(bop scsmndL BY TOM JONES Times Staff Writer Last week, baseball was rocked by the Mitchell report, which detailed the problem of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. So where does this particular scandal rank in baseball history? Oh, it's bad. But still not the worst There was one we believe was worse, I Iere are eight baseball scandals. All of them bad but some worse than others. 1. Black Sox scandal In 1919, eight members of the Chicago White Sox either accepted money or knew of those who accepted money to throw the World Series. The mighty White Sox did, indeed, lose the series to the Reds. Even though several players appeared to have played well and had no part in throwing games (most notably "Shoeless" Joe Jackson), all eight were thrown out of baseball for good. Why it's No. 1 on our The scandal proved how much gambling was a part of the sports culture in the early 20th century. It's hard to believe this was the only time baseball was affected by gambling and the criminal element. Simply put, the Black Sox cast an ominous shadow over baseball, from its beginnings all the way to modern day with the likes of Pete Rose. 2. The Mitchell report Baseball players use steroids. And here, supposedly, is the smoking gun. The 311-page report details what the investigation called "pervasive use" of performance-enhancing drugs and named 80-some players, including stars such as Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield and Miguel Tejada. Why it's No. 2 on our list: So the report told us that players use steroids. Really, didn't we already know that? And while there were some big names, the list was more smoke than fire, doesn't it seem? Baseball does seem to be getting a handle on the problem. And there's a good chance that decades from now, we'll say the use of steroids affected baseball for a short span in its long, long history. 3. Pittsburgh drug 1 mftmmmmmmmmmm mxf i i t. i "T'H i '''I'll babMAk. i itM 2 It-i gambling 1t'A I WIS 6. The first scandal Baseball's very first scandal happened way back in 1877, when four players from the Louisville Grays were accused of throwing games for bribes. Three were banned for life for losing games on purpose. It was never proved that the fourth actually threw games, but he was banned for refusing to cooperate. The Grays and St. Louis Brown Stockings, who had signed two of the players before the investigation, ended up dropping out of the league partly, if not totally, because of the scandal. Why it's No. 6 on our list: The scandal might have done more good than harm because it did send a message to all players that cheating would not be tolerated. That message was heard loud and clear. Or at least we thought until 1919. 7. Pete Rose ZW7 Emm Associated Press file Despite playing well, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson was among eight White Sox players banned for life for throwing the 1919 World Series. 4. Danny Almonte 5. Juiced baseballs trials More than anything, this 1985 scandal rocked baseball's image you know, good-ol' summertime, hot dogs and apple pie and all of that stuff. Cocaine doesn't exactly fit into that picture. Many high-profile players such as Dave Parker, Dale Berra (son of Yogi), Keith Hernandez (above), Tim Raines (left) and Lonnie Smith were summoned to testify before a grand jury about drug use at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. That led to something known as the "Pittsburgh Drug Trials," which resulted in seven drug dealers pleading guilty or being convicted on various charges. Even the Pirate Parrot (the Pirates' mascot, for gocxlness' sake) bought coke. Wiiy it's No. 3 on our list: The most harmful effect for baseball was the testimony about its little drug secret, which included amphetamines as they were called) and marijuana use. The widespread use of "greenies" seemed to take some of the charm out of America's pastime. The trial forced us to lose a little of our innocence and grow up when it came to baseball. The Rolando Paulino All-Stars from the Bronx, N.Y., finished third at the 2001 Little League World Series behind a dominating, 70-mph-throwing lefty named Danny Almonte, who looked like a man pitching against boys. That's because he was closer to a man than anyone else. He wasn't the age limit of 12. He was 14. The team was stripped of its wins, and the boy's father was banned for life from Little League. Why it's No. 4 on our list First, there's no way to go back and fix the problem entirely. All of the teams beaten or eliminated by Almonte's team lost out on their chance at glory. And this scandal only raises the question we never wanted to consider: Do you really think in the long history of Little League this is the first and only time someone has tried to sneak in an over-aged player? Major League Baseball will deny it until the end of days, but players swear that baseballs were juiced during certain periods in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Take, for example, comments in USA Today by Angels players at the 2002 World Series: "These balls are juiced, no doubt about it," shortstop David Eckstein said. "They're hard as a rock. They are tight. They are small, and they're hard," closer Troy Percival said. These balls are way harder than anything we've played with," pitcher Jarrod Washburn said. Why ifs No. 5 on our list Well, maybe a few power and run records fell in the process, but no one was really at a disadvantage from a competitive standpoint because everyone was playing with the same baseballs. And we're not even sure the baseballs were juiced. But it does make you wonder what else baseball might do behind the scenes to affect the game. r4' in jm Associated Press (2000) Jim Sherwood, left, a mechanical engineering professor, and Patrick Drane, a student, try to determine if a baseball is juiced. Getty Images (1990) Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader, was banned for life for betting on baseball games. Baseball's all-time hits leader was banned from the game (and, apparently, the Hall of Fame) when it was discovered he bet on sports, including baseball, while managing the Reds. Nowit's believed Rose bet only on the Reds to win, so he wasn't throwing games. Managing every regular-season game like it's the seventh game of the World Series, however, cannot be good for a team in the long run. Why it's No. 7 on our list: Ultimately, the only one truly hurt by this was Rose himself. And, if anything, it further proved baseball doesn't mess around with gambling. Rose is a cautionary tale for anyone in baseball considering betting on a game. 8. 1908 bribery attempt The night before a makeup game between the Cubs and Giants that would decide the National League pennant, there was an attempt to bribe umpire Bill Hem. It was believed the Giants' team doctor tried to make sure Klem helped the Giants win, and ultimately, the doctor was banned from baseball for life. Klem refused to take the bribe. The Cubs, which boasted the famous infield of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, went on to win. Why it's No. 8 on our list: It could've been higher if some rumors were actually true. Many thought the doctor was the fall guy for the scandal and it was actually Giants Hall of Fame manager John McGraw behind the bribe attempt. That was never proved, but had it been, it would've been awful for not only McGraw, but all of baseball as McGraw was one of the game's legends. 1 I 20-game St.