This morning, I interviewed Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball's president and COO. Here's a transcript of the interview.
Darren: It was reported that baseball paid in between $20 million and $40 million for this report. Are you satisfied with the findings?
DuPuy:Very satisfied with the findings. I think to quote the MasterCard commercial, regain the game's innocence and capturing the moral high ground is priceless. To turn the corner on the Steroid Era, I think was important to have a report like this to determine over the last decade what happened, why it happened, how it happened and, most importantly, how can we avoid it happening again. The Mitchell Report lays out a blueprint to that.
Darren: Players have started to roll out their carefully worded denials. You've indemnified George Mitchell from lawsuits and libel is hard to prove in this country. You're a lawyer by trade. How many lawsuits do you think you'll be defending here?
DuPuy:I hope no lawsuits. It's about individual cases although the players were identified. As the commissioner told Senator Mitchell to take the report wherever the evidence led him and he certainly did that. But I think it's more important that it gave us an overall picture of what happened and the most important part is to adopt the recommendations that Commissioner Selig had said he'll do.
Darren: So how do you stay ahead of the cheaters here? I know you're working on a urine HGH test. How much do you spend on that?
DuPuy: As much as we have to. The most surprising part of the report, at least from my standpoint, was how the players appear. You know the testing program in some places are working in terms of detecting steroids. In 2003, 80 and 100 players test positive in the anonymous testing. This year, down to 3,000 tests per steroid (positive). The players appear to have moved to the undetectables like the HGH and we need to redouble our efforts with regard to that. We need to find ways other than testing such as the investigative arm, education and research to try to find ways to detect the use of HGH and other non-detectables.
Darren: What do we do for that decade? Put it in parentheses? How does baseball handle this?
DuPuy:Very hard. We don't close the book on the 10-year period. But we have to get out of the 10-year period. We have to establish to our fans that the game is being played on a level playing field. As you know, one of the great joys of baseball is transgenerational. Grandfathers bring granddaughters to their games and grandmothers bring grandsons. Talk about records from their era. And we want the next generation of fans to be able to say the records that are being set by the players now can be held up against the records of any generation. I think that's the real key here.
Darren: Bob, you've got a $6 billion business, record attendance and record merchandise sales. How much do you have to grow here and how does this help it grow?
DuPuy: I think it helps us grow by establishing that the game--we sell the competition. We sell the integrity of our competition. We sell the fact that any player, any team can rise up to the occasion and perform at the championship level and we want our fans to know that that's not through cheating, that's through legitimate talent, luck, good health and good fortune.