Monday Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Alex Sanchez was the first major leaguer to be suspended
under the new policy. Sanchez will have to sit out the first ten games of the new season for testing positive for steroids. Sanchez is already planning an appeal. In addition, major league baseball announced Monday
that 38 minor league baseball players would face suspension for testing positive for steroids.
We've got our first culprits. I guess this means the new policy is working. Or is it?
Is it just me or does the new steroids testing policy in baseball still seem a bit lax? Why do players get five chances to be on the juice before they're booted from the game? What about "three strikes and you're out?"
If anyone out there knows of a company in the real world that would let you continue to work after testing positive for illegal drugs of any kind up to five times, let me know. I don't think you're going to find many. In fact, for most of us, it's one strike and you're out on the street. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
But for some reason, baseball players--and for the most part most professional athletes--feel they're entitled to be above the rules that the rest of us have to live by. The excuse seems to be that they're under this intense microscope because they make so much money and are so famous. You know, I'm certainly glad that we have given them the opportunity to take advantage of their natural ability and to be well compensated for it. But just because you can play ball at a high level doesn't make you special or exempt from the basic, fundamental rules of soceity. Steroids are illegal unless used under proper medical care. End of story. None of the rest of us would be given a fourth, third or even a second chance in most cases. But yet baseball players think they should get five chance before they are effectively fired.
Of course, having a powerful union to hide behind makes a big difference. Here's my thought--if the baseball players were clean and had nothing to hide, they'd embrance the steroid testing. If you've done nothing wrong, then you shouldn't have to worry about the results of the test, right?
And it's not just baseball. No sport is immune to this problem. Seems that now that Congress has bored the nation and shown its futility going after baseball, they are going to show more futility by going after the NFL. And it's interesting to hear that the players there know about the test, what it looks for and how to get around it. I'm pretty sure the same thing extends to baseball and every other major sport.
You know, I love sports. I enjoy watching them, I enjoy being a fan. I hate that so much of the debate these days as people pursue records isn't about the game itself, but is instead about wondering if a guy is on the juice and how that affects what he's doing on the field.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/06/2005 12:47:00 PM