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The MitchellProbe

GEORGE MITCHELL'Sinvestigation into baseball's steroid problem has dragged on for nearly a year,and last week the former senator offered a clue as to why his progress has beenslower than expected: He's not getting much help. Mitchell told owners thatmany clubs have impeded his investigators by refusing to turn over documents.He also warned that if teams didn't cooperate, they might find the governmentknocking on their doors. "Unlike the Congress ... I cannot compelcooperation," Mitchell said. "I believe that a report that is notcredible and thorough will significantly increase the possibility of action byothers."

Many teams,citing privacy issues, have been reluctant to turn over players' medicalrecords. The players' union hasn't helped matters; it has told its members toconsult its lawyers if contacted by Mitchell. Union lawyers could be busy.Mitchell said that he'll soon begin interviewing active players—such as,perhaps, Mets pitcher Guillermo Mota (above), who in November received a50-game steroid ban.

Commissioner BudSelig scolded owners for not aiding the probe. But Selig wouldn't specify adeadline for the completion of Mitchell's report. "I've always believedit's better to get things done right than to get them done fast," he said.But unless Mitchell gets assistance, neither will happen.