's been fielding calls of congratulations ever since the release of the report, which goes a long way toward explaining how Clemens extended the "twilight of his career,'' by, oh, a decade or so. Duquette, who despite a largely successful tenure as Red Sox GM, has been ridiculed hundreds of times for predicting Clemens was nearing the end. Since leaving the Red Sox in 2002 he has never been offered another GM job and is currently working as the director of operations for the Israel Baseball League and president of the Duquette Sports Academy. Yet he won't gloat. Prodded as to whether he has been vindicated, Duquette said, "I'm not sure what I need to be vindicated for ... Red Sox fans are very sophisticated, and you can leave that judgment to them.'' He did get a chuckle when I asked him whether he was in the twilight of his own career. Laughing, the 49-year-old responded, "No, I'm still a young guy.''
3. Piazza. Beyond his well-known role as Clemens' longtime nemesis, he had been identified in a couple previous reports as a friend of Radomski's. Yet the evidence suggests that he was nothing more than a friend.
4. Barry Bonds. His mention was only a rehashing of previous evidence. The point is drilled home again that he was far from the only user. Plenty of guys used and still couldn't hit like him.
Christmas gift: Santana Claus?
The Johan Santana Sweepstakes are likely to come down to whether new Yankees boss Hank Steinbrenner is willing to overrule GM Brian Cashman again. Steinbrenner wants to go for Santana, Cashman doesn't (at least not at the cost of Phil Hughes).
Word is that Steinbrenner the Younger would like to back Cashman, especially after disregarding the GM on whether to hold firm at three years for Jorge Posada and no years for Alex Rodriguez after A-Rod opted out. However, some executives around the league are predicting that Steinbrenner will ignore Cashman's advice to keep Hughes and save the $23 million a year or so, and that the Yankees will eventually land Santana.
The package would be expected to include center fielder Melky Cabrera, pitching prospect Jeff Marquez and another prospect in addition to Hughes. The Red Sox and Mets remain in the bidding and can't be counted out. But the Twins appear to be waiting for someone to bend, and the short history suggests that Junior Steinbrenner is the most likely to do so.
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