Victorino says baseball can triumph over taint
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One of Hawaii's most high-profile Major League Baseball players, Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies, says baseball will rise above the steroid scandal documented in a report by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.
Victorino said that the focus should remain on how drug policies should be enforced, and less on the names that appeared in the report. Others at a baseball clinic for young players yesterday said they hope the report will discourage the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
The report implicates more than 80 players in using performance-enhancing substances, including Cy Young winner Roger Clemens and seven former MVPs.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Pono Anderson, 10, Colby Takushi, 12, and Ty Kurata, 10, dodged an errant ball as Maui-born Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies threw the ball back. Victorino was a VIP guest at the West Oahu Baseball Clinic held at Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio yesterday.
One of Hawaii's most prominent Major League Baseball players says the Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball will not hurt the game.
"It's definitely a tough time for Hall of famers, Cy Young guys, and MVPs to see stuff like that come out about them," said Maui-born Shane Victorino, an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. "But I think it was more to show where the game is cleaning up, not to make them look bad."
Victorino was interviewed at the second annual West Oahu Baseball Clinic in Waipio for young baseball players ages 7 through 18.
"We don't like to see stuff like that, but it's there, and it scars baseball," said Wade Yamasaki, clinic coordinator, Mililani resident and minor league trainer for the San Diego Padres. "Hopefully people will see past that."
"It's definitely a tough time for Hall of famers, Cy Young guys, and MVPs to see stuff like that come about them. But I think it was more to show where the game is cleaning up, not to make them look bad."
Maui-born Major League Baseball player
Yamasaki said for young baseball hopefuls, the report underscores how wrong steroid use is.
"You actually want the kids to ask about it, so they have an understanding about what it is and so they can choose the right path," Yamasaki said.
The 311-page report, compiled by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, implicated more than 80 players in using performance-enhancing drugs, including two Cy Young award winners, seven former Most Valuable Player award winners, and 31 All-Stars.
The former Senate majority leader led a 20-month investigation of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. The report recommends independent drug testing and establishing a Department of Investigations to review future allegations of substance abuse.
"They give you an upper advantage and that's not fair," said Trey Derby, a 15-year-old student at Damien Memorial High School. "Let's get everyone on an equal level."
Yamasaki believes fewer players will use steroids, in part because of the report.
"With players like Shane Victorino, they don't need that kind of thing to get them through," Yamasaki said. "I think a lot of younger players will see that."
Nick Wong, an 18-year-old Colorado School of Mines student who lived in Aina Haina, said he felt the scrutiny may be unfair toward certain players like Barry Bonds, because of their popularity.
Wong, who plays shortstop for his university's team and was helping out with the clinic yesterday, said the focus should be on cleaning up the game.
"Now that this report came out, they're going to start to cut down on it, test more and become like football and just cut it all out," Wong said.