FanDuel - WFBC

January 12, 2006

MLB Cracks Down: "A player will be tested during spring training physicals and at least once during the regular season, with additional random testing." We're talking greenies. Jim Bouton reported it first in Ball Four. Tony Gwynn reminded everyone nothing had changed 34 years later.

posted by ?! to baseball at 09:33 PM - 55 comments

Everyone else in the real world who works for someone else is subject to random testing...for EVERYTHING ! 'Bout time if you ask me.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:05 PM on January 12

Everyone else in the real world who works for someone else is subject to random testing...for EVERYTHING ! I'm not tested for my job (programmer/analyst). And if my company came to me and demanded a drug test, I'd call a lawyer. Not because I'd fail any test (don't drink, smoke or do drugs), but because it's an invasion of privacy.

posted by grum@work at 10:12 PM on January 12

I believe the courts have already ruled that pre employment, and random tests during employment, are in fact legal. I may be mistaken,but i don't think so. I believe your employer, and your teammates, do in fact have a right to know wheter or not you are impaired. I am tested for my job (oil rig derrickman) and am gald that my co-workers (teammates) are subject to testing.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:16 PM on January 12

Gwyne, Rose, Boggs...TOTALLY different animals!I don't know... honestly, are performance enhancing drugs REALLY that big a deal? McGwire, Barry, Raffi, all "guilty" of the "juice", but really, homers are homers. McGwire hits a 550 instead of a 505, Barry goes Pond...Steroids enhance muscle mass and power, NOT hand-eye skills. McGwire's 70th barely cleared at 325, and nobody bitched. Greenies, speeders, 'roids...they've been around for a LONG time, in one form or another. Truthfully, hitters are banging CRAP pitching. Face it, with the exception of a handful of Clemens', Johnsons' and (as a Card fan) Carpenters',MLB has no legitimate answer to the dinger dilema, without exposing itself for what it is...an offensive-minded cash cow! If you insist on screaming "drug abuse", I still ask the unanswered question; Steroids are reported to aggressively attack the legs and hamstrings. Given his recent persistant leg problems, why hasn't Junior, the "next Babe", been mentioned in this witch-hunt? Just wondering...

posted by Thumper at 10:35 PM on January 12

Given his recent persistant leg problems, why hasn't Junior, the "next Babe", been mentioned in this witch-hunt? Just wondering... What a gloriously hypocritical post. Typed only a few seconds after coming to the defense of "guilty" drug users ("guilty" = admitted or positively tested). I'd comment more on the mind-boggling curiosity of "honestly, are performance enhancing drugs REALLY that big a deal?" - but I can't believe I've wasted even these words on a troll. To the actual issue at hand based upon the lead post ... the personal medical impact of steroids and stimulants seems to be well-documented, with the additional societal and medical impacts (particularly on impressionable kids and growing athletes) even more troubling. Baseball has definitely had its faults during this process, and a probably insurmountable part of any sport is going to be where players try to bend the rules as much as possible - but I think the steps now being taken are commendable. grum, I can appreciate your stance, especially in this day-and-age of ever-increasing lack of privacy. But, I don't conisder testing athletes for drugs as similar to testing the average citizen for drugs. Instead, for example, as a financial consultant, I am subject to industry rules. I am subject to potential review by a regulatory agency at any time - to make sure I'm following the rules. That's my drug test - and it's in the best interests of myself, my industry, and those that I come into contact with. Therefore, I have no problem with athletes being tested to try as best as possible to maintain the integrity of their industry .

posted by littleLebowski at 11:38 PM on January 12

Please, I am tired of hearing random fans talk about how steriods help or do not help. Coming as a former profesional baseball player for 9 years I can tell you they DO help. They can not make a bad player better, but they do make good players geat and great player even better. They can enhance everything about a player from power to velocity of thier fastball, even hand-eye coordination if worked on properly, and don't get me started on HGH. I have seen the effects with my own eyes with players and pitchers alike. Though I am happy they are testing for steriods and now "greenies"(which are a much wider problem), stop comparing your jobs to the players. When your job is a physical talent, and you can enhance that to make millions, you will think about doing it. If you had a drug right now that would almost guarantee a promotion and raise at your job, would you do it right now? I bet you would think about it, especially when you see other co-workers take it and move up! So get off your high horses, and take that chesseburger out of your mouth!

posted by target1 at 11:57 PM on January 12

Target1 are you speaking from research or first hand knowledge? You being former and all I applaud your making it to the big leagues if in fact that is where you made it.My problem is this, since you spoke of the random fan.How can you speak of what you saw but not say anything then. Since we are all so moral now in the MLB frat.Americas pastime now is full of Central Americans that are out playing us for the position.Many of you want to castrate the juicers and uphold their records of immoral conduct but you praise Cobb and Ruth. Two known bigots and drug abusers among many other heralded players in the record books.Since we are all so equal now! lets compile as best we can the Negro league stats and see how they stand up.If you can put a Negro player in the hall for his stats in that league then put them together for all to see.

posted by AASR-AF&AM at 12:20 AM on January 13

Target1 if you wil re-read my comment you will see that not once did i compare my job to that of a baseball player. What i was saying is that professional ahtletes should be subject to the same scrutiny (and LAWS ) that the rest of us are held to. My high horse is the same horse many of us are on, ie: being held accountable for our actions. Perhaps you should get off your shetland pony and PUT the cheeseburger in your mouth. I would like to see any scientific evidence that supports your claim that hand-eye coordination is improved by steroids as well. Do they make you quicker through the hitting area, so you are able to get wood on balls you may not have before? Maybe..... If I had a choice between using performance enhancing or illegal drugs and getting a raise, or staying clean and keeping my job as a professional athlete that would be a no-brainer. Then again, maybe no brain is the problem ( see Roy Tarpley et al )

posted by mjkredliner at 12:55 AM on January 13

Speaking of witch hunts, how many times are you going to go after junior and his legs in one of these steroid threads, thumper? Damn, come on the guy gets hurt a lot, you'd think if he was using he would have at least had some kind of spike of production in there, or even the ability to rehab himself a little faster if your accusations held any water.

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:10 AM on January 13

Without a positive drug test or a confession, no one can really tell who has used steroids and who hasn't. Virtually every assumption people made has been proven wrong by the results of the tests. Skinny guys and pitchers tested positive more than others. I'vve seen people scite frequent injuries as evidence of steroid use, while others cite unusual health as evidence of steroid use. Reality is that we just don't know, and anybody who claims to know is talking out of his ass. As far as Griffey goes, who knows? No reason to think he did, no reason to think he didn't. And of copurse we have no idea who has not used amphetamines; we just know most players since 1945 have. It's likely that Maris, Aaron etc. were on these performance enhancing drugs, which are a lot more helpful than just lots of coffee. target1 - Steroids certainly can and do help ballplayers, but if used in the wrong way, they can have the opposite effect. Jose Canseco's career provides examples of both the positive and negative effects. Measuring who has been helped how much is a pointless game. And yes, most people are full of it when they say they would never take a drug to enhance their performance. If there are drugs better to improve your performance at work, most people will at least try them. Over the last 20 years, we've seen the emergence of a drug culture among teenagers who are taking amphetamines and stuff to do better on SATs and other tests. Kids who get them because the doctor has diagnosed them as ADD can and often do make a fortune selling them to their peers. Give a kid a pill to up his SAT by 50-75 points? For many competitive teens, that's a no-brainer. AASR - That's been done. You'll see, I think, about 10 Negro Leaguers elected to the Hall in February. I'd be shocked if Buck O'Neill wasn't elected (more for his role as ambassador than for his play), and I'm pretty sure about a few others, but it's hard to guess who will make the final cut.

posted by spira at 02:23 AM on January 13

Barry Bonds did something prior to the 1999 season that has changed the game forever. He experimented with a new substance, it had been around for years, but was only speculated as to what effect it would have on the game of baseball....That substance was ...PINE ! That's right Barry switched form a bat made from "ash" to a much more dense "pine wood". He noticed a dramatic increase in the distance the balls off his bat would travel. Other players soon followed suit. I always wonder why the MLB never seems to mention this well known fact. It would seem like an answer for all the "steroid enhanced" questions. Maybe they think that it is more devestaing to the fans to know a "simple wood" could change their game so much!

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 05:51 AM on January 13

What i was saying is that professional ahtletes should be subject to the same scrutiny (and LAWS ) that the rest of us are held to. This makes no sense whatsoever. The rationale for testing professional athletes is completely different from the justification used for other workplace drug testing. Also: 1. The LAW that you're speaking of is, supposedly, United States LAW. Well, guess what, not every country has the same LAW with regard to workplace drug testing. Canada, specifically, does not have the same laws...but it does have a major league baseball team, how 'bout them apples? 2. Workplace drug testing in the United States is big business. It is an industry that makes a great deal of money for some people, and its expansion has been primarily fueled not by some real threat or problem, but -- you guessed it -- by the desire to make more money. In consequence of this, drug testing at US corporations has become all but ubiquitous. It's part of the landscape, it's not questioned any more, and the average HR department can't tell you exactly what they test for, why they test for those things, what they will do if they get a positive, who has access to the information, etc. In short, workplace drug testing in the United States is a textbook case of bad policy and practice, and far from supporting expanded drug testing in sports, stands instead as a strong argument against further erosion of privacy protections.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:47 AM on January 13

Ifyou do not want you're privacy invaded...work for yourself and not in a public job. Employers have every right to drug test. It protects not only the company's interests but co-workers as well.

posted by scottyooooo at 08:00 AM on January 13

gronir, I'm pretty sure the new bats are made of maple. Pine would make a very bad bat. But you do have a point in there, somewhere. On the other hand, unless you believe that the Chronicle made it up, Bonds admitted to using steroids in his leaked grand jury testimony. He just denied knowing it.

posted by Amateur at 08:04 AM on January 13

Ifyou do not want you're privacy invaded...work for yourself and not in a public job. Employers have every right to drug test. It protects not only the company's interests but co-workers as well. Your argument -- which isn't an argument at all, just assertion -- does not hold water in the general case, and holds up even more poorly when speaking of drug testing in sports. If you are very, very lucky, your views on privacy will never be formally codified into US law, and you will be able to continue to live your life without your employer walking through your front door at dinner time to make sure that you aren't eating too much saturated fat. Doing so would protect their interests, after all.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:04 AM on January 13

lbb, I agree with your posts completely - as they relate to drug testing in most private sector jobs. But, testing in professional sports is a different animal, to me. Aside from it testing for substances that are otherwise illegal and proven (and at least strongly believed by multiple experts) to have extremely negative side effects to the user and others - more importantly, specific to athletics, it addresses a breakdown of fair competition, which is the most basic foundation of sport. So, while I agree that drug-testing the average citizen where just cause is otherwise missing, it's my opinion that the following holds true, therefore testing of athletes is very justified: drug testing : athletes :: SEC regulations : investment brokers ... or ... drug testing : athletes :: health inspectors : restaurants (not following SEC or health board rules potentially harms others, undermines their respective industries, and potentially gives the "guilty" party an unfair and illegal advantage over their competitors).

posted by littleLebowski at 08:26 AM on January 13

argh, I previewed my post 3 times and still missed ... "So, while I agree that drug-testing the average citizen where just cause is otherwise missing IS WRONG, ..."

posted by littleLebowski at 08:34 AM on January 13

In my mind, the most under-appreciated problem with PED abuse in sports is in the developmental stages. High school through college and minor leagues. All of the same risk factors, but none of the compensation. The affect on kids and big leaguers in all sports is talked about, but where most of the abuse continues I'd expect is in the college, international feeder leagues, and independent minors, and the vast majority of these guys will never support themselves playing ball. target1, Do you have a feeling on this? I assume you used them. What was your experience, if you don't mind sharing. What would be your estimate of the % of professional (big or minor leagues) that regularly use PEDs? I've heard pretty knowledgeable baseball people privately suggest 30%-40%. Do you think its gone down significantly with the testing programs, or are people just spending more time figuring out how to beat them or switching to the newest designer steriods and HGH?

posted by sfts2 at 08:45 AM on January 13

lbb, I agree with your posts completely - as they relate to drug testing in most private sector jobs. But, testing in professional sports is a different animal, to me. Astonishingly, that's exactly what I said. Aside from it testing for substances that are otherwise illegal and proven (and at least strongly believed by multiple experts) to have extremely negative side effects to the user and others That isn't true. There are quite a few perfectly legal substances that are banned: substances that are not harmful when used appropriately. Example: Alain Baxter lost an Olympic medal at SLC because he bought some nasal spray locally, didn't read the label, and didn't realize that the US version of the product had a different ingredient list than the UK version. more importantly, specific to athletics, it addresses a breakdown of fair competition, which is the most basic foundation of sport. It is supposed to address the problem posed by substances and practices -- not just drugs -- that have been shown to be both performance-enhancing and harmful to the user. They don't ban ginseng, even though it is performance-enhancing, because it is not harmful; they don't ban arsenic, even though it is harmful, because it is not performance-enhancing, and there is no incentive for an athlete to take it. However, like any institution, WADA and its spinoffs and imitators have to some extent lost sight of their original purpose, have become bogged down in rules and bureaucracy, and have failed to live up to what was supposed to be the paramount purpose for their existence: the welfare of athletes. Case in point: six months ago, US ski team member Bode Miller made some public criticism of WADA policies, and questioned whether some of the regulations really made sense if athlete welfare was the goal. Subsequent to this, Miller -- and his teammates, who didn't say anything -- has been singled out for extra testing. Now, as I see it, there are two possibilities here: 1)WADA is run by morons, who looked at Miller's comments and figured out that he must be guilty, because if you were using performance-enhancing drugs, what's the logical thing to do if you want to remain undetected? Publically question drug-testing policies, that's what! 2)WADA wants to stifle dissent and squash anyone who questions them. I don't think everyone at WADA is that stupid. I'm going with 2), and that is unacceptable.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:48 AM on January 13

If you are very, very lucky, your views on privacy will never be formally codified into US law, and you will be able to continue to live your life without your employer walking through your front door at dinner time to make sure that you aren't eating too much saturated fat. Doing so would protect their interests, after all.This does not have to be made "into" law, because there are no laws against it. Of course they can't come in my house, but if they wish to test me at work that is fine. I hope for you're sake that you're hoilier than thou feelings never make it to law because testing your fellow employees might keep him from coming into work on crack and pulling a gun when you start spewing your nonsense

posted by scottyooooo at 09:59 AM on January 13

Comparisons of professional sports to other industries might be valid to this extent. I have my own business and do not test anyone for drugs. Previously I was an executive in a company with 10,000 employees and we had no real testing programs either. However, if public outcry had ever became such that it might negatively impact either business to do otherwise, testing would have begun immediately. While this did not happen to businesses where I was and am involved, it has happened in the sports industries. Generally, I think that owners and leagues could really care less about this problem and may even benefit to some degree since fans want to see super-performers. (I personally hung on every single pitch to McGwire during his home-run quest) However, when public outcry reaches the point where it can have a negative impact on revenue, they must act in their own interests.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 10:07 AM on January 13

And by the way...nothing is "codified" into law. Laws are codified.

posted by scottyooooo at 10:15 AM on January 13

This does not have to be made "into" law, because there are no laws against it. I love your logic, scotty, really I do. It's airtight. Seriously.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:54 AM on January 13

Comparisons of professional sports to other industries might be valid to this extent. I have my own business and do not test anyone for drugs. Previously I was an executive in a company with 10,000 employees and we had no real testing programs either. However, if public outcry had ever became such that it might negatively impact either business to do otherwise, testing would have begun immediately. While this did not happen to businesses where I was and am involved, it has happened in the sports industries. There's only one teeny, tiny, fundamental problem with your reasoning, and that is that "public outcry" has never been a justification for athlete drug testing. The justification was, and remains, to prevent a situation in which athletes are harmed because they believe, rightly or wrongly, that they must ingest harmful but performance-enhancing substances if they want to remain competitive. It was all supposed to be about harm to the athletes, not the public's miffed feelings! And I really, really don't think you want to get into "public outcry" being a defense for invasion of privacy. That is a road you do not want to go down.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:57 AM on January 13

llb It is not a law that drug testing is mandatory, & the rationale for testing athletes is simple: Steroids, and controlled substances, unless prescribed by a doctor, ARE ILLEGAL ! If an employer does not wish to hire, or employ someone who is using drugs ILLEGALLY, then they have that right. In the USA at least. And those of us whose jobs are hazardous, are, quite thankful that the person working next to us is being tested. As for an invasion of your privacy, no one forced me to work in this industry or for this company, if i had a problem with drug testing, there are other lines of work available. The point i tried to make is: Athletes are not ABOVE THE LAW, and if their use of drugs of any kind, affects their performance,either good or bad, they are accountable to : The team owner (s), Their teammates, & Season ticketholders. As for canadien law, it is irrelevant, kinda like the CFL.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:04 PM on January 13

There's only one teeny, tiny, fundamental problem with your reasoning, and that is that "public outcry" has never been a justification for athlete drug testing. I will amend "outcry" to increasing awareness. Nevertheless my point remains. Sports owners/leagues cannot afford the potential for bad press and public relations that would surely come through inaction. It was all supposed to be about harm to the athletes, not the public's miffed feelings! I don't see it this way even if that's the stated reason. I could be persuaded if on the whole, players had a decrease in performance. That would negatively impact the revenues. However, the contrary seems to be true serving up super-athletes and resulting fan interest. This was well and good until somebody noticed that drugs might be the reason for some of the super-performances. The stigma associated with drug use is not something sports athletes, teams and leagues can ignore. To do so would result in the afforementioned public outcry and the demise of their business. I think my own case is a case in point. I, along with other St. Louis Cardinal fans was a HUGE McGwire fan. Even though I'm still a fan, some of that luster is gone forever.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 12:25 PM on January 13

sfts - Performance enhancing drug use in the developmental stages is a huge problem, and actually far more dangerous than it is in the pros. Kids who are still growing are far more likely to suffer negative effects from steroids, they are far more likely to buy "bad stuff" because they don't have the money, and they are far more likely to use the drugs improperly. The media has always portrayed steroid use a top down problem, with younger athletes inspired by major leaguers. But the reality is taht it's been more of a bottom up phenomenom. mjkredliner -U.S, law only covers the U.S. Canadian law is hardly irrelevant in Canada. And Dominican law is quite relevant to the people there. If a major league athletes from the Domican Republic went back home to the DR for the winter and took steroids to build himself back up, he did nothing illegal. If a player didn't break any law and didn't break any rule of baseball (since it was not against baseball rulles to use many steroids at the time), what exactly are you going to accuse him of? Moreover, athletes are not above the law in the U.S., but baseball law and society's law are two different things. As I've mentioned before, if Pete Rose had murdered somebody random in 1985, he's be in jail but also in the Hall of Fame today. Obviously, murder is far worse than betting according to society's law, but baseball law is what's important in terms of baseball enforcement.

posted by spira at 12:30 PM on January 13

llb It is not a law that drug testing is mandatory, & the rationale for testing athletes is simple: Steroids, and controlled substances, unless prescribed by a doctor, ARE ILLEGAL ! All banned performance-enhancing substances are not illegal. In fact, many perfectly legal substances that do not require a prescription are banned. So, what is the rationale for testing for those?

posted by bperk at 03:30 PM on January 13

Barry Bonds played in the league for fourteen years prior to 2000, hitting over 40 home runs twice, and only one of those being over 45. He then, at the age of 35, which is normally when a player slows down, proceeded to average 46 home runs in four out of the next five years (excluding his 73 homre run season). Maybe Barry Bonds had a sudden influx of power that was legally induced, but the facts don't say so, especially after Bonds has admitted to doing steriods (statistics were found here).

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:40 PM on January 13

There's only one teeny, tiny, fundamental problem with your reasoning, and that is that "public outcry" has never been a justification for athlete drug testing. I will amend "outcry" to increasing awareness. Nevertheless my point remains. Sports owners/leagues cannot afford the potential for bad press and public relations that would surely come through inaction. STL, you don't seem to understand the implications of what you're saying. You want to justify an invasion of privacy -- and, by the way, do you know just how much of an invasion of privacy is involved in a drug test? I'll give you a hint; they don't give you a sample jar and send you into the bathroom -- you want to justify this, based on the fact that some people somewhere might not like something that you might be doing with your body? And that that might lead to "bad press and public relations"? Look, bud, a good media hatchet job can whip up "bad press and public relations" over anything; should that justify unlimited invasion of privacy? I hope you don't think so. It was all supposed to be about harm to the athletes, not the public's miffed feelings! I don't see it this way even if that's the stated reason. I'm guessing that your connection/involvement/interest/whatever with the whole issue of drugs in sports came about through MLB. The issue of testing within MLB is a very recent instance of an issue that's been going on for decades, and that became an issue for one reason only: harm to athletes. Granted, few people who are watching the flap as played out in MLB have any comprehension of the issues that got drug testing in sports going in the first place, but that lack of awareness doesn't mean that the issues didn't exist. The MLB debate has been characterized by vagueness, confusion, conflation of issues and muddled thinking, and is further complicated by the considerable differences in the status of professional vs. non-professional athletes, but it all has the same basis.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:12 PM on January 13

STL, you don't seem to understand the implications of what you're saying. You want to justify an invasion of privacy -- and, by the way, do you know just how much of an invasion of privacy is involved in a drug test? No I don't know how much of an invasion of privacy is involved. But I don't see how that changes the fact that baseball and ultimately the fans, don't want drugs in baseball. They pay the salaries and set the rules. So long as the testing doesn't break any laws, I don't see the problem. Nobody forces anybody to play. I'm guessing that your connection/involvement/interest/whatever with the whole issue of drugs in sports came about through MLB. Your guess is correct making me no different from millions of sports fans. The issue of testing within MLB is a very recent instance of an issue that's been going on for decades, and that became an issue for one reason only: harm to athletes. If the concern was for the health of the players as you say, why weren't they testing long before now?

posted by STLCardinalfan at 06:12 PM on January 13

Bonds has not admitted to doing steroids, at least not in any statement that's been made publicly. Period. He admitted to using creams that sounded very much like ones the prosecution described as steroids. And Bonds' power growth is of course highly unusual. But most great achievements are. No one has ever pitched in their late thirties and fourties like Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson have. No one has even come close before. Bonds is certainly not alone in performing historically well in the last stage of his caree, but so are others. This is not, of course, an argument about whether Bonds' used steroids. Just placing the evidence in context.

posted by spira at 06:25 PM on January 13

No I don't know how much of an invasion of privacy is involved. But I don't see how that changes the fact that baseball and ultimately the fans, don't want drugs in baseball. If I don't want the people who cook my burger at McDonald's to be communists, should Mickey D's have the right to walk into their house and examine their bookshelves for copies of Marx? I'm guessing that your connection/involvement/interest/whatever with the whole issue of drugs in sports came about through MLB. Your guess is correct making me no different from millions of sports fans. Right, and my ignorance of the finer points of US Constitutional law makes me no different from millions of Americans. I just happen to believe that our ignorance cancels out our numbers. If you collect a million ignorant people together, they still won't have the right answer. If the concern was for the health of the players as you say, why weren't they testing long before now? Excellent question! To put it simply (and maybe to oversimplify), it's because major league baseball players are employees. They are protected by the body of US and Canadian employment law -- which, believe it or not, still does include some privacy protections, despite dogged efforts to get rid of the tiresome things -- and moreover are represented by a union that uses collective bargaining to advocate for its members in this and other matters. IMO, the union has been overly obstructive in the matter of drug regulation, which has contributed quite a bit to the current backlash/hysteria/whatever. They tried to keep the lid on a bit too long, and now it's blown up on them. In contrast, the sports where drug regulations first got their start were the "amateur" sports of Olympic and other international competition, and while the athletes in many cases weren't true amateurs, they were also not employees, paid for their services. As such, the federations and national teams that controlled their access to the sport had much more freedom to regulate the team members' conduct, and the international governing boards could demand more of the national federations. Hence, earlier and more stringent regulation.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:09 PM on January 13

They pay the salaries and set the rules. Technically, the league (owners) pay the salaries and the league AND the union set the rules (regarding players). That's the nature of collective bargaining. The league cannot unilaterally impose a more invasive/comprehensive testing plan. They have to negotiate one with the union.

posted by grum@work at 07:13 PM on January 13

Technically, the league (owners) pay the salaries and the league AND the union set the rules (regarding players). That's the nature of collective bargaining. Correct but ultimately fans who watch, listen, buy stuff and/or go to games pay all the bills. While fans may not have a direct say in matters, indirectly they control the purse. No sport or business willingly makes decisions that fans/customers will revolt against. Market forces are much bigger and more powerful than owners and unions. The league cannot unilaterally impose a more invasive/comprehensive testing plan. They have to negotiate one with the union. But if the testing is as invasive as LBL says, why don't they walk out or strike over it? They do have that right, don't they? I think it's because they would not have the support of the fans and as noted above, they cannot survive without that support.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 07:44 PM on January 13

Correct but ultimately fans who watch, listen, buy stuff and/or go to games pay all the bills. That's also true of Wal-Mart, but you don't see them changing their policies in response to public opinion.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:48 PM on January 13

If I don't want the people who cook my burger at McDonald's to be communists, should Mickey D's have the right to walk into their house and examine their bookshelves for copies of Marx? An extreme example deserves an extreme response: If you were in the majority with this opinion the constitution could be changed so that MacBurger could look in your underwear drawer if they wanted to.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 07:49 PM on January 13

An extreme example deserves an extreme response: If you were in the majority with this opinion the constitution could be changed so that MacBurger could look in your underwear drawer if they wanted to. Thank God, modifying the Constitution is a little more complicated and a little more restrictive than simply rubber-stamping the opinion of a simple majority. If the majority were of the opinion that all left-handed people should be executed, you couldn't make it constitutional.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:53 PM on January 13

So other than steroids....what does everyone think of greenies and their use by many baseball players since at least 1969? Personally, I've always felt it was an issue of greater impact than steroids. So a few stupid records were broken by steroids use over a few years. Big deal. Greenies have been altering player performance for decades. And on the other point about pitchers...want to improve their performance? Take away the kevlar the batters wear. Don't let them rub out the batters box and give each starter one hit batter per game.

posted by ?! at 08:36 PM on January 13

by the way, do you know just how much of an invasion of privacy is involved in a drug test? Has the level of invasiveness increased in this era of the Whizzinator? Does it entail a pat down now? It used to be they would just have to watch the person take a piss, but who knows? what does everyone think of greenies and their use by many baseball players since at least 1969? Well, despite reading Ball Four, I hadn't really realized that it was still that widespread of a practice. Is Gwynn's estimate of 50% close? I think its kind of interesting how they got scared of ephedrine back when Steve Belcher died but here we are talking about fucking greenies still.

posted by chris2sy at 09:07 PM on January 13

I'll give you a hint; they don't give you a sample jar and send you into the bathroom -- lbb, seriously, I think you've been taken advantage of. I've been drug tested and, well... they gave me a sample jar and sent me to the bathroom. Funny thing, I was being tested to work at my own company. Everyone who works for our company gets tested. Why? Well in the great State of Ohio, if our company wants to bid on State work we have to be enrolled in the BWC's Drug Free Workplace Program. Drug Free Workplace, does that scare you? We are in the construction business, safety is important. Invasion of privacy? No... you can keep your sample to yourself, you just can't work here. In the construction world, would you want to trust someone on drugs to lock out the high pressure steam valve you were getting ready to open? In the sports world, it's not so much about the safety of others, it is about the integrity of the game. It is about leveling the playing field for only "clean" participants. There are performance enhancing drugs. The fear is, that eventually, every athlete will either be forced to take them or forced to submit to the fact that without them, they simply won't be good enough. I think we need to seriously consider what is happening in sports. Performance enhancing drugs. Scary. Let's not compare performance enhancing drugs with performance inhibiting drugs. I shutter at the thought that people can take a drug that makes them better at their job. Imagine the ramifications in your field. What do you think the pro ball players who don't take steroids feel like? Hey... your'e the one who told me WADA didn't have anything to do with MLB, what's up with that! To further blow your mind, I am drinking a COORS LIGHT! I admit, it sucks, but it is cheap these days. Ugh. It's also warm now.

posted by tselson at 11:35 PM on January 13

To continue on what I was saying earlier in greater detail. mjkredliner I was not commenting on your thread personally, It is that over the years I've heard TOO many people, including some doctors say that steriods do no enhance performance or hand eye cooridination, when I have seen it, and done it. (To be clear on my past so not to mislead anyone I played 9 years in the Minor Leagues 4 of which were in AAA, with 3 years in Major League camp, plus a few winter league stints in the Dominican.) On hand eye coordination there are drills that without drugs, will improve muscle response times and focus,and with enhancement drugs they are accelerated and enhanced, if done correctly. As for pitchers there a certian steriods Anavar and Winstrol if taken seaprately or stacked together have a particular affect on fast twich muscles, I have watch pitchers with velocities of 87-91 go to 90-94. That will make go from average velocity to instant Major League prospect. The problem is that the muscles sometimes become too strong too fast and the punishment of throwing all the time will cause serious injuries to elbows and shoulders. I could talk at even more length but I think you get the point, and I didn't talk about HGH. As for my own personal experience, things did not end the way I would have hoped. In 2000 I took low dosages of Deca to help my arm recover faster and maintain my velocity throughout the season, I ended up tearing my Anterior & posterior rotator cuff along with partially tearing my bicept tendon on one pitch. I can't say the steriods were the reason because the doctor said I had previous tears on both muscles, but I am sure it did not help.

posted by target1 at 01:03 AM on January 14

[Bonds] then, at the age of 35, which is normally when a player slows down Maybe in rec-league basketball. In baseball peak seasons are typically around 27.

posted by yerfatma at 09:26 AM on January 14

That's also true of Wal-Mart, but you don't see them changing their policies in response to public opinion. Do you think Wal-Mart could survive for long making decisions that turned away consumers? What policies are you talking about? From experience I can tell you that corporations are concerned with anything that affects the bottom line. That doesn't say they won't make mistakes from time to time but their motivation will always be profits. Thank God, modifying the Constitution is a little more complicated and a little more restrictive than simply rubber-stamping the opinion of a simple majority. The founders made it extremely difficult and complicated to amend the constitution for the reasons you stated. However it can be done and to address another extreme example: If the majority were of the opinion that all left-handed people should be executed, you couldn't make it constitutional. While quite impossibe, technically, yes you could. It could happen through a loose interpretation by the supreme court (Roe v Wade) or through amendments to the constitution or through doing away with the constitution entirely.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 10:15 AM on January 14

This might seem kind of dry in comparison to other posts but...The main reason that there is drug testing in the United States is to minimize the amount of sick days and work site related accedents, which ultimately reduces production. Most states make the employer liable for work place accidents. They may have to support the financial well being of the injured employee and his family though a large financial settlement. If an company hires someone with a degenerative condition that causes them to miss work ( ie rehabs )they cannot dissmiss that employee while they are in treatment and have to retain them until the can prove either thay are incompetent or irresponcible. A pre employment blood and urine test is the most cost effective way to prevent long term absenteeism. It has been tested and proven by those great protectors of the cause...the insurance companies. so if you want to blame someone look no further because ultimately they have to pay for this mess,...and they did not get rich by writing alot of checks!

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 10:18 AM on January 14

gronir, I'm pretty sure the new bats are made of maple. Pine would make a very bad bat. Agreed, but which would smell better?

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 10:21 AM on January 14

[Bonds] then, at the age of 35, which is normally when a player slows down Maybe in rec-league basketball. In baseball peak seasons are typically around 27 True, what I meant is that he peaked well past the age that is normal.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:26 PM on January 14

lbb, seriously, I think you've been taken advantage of. I've been drug tested and, well... they gave me a sample jar and sent me to the bathroom. Funny thing, I was being tested to work at my own company. That's workplace drug testing, not sports drug testing (which comes in different flavors too). If you get tested to WADA standards, someone will be standing with you watching, and you'll be naked from your chest to your knees.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:08 PM on January 14

Any workplace that allows their testing company to hand a bottle to an employee and wait until he/she brings back a sample has pissed away their money. I worked for a drug rehab hospital and anything other than standing in the bathroom watching is piss-poor testing.

posted by ?! at 08:15 PM on January 14

anything other than standing in the bathroom watching is piss-poor testing Had to take shirt off, empty pockets, blah blah, blah. But yes they did allow me to go into their restroom all by myself. and you'll be naked from your chest to your knees.. Is that a threat or a promise?! Seriously, that would be degrading. WADA seems to take this to an entirely different level. It would be interesting to see the uproar, if they were in charge of workplace (non-sports) drug enforcement. "Mr. Plumber, you have attempted to thread pipe quicker than non-dopers, you have been subjected to a random test and you have tested positive for Rogaine. You are banned from the plumbing industry for eight years." Yikes.

posted by tselson at 10:35 PM on January 14

Is that a threat or a promise?! Seriously, that would be degrading. That's what the drill is. Apparently, athletes in Olympic sports need to constantly keep anti-doping agencies notified of their whereabouts three months in advance, because the Piss Cops can drop in on them at any time and place, and if they're not available, it can mean real trouble. Bode Miller got snagged with this last fall when (I believe) his travel plans had changed because his brother was hospitalized with a severe head injury.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:40 PM on January 14

For the the preservation of the integrity of sport and competition, I can understand their vigor. However, I also understand that, perhaps when you place such stringent rules on human beings there is bound to be dissent among the athletes. Then again, I've only heard Miller bitching. Am I wrong? I'm a little paranoid about those who complain being the one's who have something to hide. need to constantly keep anti-doping agencies notified of their whereabouts three months in advance, because the Piss Cops can drop in on them at any time and place, and if they're not available, it can mean real trouble If that is true, then WADA is taking the sport out of cheating! I don't think that competing for your country should subject you to this kind of scrutiny. I know you may find this to be overkill, yet it seems simpler than that kind of crap, just have EVERY athlete piss in a cup every day while at the Olympics? Ugh, this topic needs a column.

posted by tselson at 11:15 PM on January 14

and you'll be naked from your chest to your knees.. There really isn't any other way to make sure the results are legit.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:45 AM on January 15

Pee for enjoyment, not for employment. Other than that bon mot, I got nuthin'.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:56 PM on January 17

Then again, I've only heard Miller bitching. Am I wrong? I'm a little paranoid about those who complain being the one's who have something to hide. Yeah, that's what they'd love you to think; it makes you, John Q. Public, into an unpaid but moderately effective corps of enforcers. Think about it this way: if there's a rule, or a law, or a regulation of some kind, about something, and anyone who complains about it is automatically assumed to be guilty...well, that's a very nice state of affairs for those who want to stifle any kind of dissent or prevent anyone from questioning the laws/rules/regulations they make to control our actions. If that is true, then WADA is taking the sport out of cheating! I don't think that competing for your country should subject you to this kind of scrutiny. I know you may find this to be overkill, yet it seems simpler than that kind of crap, just have EVERY athlete piss in a cup every day while at the Olympics? It's more than the Olympics; it's, I guess, most if not nearly all international sports competition.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:09 PM on January 17

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