Friday, January 11, 2013

Baseball can’t rewrite ugly drug past

Major League Baseball simply cannot rewrite its ugly history with performance-enhancing drugs, no matter how much Bud Selig & Co would like to.

But MLB took another step in the right direction with additional improvements to its drug testing program that will now include in-season blood testing for human growth hormone and for synthetic testosterone in an attempt to catch those bold (or stupid) enough to try to cheat the system. Baseball officials will proudly declare their program to be the toughest of any of the major US sports. But they won’t talk about how long it took to get there.

Selig denied any embarrassment by the shutout thrown by the baseball writers in their 2013 Hall of Fame balloting. But the message was sent, not only to the players who cheated, but to everyone else who didn’t do enough to stop PED use, including Selig. Yes, the players union thwarted him at every turn during the negotiations, but Selig didn’t use the loud megaphone he has at his disposal to pressure the union to embrace testing. If the commissioner had come out and said he suspected PED use was rampant, that might have spurred the public outrage a lot sooner than Jose Canseco and the fine reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle did.  

I do give MLB credit for making this such a core issue that improvements to the system no longer wait for the next round of union negotiations. Better late than never, I suppose.

No comments:

Post a Comment