Fire Jim Tracy

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Gammons (Unsurprisingly) Gets It


The money quote:

"But Fehr and Orza always believed that any form of drug-testing was un-American in that it forced an individual to prove his innocence. However, by adamantly sticking to that civil libertarian line, they in fact have led players to a point where, because of this BALCO scandal, every player who hits more than 40 home runs is subject to having to prove himself innocent.

Much of this can be laid to 30-something years of cold war politics between the Players Association and owners, with its resulting distrust and contempt. But the union lawyers have always considered themselves civil rights and labor lawyers. They are not. This isn't Edward Bennett Williams defending John Connelly, or Sacco-Vanzetti. They're not civil rights lawyers, they are entertainment lawyers."

Saying that there was no "rule" against steroids (even if that was true, which is arguable) is particularly ridiculous given the history of the efforts to enact a rule. The only reason there is not a rule is because the Players Association (and by extension, the players) would not allow one. This sort of ipso facto (We're innocent because we didn't pass a law against it) reasoning would be excoriated (rightly) if it were exercised by say, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, or even your local majority of a nonpartisan city council.

This is the issue:

"What is absurd here is that in the summer of 2002, when Canseco and Caminiti issued their original allegations, several players began speaking out. USA Today released a poll in which 78 percent of major league players said they were for serious testing, and more than 50 percent said they felt the pressure to use steroids or performance-enhancing drugs because of peer pressure. At the All-Star Game, Mike Sweeney told ESPN, "I want strong testing because I don't think it's fair for someone to have an illegal advantage over me." Lance Berkman said, "I want the testing because I don't think I should have to have anyone question how I hit my home runs."

The players don't seem that concerned about rights rhetoric (except for Bonds -- wonder why that is?), probably because they recognize it as empty farce when compared to 1) being coerced/forced into taking substances that in twenty years, could cripple or kill them (But we don't know that! Exactly my point!), OR 2) the current result of the Players' Association non-action, which is government involvement in players' lives, seizing drug test results, and playing with not-so-nice FBI Agents who want nothing more than a huge RICO scalp on their wall. I suppose we can continue to nursemaid the players into believing they all have "rights" to privacy from MLB, until they end up in jail. Brilliant! Is Mike Busch still available to play third? Now can we teach MLB players how to say "Habeas Corpus?"


  • they in fact have led players to a point where, because of this BALCO scandal, every player who hits more than 40 home runs is subject to having to prove himself innocent.To whom? Gammons' column is a load of comstockery, a half-baked clamshell of the usual anti-drug goop, piled high with howling, uninterrupted with a coherent thought.

    By Blogger Rob, at 12/05/2004 11:26:00 AM  

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