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The MLBPA is one the hot seat over steriod testing

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  • The MLBPA is one the hot seat over steriod testing

    Baseball players deserve to be hit with steroid issue
    Bryan Burwell

    Spring training used to be Major League Baseball's season of joyful rejuvenation. It used to be an annual rite that allowed giddy baseball romantics to forget about the dreariness of another endless northern winter with the soothing sounds of batting practice and the sweet smell of glove oil and pine tar.

    But now baseball's late winter fantasy has been replaced by something else. The new sound of baseball's spring is the sound of accusation and denial. The overwhelming scent of suspicion and the stench of do-nothing union obstructions and politicking apologists have replaced the smell of glove oil and pine tar.

    "It's like McCarthyism or something," Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday, as he observed the new frenzy of spring training - the art of trying to get some baseball player to pee in a cup and clear his name from his sport's worst scandal ever.

    So far in the space of three days, there have been offers made and questions asked of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield to prove they do not use illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield, whose names were connected to the BALCO steroid case, have denied they ever took illegal drugs. Sosa, who is not connected to BALCO, but has long had a steroid cloud over his head, avoided answering any questions on the subject when he reported to the Cubs' camp in Mesa, Ariz., on Tuesday.

    But the questions won't stop. The eyebrows won't stop being raised. The inquisitions won't stop going on, and reporters won't not stop coming up to players in clubhouses and demanding that they clear their names by taking a drug test.

    It's bad now, and it's only going to get worse.

    "They're looking to see who looks like a communist, correct?" said an upset Baker, continuing with his McCarthyism theme. "I'll probably get in trouble for that, too, but that's how I equate it. 'Oh, well he lost weight,' or 'He gained weight.'"

    It's bad and it's only going to get worse.

    And I hope it doesn't stop.

    I hope everyone keeps piling on the innocent and the guilty. I hope it turns into an out-of-control, nonstop witch hunt that frustrates and infuriates the innocent and haunts and harasses the guilty. I hope it overshadows everything in baseball, from A-Rod to Zambrano. I hope it interferes with the tantalizing rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees. Every time a man hits a 450-foot home run, I hope some reporter is waiting in the clubhouse with a urine cup in one hand and a blood vile in the other.

    Maybe that's what it will take for every single solitary innocent, drug-free, hard-working, earnest player in Major League Baseball to realize that for all the economic good the union has done for their paychecks, it's done four times as much to damage their reputations with a stonewalling attitude about the sport's weak and totally bogus drug policies.

    Baseball's players are on the verge of a summer-long nightmare, and they have no one to blame but themselves. Are they all cheating? Of course not, but as long as they continue to allow this fraudulent drug policy to stay in effect, then I say, you get what you deserve.

    Until they bolster their drug policies with some legitimate teeth, everything about baseball is bogus now, particularly its sainted record book.

    Once, spring training was about the romance. It was about those strange and fanciful places with names that sounded like the center of an exotic baseball heaven. Kissimmee and Vero Beach. Jupiter and Pompano Beach. Lakeland and Winter Haven. Through the unspoiled eyes of a kid, these small Florida towns in baseball's Grapefruit League had a giddy mystique, a dreamy magic that seemed to jump off the pages of the morning sports section.

    But now the innocence is gone. The kid is all grown up, and he knows that heaven is littered with endless tacky strip malls, a Waffle House on every corner, and a sport that just can't get from beneath this enormous self-inflicted steroid wound.

    All I can say is, sometimes you get what you deserve.
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    Obvious, but true.

    Is there anybody besides Bonds and Selig who thinks the MLB testing policy is legit?


    • #3
      I place the players union squarely on the front burner.
      Make America Great For Once.


      • #4
        No doubt, Kev. They could put and end to this whole issue right now if they wanted to.

        Unfortunately, money talks.


        • #5
          Originally posted by backstop@Feb 27 2004, 06:21 AM
          Obvious, but true.

          Is there anybody besides Bonds and Selig who thinks the MLB testing policy is legit?
          Bonds thinks it's legit because he knows he's "protected" if he does use steroids.


          • #6
            Originally posted by backstop@Feb 27 2004, 04:21 AM
            Obvious, but true.

            Is there anybody besides Bonds and Selig who thinks the MLB testing policy is legit?
            That implies Bonds is the only player using steroids, which isn't true because at least 5% tested positive last year. I'm sure all the star players who are using or have used like it because the stars won't be outed until they fail a fifth test.

            I don't think Selig likes it but he had to concede to the union on this matter in order to avoid a work stoppage in 2002.


            • #7
              Dusty Baker should really just shut up.

              The steroid policy is still a joke. First time caught, they get "treatment." Treatment for what? Addiction?

              A bit off topic, but since Selig was mentioned, has anyone else seen the piece that "Real Sports" on HBO did on the Brewers recently?
              I'm always right.


              • #8
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but, didn't the FDA rule that steroids are illegal, without a prescription? If so, then I don't see where the MLBPA has a leg to stand on.
                Make America Great For Once.