Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jim Edmonds and Mitchell Report Backlash

DISCLAIMER: I am not in ANY way suggesting that Jim Edmonds will be, is, or was ever involved with Steroids, HGH, or any other PEDs. This is a statement on the Mitchell Report Backlash. Please do not bitch and moan about creating rumors or false information. Thank you.

Jim Edmonds signed with the Cubs. He will suit up in about an hour and 45 minutes and face off against the team the cut him 5 days ago (prior to the series with the Cubs). He spent years demolishing Cub Pitching, breaking Cub fan hearts, and making great plays. Jim Edmonds is, and has been for a long time a good, good ball player. Really one of the top Centerfielders of all time. Do not call me out on that. It hurts to say that, Edmonds is only recently a Cub and there is more hurt feelings than good as far as he is concerned. I'm not homering and saying that he's great because he's a Cub now. I'm honestly happy to have the guy on the team, he's got a great glove and (until recently) a great bat.

Here's the downside, his Avg. (.178) at this point in the season and his lone HR. Last year he only had the 12 bombs and a .252 Avg. I do not think that Edmonds ever was associated with steroids beyond shaking the hand of Mark McGwire in St. Louis. But the jaded, cynical, perspective that I have now post Mitchell Report scares me.

2 years ago I would have said, "Great! I like Edmonds, he'll help out (young centerfielder Felix Pie) and his bat will help the line up, even if he is struggling, and lost some power, what do you expect he's 37 and his clubhouse leadership will be great." And I would have meant every single word. And that is legitimately what I feel right now with Edmonds set to take the field in 93 minutes. Here's the problem. This was my first reaction, before being happy with the acquisition.

"Great, we got Edmonds. Look at his numbers 2000 - 2004 he was busting 30+ jacks a year, twice hitting 42. All of a sudden he hit 19 and 12 in '05 and '06. He clearly was juicing his whole time in St. Louis there's no reason for a drop off in productivity like that other than illegal substances."

Now 5 minutes later I realized how much of a cynical Asshole I sounded like, Edmonds has had a good career and I am genuinely excited about having him on the Northside, and I hope he has that Vengeance break out game against the Fathers in just over an hour, and he breaks some Redbird fan hearts when we head to the Lou in the future. He will be a great clubhouse guy. That's the ridiculous downside of the Mitchell Report and all of the Steroid use in the game. Even Edmonds, who has always been one of the good guys, can get that reaction from someone, and I know I wasn't the only person who saw a struggling Edmonds who used to hit 30, 40 HR a year not even able to put a bat on it.
Something did change between 2000 and 2006. It's called 6 years, 6 years older. That is probably the cause of the lower numbers. Good luck Jim, welcome to Chicago, have fun in the ivy at Old Style Stadium, formerly known as Wrigley Field, it's great to have you. And I sincerely apologize for being so jaded that I let the Mitchell Report, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, et. al. get my mind going down the wrong path.