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I'm 100% pro-union, but I'm with Selig on this one. Somewhat.

What Selig wants is to make Fehr own this mess. If Selig really cared, he would have made a big deal about it in the last CBA. But, he didn't (mostly because the owners didn't care to, and they've lived with "greenies" forever).

Anyway, this is now on Fehr's plate. As it should be. The steroid and greenie policy should be set *only* by the players. What do the owners care? They don't. They've turned a blind eye forever. What do the fans care? They don't? They come to the parks in droves. Owners and fans don't care about having a drug-free sport. If anything, all they care about is knowing what the field is. They don't even necessarily care that it's a level playing field.

So, the only one who should really care are the players. It's the players themselves that should be represented at the table. They are competing amongst themselves, and it's up to them to decide the health risks they are willing to take, and how level the playing field needs to be. What's needed here is for players to establish their own rules of conduct. Once that's done, the holy writers will stop making this an issue, and Bud Selig will need to start earning his brownie points elsewhere. Maybe he can give the government a second baseball team.

Jolly and Green | 15 comments | Create New Account
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daryn - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#114877) #
So, the only one who should really care are the players.

Agreed, ...
Typically "health and safety" initiatives come from the workers union.

In coal mines, you made more money the more you were willing to take chances, so it wasn't the individual workers that wanted the safety rules, but the union recognized that if the rules were in place, everyone could be safe and not suffer in comparison to others that take chances.

After all, the issue with steriods is not that they make you stronger, but that they kill you.

If they were healthy to take, they would just be in the class of "vitamins" and no one says that vitamins are upsetting the balance of the game.
daryn - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#114878) #
Come to think of it, if ANYONE should want Steriods removed from the game its the guys that will hit homers anyway.. <br>

They'll want the "gap power" guys to stop hitting homers so they can command more for the ones they hit <br>

baagcur - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#114890) #
Owners and fans don't care about having a drug-free sport

And there I was thinking I was a fan

TangoTiger - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#114895) #
Fans, in general, of course.

It would be pretty hard to complete a statement that says "all people of [a particular subgroup]" unless the end of that statement is "are human".

Can't my implication be "most" and not "all"? Seeing that "all" is just about never true, I can't see how you would make that the implied adjective.
Jonny German - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#114899) #
I'm with you that far, Tango, but I do think it's a stretch even to say "most fans don't care about steroids". I think most of us would very much prefer the game was steroid-free. It's just not a big enough issue - yet - for a lot of us to stay away. I say 'yet' because personally, it's dependent on there being an ongoing effort to eliminate steroid use. I don't care if it's the league or the union that's making it happen.
Craig B - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#114900) #
I agree with Jonny. I think most fans would prefer a steroid-free game, provided it came at no more than a small cost to baseball's entertainment value. I don't think that the fans care enough to undertake concerted action to force baseball to get rid of steroids, but I do think they care.

I know I do.
Mike D - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#114901) #
Tango, I think the issue is one of willful blindness. People "know" about the risks of smoking but will enjoy it until willful blindness is no longer possible -- i.e., someone they know develops lung cancer. People "know" about homelessness but don't become outraged until a shantytown catches fire.

Similarly, fans "knew" about steroids in baseball, at least to the extent that they read coverage about designer drugs, non-existent testing and swelling home run totals. Your point, if I'm understanding it correctly, is that fans willfully turned a blind eye to this obvious development because they enjoyed the illusion of an offensive renaissance in baseball. To this extent, the record attendance figures support your argument that fans "don't care" about steroid use.

But once the choice is presented starkly -- a steroid-free game, or more dingers? -- and willful blindness is no longer plausible, I'm with Jonny. I think most baseball fans appreciate the initiative to "clean up the sport," even as they ignore the well-documented history of chicanery since the beginning of baseball.
Ron - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#114907) #
I care about roid use only to a certain extent. While I would prefer MLB to be 100% roid free over what it currently is, it's not a big enough issue for me to lose any sleep over it.

Heck if you were to tell me 50% of MLB players use roids, I would still glady follow MLB.

I don't blame the owners for ignoring the "problem" because it helps their bottom line. It's no secret fans love the long ball, and roids can help in that area.

Ducey - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#114912) #
I can' imagine too many parents saying that they don't care if their kid takes steriods. As baseball players set an example for kids (at least to degree) I think a lot more people (fans) care about drugs in sport than you have acknowledged.

I don't doubt that Selig's proposal is about optics, but the union has turned a blind eye to this issue all along as well.

I couldn't care less if Mark MaGwire cuts his life expectancy in half - I do care about it if he is put forward as a hero or role model. You can't have it both ways. If you want him to be a role model you ought to make damn sure he actually is one - therefore Selig and baseball should care - it affects the marketability of their product.
Terran - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#114914) #
The ones taking the steroids are the players though...and the arguement is that it not only affects those that take them.

Theorically it affects those aspiring players not even in the union yet who wish to make it into the game but don't want to cripple their later years in an effort to do so. It affects legitament major leaguers who are overshadowed by players who benifit from steroids. It also affects the owners who reep in the profits that come with having a Barry Bonds on the team and hurts the owners that do not employ juiced-up players.

It affects the fans too. If your teams suffers or loses because another team has managed to gather better players on roids, then doesn't it? Even if it doesn't, aren't the fans the ones really paying the owner's and player's salaries, so in that respect, shouldn't they get the loudest say in what the steroid policy should ultimately be?

Personally I don't particularly like Selig or the player's union. I'm probably just paranoid or cynical but I think they both have personal agendas that have nothing to do with baseball. All the same I support together policies regarding roids. Most opinion polls seem to suggest that most fans do as well. So ultimately, if the players union disagrees then in this case they're the odd man out and perhaps should consider conforming. Otherwise the fans might get irrated and perhaps less interested in the game it's self, which will ultimately cause their players paychecks to go down along with the owners...

That's one way to look at it at least, I don't know if it's the "right" way but it's my way...
Dave Till - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#114915) #
As it happens, I just finished reading Jose Canseco's book (I got it out of the library). Instead of "Juiced", it should have been called "Better Living Through Chemistry". Not only does he advocate that baseball players should take steroids to become bigger, stronger, more confident, and therefore better hitters, he advocates that everybody should take steroids. (Seriously.)

However, he shoots his own cause in the foot when he states that steroids are dangerous unless properly monitored and matched to each individual's requirements. This, all by itself, is enough of a reason to eliminate steroids from baseball: minor leaguers aren't normally disciplined enough (both from within and without) to even eat properly. Expecting them to carefully regulate dangerous substances is asking a wee bit too much, methinks.

There are two other reasons to remove steroids from the game. One is that the potential long-term harm is unknown. Jose Canseco claims that he, himself, is as fit and healthy at 40 as he was when he was young - but who knows where he'll be ten or twenty years from now?

And the other reason is that many baseball fans prefer to see a more balanced game, rather than a contest between competing teams of behemoths to see who can blast the ball farther. Don't get me wrong: I like the threat of a home run, and the occasional joy of seeing a Blue Jay hit a baseball a long way. (Since it's the Jays, I fear it will be an occasional joy this season. :-)) But I also like stolen bases, well-pitched games, great fielding plays, and even the occasional bunt now and again, and these things are more likely to happen in a game in which the players aren't juiced up.

Having said all that: whenever Bud Selig says anything, I always wonder what the old rascal is up to.
TangoTiger - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#114918) #
Ok, so the consensus is "I care, but I don't care enough to do something about it".

Fine, I can live with that. You care about people not driving drunk, but, not enough to do something about it. That is, whether teams decided to sell beer throughout the game, you wouldn't stop going to the game, right? Even if M.A.D.D. got involved and begged people not to go to the games? (Owners of course wouldn't and haven't let it get that far, simply because it's bad business. And, maybe because they are decent people too.) You care enough about second-hand smoke, that you would absolutely not go to a restaurant that allows smoking.

If M.A.G.S. (g=greenies, s=steroids) got involved, and held up their kids as injured parties, you would still go to the games, right?

What does it mean that "I care"? I mean, do you *really* care, or do you just have some slight preference?

So, let me get lawyerly, and say:

"A majority of fans and owners have a slight preference to have drug-free athletes, but the drug habits of their athletes will not diminish their desire to watch those very same players. And perhaps only an epidemic among the children will change fans' perspective from a slight preference to actual caring." *** As a father, I'd be more worried that my kid (in 10 or 15 years) were to take amphetamines, not steroids.

Parker - Monday, May 02 2005 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#114947) #
Jose Canseco claims that he, himself, is as fit and healthy at 40 as he was when he was young...

If that were true, wouldn't he still be playing major league ball?
TangoTiger - Tuesday, March 07 2006 @ 03:38 PM EST (#141981) #
The soap opera continues.

I continue to believe what I said two posts (and one year) ago. I expect the Holy Writers to be the ones who will "make right what was once wrong".

Mike D - Tuesday, March 07 2006 @ 03:46 PM EST (#141982) #
Tango (and everybody), we're going to open up a new thread later today to discuss the book and the issues it raises.

Let's hold off on talking about this until the thread is launched, but it will certainly be worth bearing Tango's controversial and thought-provoking argument in mind.
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