Rangers see two sides to Report

Rangers see two sides to Report

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers held their annual holiday luncheon on the second floor of their ornate Legends of the Game Museum on Friday.

When you walk up the stairs to the second floor, the first display in front of you is one of Rafael Palmeiro, honoring his 500th career home run.

The Rangers celebrate the past at the Legends of the Game Museum but, in the wake of the release of the Mitchell Report, the mood among the holiday festivities was to put the past behind and get on with the game.

Rangers players in attendance showed no particularly strong reaction to the release of the Report.

"I don't think there were a lot of surprises or anything," pitcher Kevin Millwood said. "It was pretty much everybody you suspected, people who had been talked about in the past. Everybody knew the names that came out."

As for the Report itself, Millwood shrugged and said, "I don't know what it's going to accomplish. I think we've done a lot to change our policy on the subject. We've agreed to stronger testing. I just don't know what this will do to change that."

Second baseman Ian Kinsler said there was both good and bad in the release of the report.

"The Commissioner felt he had to do this and put it behind us," Kinsler said. "Put some closure on this. I definitely support the Commissioner and Major League Baseball and what they're trying to do. But on the other hand, it was a sad day ... bad for baseball. That's basically how I look at it, and it's tough to talk about. Basically, we have to move on and move forward. There was an era, now it's gone, we have testing and now we move forward."

The Rangers, with just a few exceptions, are a young team. Many of their players were still in the Minor Leagues when the Commissioner's Office and the Players Association first agreed to a testing program and were not even around when the worst of this took place.

"I was 16 and 17 years old when some of these guys allegedly were on the stuff," reliever C.J. Wilson said. "To have a concept of what's going on in their heads, I just don't know. But testing has been good. They are catching people and it's going to get better. The penalties are stiffening. There is a deterrent if anybody gets caught.

"There will always have to be testing. There are some guys who just don't trust themselves, aren't willing to work hard enough or just aren't good enough. But you have to accept that. Not everybody is going to make $30 million. Not everybody is going to be Johan Santana or Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez or Ken Griffey. But some guys are going to try to create that illusion."

The Rangers did not have any players on their current roster named in the Report. Reliever Eric Gagne and infielder Jerry Hairston, who played for the Rangers last year, were named along with some of the biggest names in the game. Most notable was Roger Clemens, who was prominent in the Report. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and others have been caught up in this story for a long time.

"I don't know how I feel about these names being publicly announced," third baseman Travis Metcalf said. "For me, that's unfortunate."

"I agree," outfielder David Murphy said. "It's disappointing to tarnish some of these guys' careers. You look at Bonds and Clemens and they are great players. No matter what happens, they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. If you look back on their careers, they were great players regardless."

Palmeiro was a great player for the Rangers. Three times he was the club's Player of the Year and he still holds the career franchise record for games, at-bats and runs scored. He hit his 500th home run in a Rangers uniform and they still honor that in the museum.

But he was also in the Mitchell Report, and his Hall of Fame candidacy is in serious doubt.

"We knew the Mitchell Report was coming out," manager Ron Washington said. "They did a great job. Now, baseball needs to heal itself and move forward. Baseball doesn't stand still. It always moves forward."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.