Friday, January 14, 2005

Check out this interview with Marvin Miller on the new steroids testing regime agreed upon by MLB and the player's union. The man is incredibly astute (especially for someone who is 87), and I fall in line right behind him. I've always felt the steroid issue is nonsense, because I've never seen a shred of evidence that using steroids has any impact on the ability of a player to hit a baseball or impact the distance that it travels. The huge advances in sports medicine and dietary science completely dwarf any impact that steroids might have anyway. Any "evidence" of steroids leading to all kinds of awful things merely comes from the forked tongues of caustic sports talk-show hosts (whom I once heard interview Miller and treated him horribly, like he was just another numbskull from The Bronx rather than one of the most influential men in baseball in the 20th century) and high-minded sports journalists who simply assert that it must be true. Also, as Miller points out, amphetamines have been a much bigger presence in major league locker rooms over the years and this agreement does nothing about that (at least in part because ownership has been complicit).

I'm also shocked that the Players' Association altered their basic agreement before the current CBA expires. Its very uncharacteristic of them, but I suppose they felt they needed to get out in front of the issue before it causes lasting damage to their credibility. But its strange seeing the union acting on what amounts to a few press leaks and innuendo within the sports media.


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