Get out your tin foil hats you conspiracy theory lovers. This is a good one.
The head of the investigation into banned substances in Baseball is George J. Mitchell. He is unearthing the dirty little secrets of ball players all through the majors leagues. He holds a great deal of power. Both direct and indirect. His direct power is from Major League baseball. He can investigate at his discretion. His indirect power is where this gets juicy. Knowledge is power. Knowledge of steroid/HGH abuse is quite powerful. That is the kind of information that can end a players career. The psychological impact on a player having to answer questions before a herd of reporters when the story breaks is difficult to quantify, but is assuredly substantial.
Since Mitchell is privy to such information, one would hope that he is free from any influence that might cause him to abuse the power he has been given. For example if Mitchell were a fan of a particular team, it might be reasonable to think he might be disinclined to dig too deeply into closets of his favorites.
Now the fun part--the speculation. Mitchell is a director of the Boston Red Sox. Quite a conflict of interest one would think. He is set to release the names of players connected to his investigation after the World Series. So what would it really matter if a name got leaked a bit early? Say, Paul Byrd. One day before the seventh game of the ALCS against...the Red Sox. Awfully convenient timing.
I'm not accusing Mitchell of malfeasance. Not yet. I just want to stash this thought away for future use.
Things to watch for:
1. Will the name of a Colorado Rockies player surface during the World Series?
2. How many Red Sox will be named in his investigation, and who will they be?
If the answers are
2. no one and nobodies
Then I will be ready to accuse. For now, I just ponder.