Congressional Foul Ball


Is it just me, or did Tuesday’s Congressional hearings about steroid use in baseball erode your confidence about the ability of some of our nations elected leaders to direct our country?  

 Perhaps it is nothing new, but several of them were talking about something they very clearly know nothing about.  How out of touch are they?  And should we expect them to now offer an informed opinion? 

But I suppose what bugs me most is that, with the exception of including steroids as a prohibited drug, I don’t think this is any of congresses business.  The only federal interest congress should have is whether baseball is violating anti-trust practices.   

I concur with sportswriter Jayson Stark, baseball writer for ESPN, when he writes: 

“The question America really wants asked: What the heck is Congress doing? 

I’d rather Congress pass another bill funding one of those Bridges To Nowhere than hold hearings on PED use in baseball.” 

In no way do I suggest that steroid use ought to be overlooked.  But it is MLB’s responsibility to police their sport, not congress.

And it is the American public, in particular baseball fans, who will hold baseball to it. Fans will do so through the free market – if people are turned off by the scandal, they will stay away from the game the way they did in the ’90’s.  Money will talk. 

Baseball does need to implement comprehensive drug testing, and enforce it beginning with the 2008 season.  Further, penalties can be retroactively levied upon any active player who has tested positive for a banned substance since the current policy took effect in 2002.  Active players who have tested positive should be suspended for the season. PERIOD.  Players who are not active obviously cannot be punished. 

One of my gripes about the Mitchell Report is that it included names of players who had retired prior to the prohibition of HGH.  And it listed players on the basis of informants, and not necessarily from testing.  It just seems too arbitrary to me…