'So Your Name Has Appeared In The Mitchell Report: A Self-Help Guide'

Being a baseball player sure can be tough these days. One moment you're lifting weights and injecting God-knows-what into your body, the next your name is appearing in a 400-page official document that people, believe it or not, actually take the time to read.

It's a time of crisis, so what do you do once you're finally forced to provide an explanation to the public? Well, there are any number of paths to take, some of which we've compiled here to get you out of a jam. Feel free to use any of them.

But remember, there's no right or wrong way to do this and once you record your next game-winning home run or big save, no one's going to care much anyways. You're a baseball player and that means never having to say that you were wrong or that you're sorry. That's why you didn't talk to Mitchell in the first place.

Without further delay, here are a few of the approaches available: (following the jump)

"The Roger Clemens"

The toughest approach because you're the big fish and everyone's going to be looking to hook you through the mouth. Because of this, wait a long time before responding to the allegations. Once you do, here's the plan: Appear in an angry '60 Minutes' segment and make sure to raise your voice as much as possible. The louder, the better. Have your agent release a statistical report that really doesn't excuse you from much of anything and will later be refuted by Penn professors. Appear before politicians on Capitol Hill and provide testimony that sometimes contradicts itself. If she's willing, don't hesitate to blame wife as much as possible. After all, doesn't every wife want a flatter stomach?

"The Andy Pettitte"

A good route to take if you're a big name, but are best workout buds with an even bigger name. Admit to taking HGH on two occasions when you were injured. If worried about perjury charges, later issue a statement admitting to additional instances. Don't worry, though! You can be honest with investigators when they ask you about your big-name friend, because you've just hit the mother of all escape hatches and you already have a few shovels full of dirt. Congratulations, because you're now just a supporting actor in the whole show and you'll be lauded as a true American hero by Henry Waxman. You'll have to spend an hour with the New York media, though.

"The Miguel Tejada"

Hopefully you won't have to use this one. If you do, it means you're being investigated by the Department of Justice for possibly lying to congressional investigators in 2005. Yikes! Sadly, you have no other choice than to stay as silent as Steve Bartman. Yes, be sure to keep your mouth shut. Go about your business in spring training and hope that the investigators don't descend with a paddy wagon when you're rounding the bases after a home run. Getting served with court papers is no way to introduce yourself to your new team.

"The Brian Roberts"

Take a page right from the Bill Clinton campaigning handbook. Admit to using drugs only once. Issue a claim that they never helped you on the field. Then express a faith in God, remain humble and continue being the likeable tiny star the fan base loves. When all is completed, wait for trade to Cubs.

Warning: Approach may no longer be valid. Since the original master of this plan was one of the first to fess up (four days after the report's release), your window may have long since closed.

"The Paul Lo Duca (above)/Eric Gagne"

Sometimes called "The Jason Giambi." Call a press conference to issue an apology, but always remember the plan is to remain as vague as possible. Never directly address what you're sorry for. Dodge all questions by using one cliche or another. Use non-offensive words and terms like "distraction," "situation," and "mistakes in judgment." When in doubt, just say something like you are here to win the World Series with the Brewers, as ridiculous as that might sound. Don't laugh. If executed properly, it's darned effective.

"The Glenallen Hill"

As a retired player who everyone assumed was on the juice anyways, this is the best position of all. Still, if worried about a mea culpa becoming a media sensation, wait until someone else employs "The Roger Clemens." Then release your statement on the same day. If all goes right, end result will be a few cursory lines tacked onto the end of the big fish story. (At most. )

AP photos

If you have news or tips for 'Duk, send e-mail to bigleaguestew@yahoo.com.

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