"Today's hearing will not be the end of our inquiry. Far from it," Davis said. "Nor will Major League Baseball be our sole or even primary focus. We're in the first inning of what could be an extra-inning ball game." After the release of the Mitchell Report in December, Davis co-authored a statement with Waxman, saying that it was "a sad day for Major League Baseball but a good day for integrity in sports." Davis will do all he can to ensure that Feb. 13 is another good day for integrity in sports.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.: Witnesses should watch out for this hard-nosed Maryland Democrat. Just ask Selig and Fehr, who got an earful from Cummings during the January hearing. "This scandal happened under your watch," he told the two witnesses. "It did. I want that to sink in."
Cummings' combination of an arsenal full of probing questions and a flair for the dramatic is a potent force for even the most composed and competent witness to contend with. "We will not tolerate athletes — who are making millions upon millions of dollars to play baseball and practice — disobeying the law, violating baseball policy, and cheating," warned Cummings. "Otherwise, we will be sending a message to our young people that this sort of behavior is acceptable, when it is not."
An intimidating force on the dais, Cummings always throws close to the chin, just as he did in March 2005. At the time, Cummings urged baseball to adopt a stricter approach to steroid use. "Baseball's policy needs to be one of zero tolerance," said Cummings, "and it needs to have teeth." It was Cummings who directly asked McGwire whether he was going to plead the fifth, which the slugger did, in one of the defining moments of that hearing and baseball's steroid era. However, Cummings denies that the Feb. 13 hearing is part of a witch hunt.
"I plan on asking players their opinion on where we go from here. Importantly, I also want to ask players their opinions on how best to educate our young people that steroids are bad — both for their mental and physical well-being and for the integrity of the game," said Cummings. "We need to engage these players — and not just baseball players, but all athletes — to become part of the solution, and this will be a futile effort as long as they feel that they are being victimized or that they are part of some kind of witch hunt. This hearing is not about cornering these athletes."
Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind.: The Indiana congressman has been one of the more outspoken panel members on the "historic and ongoing abuse of steroids in baseball." For six years, he led the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources and, along with Cummings, he currently is co-chairman of the Congressional Drug Policy Caucus. In December, the lifelong Chicago White Sox fan said that baseball's efforts to combat this problem "have failed" and threatened that "Congress will mandate the reforms" if owners and players don't act "in a responsible way". He then followed up on that criticism by pointedly telling Selig and Fehr in January that "the leadership part is missing — it tends to be waiting until potentially the law is coming and then trying to fend the law off."