Go Back   Sports Central Message Boards > Professional Sports Discussion > Major League Baseball

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-08-2002, 09:56 AM   #1
bostonsportsfan
Hall of Famer
 
bostonsportsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,427
bostonsportsfan is on a distinguished road
Default Big news -- Players agree to be tested

Quote:
NEW YORK -- Baseball players ended decades of opposition to mandatory drug testing Wednesday by agreeing to be checked for illegal steroids starting next year.


Under the proposal, which addresses one of the key issues in contract talks, players would be subjected to one or more unannounced tests in 2003 to determine the level of steroid use. If the survey showed "insignificant'' use, a second round of tests would be set up in 2004 to verify the results.


If more than 5 percent of the tests were positive in either survey, players would be randomly tested for two years.


The union did not say what penalties, if any, would be levied against players who test positive for steroids.


"We had an obligation to bargain on it. It was a serious issue,'' union head Donald Fehr said. "It took a lot of time and effort and thought.''


Rob Manfred, the owners' top labor lawyer, characterized the proposal as "very significant.''


"It is the kind of proposal that will put us very easily on the path to a very timely agreement,'' he said.


He said a counterproposal could be ready as early as Thursday. The plan the owners put forth in February called for far more extensive testing. Players would be tested three times a year for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, and once a year for illegal drugs such as cocaine.


Former MVPs Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti admitted steroid use earlier this year, and Canseco estimated that up to 85 percent of all major leaguers took muscle-enhancing drugs during the years he played, 1985 to 2001.


"As players, we want to be able to clear our name from what Caminiti and Canseco said,'' Toronto's Vernon Wells said. "Unfortunately, we have to prove our innocence. If none of that happened we wouldn't have to do this.''


Fehr wouldn't say how widespread support for testing was among players. USA Today reported last month that it surveyed 750 players in June and that 79 percent of those responding supported independent testing for steroid use.


Player reps discussed the proposal in a conference call Tuesday.


"When we had the conference call, not one person in this clubhouse debated whether or not to have drug testing,'' Dodgers player rep Paul Lo Duca said. "We want it. It's no big deal to us. It's going to be a pretty strict test, and that's the way it should be.''


The NFL and NBA test players for steroids and illegal drugs. The NHL has a policy similar to baseball's, testing players only if there is cause. For example, a player could be tested if he is convicted of a crime involving drugs or enters rehab.


Under the baseball union's proposal, players could also be tested for illegal steroids if teams showed "reasonable cause.''


"It is not a watered-down type of proposal,'' Colorado third baseman Todd Zeile said. "It is a legitimate proposal to try and do something.''


Both sides also discussed minimum salary, benefits and debt control.


The union's executive board is to meet Monday in Chicago and could set a strike date for what would be baseball's ninth work stoppage since 1972.


Players fear that without a contract to replace the deal that expired Nov. 7, owners would change work rules or lock them out after the World Series. The union wants to control the timing of a potential work stoppage, preferring late in the season, when more pressure is on the owners.
bostonsportsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2002, 11:06 AM   #2
Marc
Administrator
 
Marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Lake Wylie, SC
Posts: 26,543
Marc will become famous soon enough
Default

About time -- baseball needed this to put the issue to rest. We will finally put out these blazing rumors.
__________________
Marc James - SCMB Administrator | Sports Central Managing Editor & Founder
Teams: [Kentucky Wildcats] [Green Bay Packers] [Charlotte Hornets]
Follow on Twitter: @mnjames | @sportcentral
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2002, 12:20 PM   #3
lmanchur.
Sports Virtuoso
 
lmanchur.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: waterloo.ON.ca
Posts: 12,579
lmanchur. is on a distinguished road
Default

Do they mean "illegal" as in "illegal within the law" or "illegal within the rules of MLB?" Either way, I don't see how the rules are different for poor athletes. I mean, if it were anyone else, Allen Iverson would be in court again or in jail right now -- the judge admitted after the case that "I had to stop wearing my Iverson #3 jersey for this case."
lmanchur. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2002, 02:47 PM   #4
Brandon
is lurking...
 
Brandon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,196
Brandon is on a distinguished road
Default

A step in the right direction yes. But I also think that this proposal is highly beneficial to the players. So what are the exact realms of "reasonable cause?" It's definitately a step in the right direction, and I applaud the players for doing something about it, and both parties for actually agreeing to something somewhat.
Brandon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2002, 04:37 PM   #5
bama4256
Baseball Fanatic
 
bama4256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Marshalltown, Iowa
Posts: 6,484
bama4256 will become famous soon enough
Default

That is great news, now if we can only get them to agree to play as well as they are paid lol
__________________
Keith "baseball nut" Thronson
bama4256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2002, 09:08 PM   #6
kevingrt
Sports Enthusiast
 
kevingrt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 25
kevingrt is on a distinguished road
Default

They have agreed on testing, but there have been no consequences set yet, so it's just like not having testing. It's just now we will know who cheats and who is clean!
kevingrt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2002, 11:07 PM   #7
bama4256
Baseball Fanatic
 
bama4256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Marshalltown, Iowa
Posts: 6,484
bama4256 will become famous soon enough
Default

I think reporters should be tested for intelligence lol
__________________
Keith "baseball nut" Thronson
bama4256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2002, 05:17 AM   #8
Anthony
Moderator
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8,378
Anthony is on a distinguished road
Default

Since this will reduce scoring, something should be done in return to help the batters - lowering the pitcher's mound perhaps, or awarding two bases instead of one for an HBP (so far not one pitcher has been linked to steroid use). Cleaning up the game is commendable, but a return to the conditions of 1968 - when the cumulative batting average in the majors was .236 - would represent an unacceptable cost.

Last edited by Anthony; 08-09-2002 at 08:04 AM.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2002, 09:01 AM   #9
Vinny
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 50
Vinny is on a distinguished road
Default

Anthony, are you kidding? Are you saying that greater offense is SO important as to merit steroid use in baseball? I for one would rather see a low scoring game in which the playing field is level than one which may be more exciting, but has liars and cheats on the field. To be honest, I don't think this will have much of an effect on scoring.
Vinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2002, 09:26 AM   #10
Anthony
Moderator
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8,378
Anthony is on a distinguished road
Default

Since when did I say that more offense justifies the continued use of steroids? What I did say is that there is no reason to endure the "side effect" of less offense, which the ban on steroids is very likely to cause - so make one or two rules changes to prevent such a decline in offense.

The way I see it, most fans - especially younger ones - prefer to see tape-measure home runs fly out of the park rather than the brand of "Little Ball" typefied by the Cardinals before Mark McGwire arrived in St. Louis. And why don't you think the NHL has ever thrown its players out of games for fighting? Because, sadly perhaps, if they did, every arena on the American side of the border would quickly turn into a ghost town (the arsenal of virtually every stand-up comedian in recent memory includes a joke about how he once attended a fight - and a hockey game broke out!)

Always look out for unintended consequences - they can be very important.

Last edited by Anthony; 08-09-2002 at 09:41 AM.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2002, 10:15 AM   #11
Bran
Sports Virtuoso
 
Bran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,714
Bran is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

About time, this is getting way to out of hand as in everyone asking who is clean and who is on the juice. This is a good small step for MLB.
Bran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2002, 10:17 AM   #12
Vinny
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 50
Vinny is on a distinguished road
Default

Well keep this in mind, Anthony. Batters are not the only ones alleged to use steroids. Pitchers are included in the rumors. So whatever offense is lost from this ruling could be compensated by the lack of zip on some pitcher's fastballs.

And also, on your comment about kids loving tape-measure homeruns. I agree with you. Kids do love that. But that's why they grow up into adults and learn to appreciate the essence of baseball. If you think homeruns are essential to baseball, then you would have to believe that baseball was incomplete in the earlier part of the 20th century, which it was certainly not. Baseball is about skill, strategy, patience, and grace. Sure, homeruns are a thrill to watch, but true baseball fans learn that the uniqueness of baseball lies in the idea that it does not need to rely on sensationalism to be effective. I realize that more and more people disagree with me on this, and claim that the homerun is the only (or among very few) exciting thing in baseball. But to me, that sounds like an argument coming from Vince Mchmahon or Max Kellerman.
Vinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2002, 02:46 AM   #13
catman
Humble MLB Moderator
 
catman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 9,328
catman will become famous soon enough
Default

When I coach baseball (which I have for many years), I tell all the players to bring their parents in to a meeting. I tell the parents my philosophy on baseball -- play everyone at every position. Each player plays each game. There are no "stars" on my teams. No one is benched for making errors. I ask the players to not swing at the first pitch, but never take a 3rd strike. I want my players to force the opposing pitcher to throw them 2 strikes.
If the parents do not agree to my terms, the kids do not play for me.
The fundamentals are much more important to me than "tape-measure" homers or a 99 MPH fastball.
I like my kids to have fun and no one is penalized for trying to do something. We have a good time and the parents enjoy the games, especially after the first couple of games.
I digress. I think the MLBPA's agreement to allow steroid testing is a positive step, and I hope to see more movement toward an agreement this weekend. The game is too important to allow egos to get in the way of progress.
__________________
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans...." John Lennon

Catman
Rest in Peace, Buck. You were truly a giant among men.

Last edited by catman; 08-10-2002 at 02:50 AM.
catman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2002, 02:57 AM   #14
Anthony
Moderator
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8,378
Anthony is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Vinny
Well keep this in mind, Anthony. Batters are not the only ones alleged to use steroids. Pitchers are included in the rumors. So whatever offense is lost from this ruling could be compensated by the lack of zip on some pitcher's fastballs.

And also, on your comment about kids loving tape-measure homeruns. I agree with you. Kids do love that. But that's why they grow up into adults and learn to appreciate the essence of baseball. If you think homeruns are essential to baseball, then you would have to believe that baseball was incomplete in the earlier part of the 20th century, which it was certainly not. Baseball is about skill, strategy, patience, and grace. Sure, homeruns are a thrill to watch, but true baseball fans learn that the uniqueness of baseball lies in the idea that it does not need to rely on sensationalism to be effective. I realize that more and more people disagree with me on this, and claim that the homerun is the only (or among very few) exciting thing in baseball. But to me, that sounds like an argument coming from Vince Mchmahon or Max Kellerman.

When I made that comment about younger fans, I wasn't talking about kids - I was talking about young adults, up to age 35 or even 40. And it's not just in baseball where this applies: Younger fans - and again, young adults - on balance also prefer the 80-yard bomb to three yards and a cloud of dust, and the tomahawk dunk to the two-hand set shot. This attitude even spills over into soft-drink preferences - think Coke vs. Pepsi. Considering the fact that the majority of teams in baseball appear to be losing money, you have to go hunting where the ducks are, so to speak - a concept the NHL seems to understand all too well.

Last edited by Anthony; 08-10-2002 at 05:11 AM.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2002, 03:49 AM   #15
Brandon
is lurking...
 
Brandon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,196
Brandon is on a distinguished road
Default

Not every single player in on the juice. Don't expect offense to drop off the end of the earth if players are tested. Yes, there won't be anymore 302985723987 HR's ina season by a single player. But there will certainly be enough offense to go around. It's not going to be as high-impact and as powerful as it was, but the offense doesn't need any more help even if steroids are cut out of the game.
Brandon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:53 PM.