It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Baseball: Up in Arms

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:
Ben

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 09:27 AM
link   
The debate over steriod testing illuminates a deep division within the players union. Some players are angry with the union's stance agaisnt the most stringent testing, arguing that steriod users pose a threat to their peers. The users have not only taken a competitive advantage, those players say, but they have also damaged the public perception of all players. The dissension first surfaced last spring, when 16 White Sox, led by Tom Gordon and Paul Konerko, breifly treatened to boycott the testing, believing the penalites were to weak. Now, in the wake of the BALCO investigation, the voices of discord are growing louder, with such veterans as John Smoltz and Kenny Rogers speaking out for tougher standards. The union leaders, Don Fehr and Gene Orza, have stanuchly defended their stance agaisnt more comprehensive testing and harsher penalties, stating and restating their objection to what they characterize as an invasino of privacy. One Veteran player agreed to speak frankly, though anoymously, about the current debate; the pros and cons of taking steriods, how he made his decision about wheter to use them and what he and his fellow players are currently saying to each other about testing and the union.

Words from Player X:

I don't condone taking steriods. The vast majority of us are not using. But it's all anyone can talk about this spring. Players are talking about it all the time. YOu know who the users are. Everbody is like "Well, he did and he did; do you think he did?" Or, "Hey, did you see that guy? He's got dime-sized testicles." Im tired of hearing about it. But if you asked me, do i give a dman if Barry Bonds is a user, I'd say no. Honestly, I don't care. The guys who are doing it are ruining their own lives. They're taking their own risks. And I've never really cared if I got beat by someone I thought was using steriods. when that's happened, it's made me more pissed off that i didn't do something to beat him.

NOw, we have testing. But it's a joke. We had a union meeting this spring to talk about the penalities, and the way they made it sound, by the time you finally get nailed a fifth time, most of the guys who are using the stuff will be at the point where their careers are over. I'd say 80% of them are just trying to hang on, anyway.

In our union meeting, somebody asked why we can't step up and do our own in hosue testing. The union guys were like, "oh no, we can't do that. The owners don't want that." I don't buy it. if we took care of this in house, and set up our own tough penalties, all this crap would be over. The way it stands, the penalty phase of this absolutely sucks. It's a slap on the wrist. The first time you test positive, they basically shake a finger in your face and say, "Don't do that again." Its BS. The Union guswere talking about the various parts of the testing program in our metting, quoting this doctor and that doctor, and I was so pissed off I didn't even want to listen anymore. i sat back, put a dip in and read a magazine. If players get caught, I think baseball should have the right to do anything it wants to them. YOu've got a couple of guys in the union leadership protectiong the steriod users, and it's not going to last.

The meetings are the same now as tehy always have been. Just a bunch of bull. Somebody asks for an explanation, and they give an answer that makes no sense, using a bunch of words nobody understands. When a young guy speaks up, they're always like, "Next question." When an older guy speaks up, its "Thank you for bringing this to our attention, but we're going to blow you off too." That's why im down on the union. its like, give me a break. We pay them to work for us! They dont want us to talk to you, but my attituade is, I dont use steriods why cant i talk about it? If you look at players who are avioding the questinos, some of those guys are the ones who are using, or have used.

Ive played with guys whod come back in the spring and start braggins about how they put on 30 pounds of muscle in the offseason. That is physically impossible to do. Ive never seen it done fairly. the only way to do it is through the needle.

A couple of time, Ive almost done it. The first time I thought about it, I was stuck in Double-A. Wasnt getting any better, wanst getting any stronger, I had reason to think of doing it more recently, too, though I pretty much had my minde made up already.

You hear other players who have them steriods say,"Oh, man, the revoery time is so much better." And its true: steriods help you bounce back from injuries. One time I had a medical situation that required me to take them. My weight jumped up, and i couldnt belive how different I felt. Incredible, aboslutely incredible. When youre in my situation now, at my age. i need to speed up recovery time. thats the one reason ive considered it. ive though about how the effects might hide injuires in your body and then you might really do damage. Guys talk about, "Well your ligament will snap off." im at the age where my ligaments are messed up anyway. why wouldn't you use it?

THere are other reasons to do it. if i get caught it really wont hurt me professionally. I dont have a lot of time left in my career, period. And everybody knows were to get it. everybody can go across the border and get it. Its simple. no questions asked.

Now, there are the cons. Is it going to eat out my liver? Is it oging to rip my heart apart? Is it going to take years off my life? Those are the questions to be answered regardless of whether you have kids or you don't. Is it worth it if i make more money and die 2 years earlier? Not for me. its my kids. theyre why i Decided not to take steriods. i have graduations I want to see, weddings to attend. its my babies

I hate the idea that people will look at me and remmeber some weight gain--and Ive had some in the pasy--and say, "Look, he used steriods, and now that hes stopped, hes lost weight." No. I did it by busting my ass for months. I dont sue a needle, and theyll find that out wehn I take my tests this year.

After we had our union meeting, some young guys came up to me, kind of pissed off, asking, "Hey, youve been around for a while. why soundlt, we use the stuff?" I looked at it from their point of view, and you know what? Id probably be pissed off too. you come up from the minors, where there testing for steriods, and you walk through the clubhouse door and make a left and you see some of those huge bodies in their. Damn, Id be mad too.

Is it fair that some older guys are using and younger guys can't get out of the minor leages because they dont have that little something extra? No, its not. If theres a guy whos got an advantage because he takes steriods, and he beats out another guy who's busting his ass all the time, well, I can see why the guy who gets beat out would be upset. Those guys who had the talent but couldn't make it because they didn't use steriods...that sucks

There is a lot of frustration among the younger guys not taking steriods. do i think theres going to be more said by them? Absolutely. The reason I say that is because in time, the little voices--voices, with an "s" are going to overrule the Big voice in the union leadership.

Pretty soon, one of these kids is going to step up. One of them, then two of them, then three, then a bunch of them, and they're not going to go straight to the media, and you wont be able to cover it up anymore. Theyre going to offer to pee into a bottle, take drug tests for reporters, put pressure on the other guys. Then all hell is going to break lose.

When smoltz spoke out, that was one voice. But when you get 15 little voices toghter, well see what those young guys can do, because fingers will be pointed. Thats what's going to happen. And I wont have to worry about it. because ill be out of the game by then.



ESPN THE MAGAZINE




posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 10:09 AM
link   
thanks for posting this ben, it is a good article, and needs to be read, hopefully as the article says some of the players will break away from the union and take voluntary drug tests



posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 10:29 AM
link   
Thanks as well, people are going to pull together (these younger voices) and start something and most poeple won't want to see this happen just for the fact that its going to be a huge thing. And players need to step up.


Ben

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:46 AM
link   
What should teh MLB do?



posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:47 AM
link   
mandatory drug testing under the best interests of the game clause, season long suspensions for abusers, and any of their stats purged from the record books


Ben

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:49 AM
link   
but what about those unions, will they allow it?



posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:51 AM
link   
Like Player X stated the unions won't allow this, they aren't going to allow this because this is not what the union does. They are still going to protect these players for as long as possible because they feel that it is for the best interest of baseball but is it? no it isnt. Having young poeple who work there ass off is what iw ant to see. Sure, hitting HR and stuff like that is fun to watch, but iw oudl much rather see somebody who wants to be here.



posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:54 AM
link   
it would get ugly but i believe the commisioner can do just about anything he wants to under this clause, was thinking after i read the post, about the march 15 issue of sports illustrated, it is an issue almost completly devoted to steroids in baseball, on the cover is a picture of barry bonds with an asterick on his forehead, the headline is "so many questions" if it were me and i was innocent i would be having a hissy.....i haven't heard a word from barry on this cover



posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:55 AM
link   
There are a lot of players staying quite about this, are those the players that took it?



posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:56 AM
link   
the union is not protecting the players in the best interest of baseball, the union is protecting itself the negotiating power it has and thus it's money


Ben

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:59 AM
link   
how do you figure its protecting itself?



posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 12:02 PM
link   
the union has made the mega million contracts possible for the players, if they start back tracking on the working agreement that they have negotiated they will be in a position of weakness, the players pay the union dues to be represented, any crack in their solidarity will weaken the unions bargaining power


Ben

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 12:04 PM
link   
well i fugire that the players are paying the union to protect them and now when they need the union to step up and help this situation out they arent doing that.


TRD

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 12:08 PM
link   
Unions cause nothing but grief even The PLAYERS want the testing,so the ones hiding behind the union sounds to me like they are guilty..

It's all about backhanders and making money.


Ben

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 12:12 PM
link   
do all players want testing? What about the ones that are on it, i bet that they dont want the testing. That is what im what im saying the young players will be more than happy to pee in a bottle and while most poeple now won't cause they feel its a invasion of privacy.


TRD

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 12:15 PM
link   
Yes i agree ben the majority would want the testing.

Well it sounds to me that the ones who don't want it could weel be guilty thats what i already said!


Ben

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 01:44 PM
link   
Yea i know TRD, its just makes me mad that nothing is being done right now. And that the testing is a serious joke right now, and the way to solve the problem is the in house testing, were the owenrs are supposed to take up the problems of their own ball club.


TRD

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 02:28 PM
link   
Yeah and can you see the owners ratting in their top stars if they are taking stuff? And if they dont already know they are..

Sounds like a cop out to me to cover it up between the Owners and the Unions..!



posted on Mar, 22 2004 @ 02:55 PM
link   
I just want poeple to finally step up and say somethinga bout this situation. Its one of those topics that people want to discuss but are kindof afraid to say anyuthing about just for the fact that there can be a lot of negatives coming out of this situation. Like attendance could go down for some teams. and homers and the action in baseball itself can go down, or it could be the exact opposite and everything will be boosted bcause of a new found trust.


Ben

posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 04:58 PM
link   
MLB Union to welcome stricter tests

Baseball union head Donald Fehr left open the possibility that players would agree to more stringent steroid testing.

"You have to be willing to look at things again as current situations change," Fehr said Tuesday after meeting with the Boston Red Sox.

Asked if he would be surprised if the steroid policy was changed before the labor agreement expires in December 2006, Fehr said, "I'm not surprised about anything one way or another."

Baseball's steroid policy has been ridiculed by some because players are tested just twice in a one-week span each year and penalties are far below those in many other sports. Earlier this month, Fehr was chastised by congressmen over what they said was the union's refusal to help rid the sport of steroids.

"The status quo is not acceptable," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Fehr. "And we will have to act in some way unless the major league players' union acts in the affirmative and rapid fashion."

Home runs have been hit at a record pace in the past decade, and former MVPs Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti have said the use of steroids was widespread. A federal grand jury indicted Barry Bonds' trainer on charges of illegal steroid distribution; the trainer pleaded innocent and Bonds has denied taking illegal steroids.

Fehr met with the Red Sox players for more than two hours as part of an annual spring tour.

He wouldn't directly address comments made by Curt Schilling in which the Boston pitcher incorrectly claimed the confidentiality of testing had been violated and called for testing to be conducted by third parties -- which already is done. Fehr did say any misunderstandings on that issue have been straightened out.

The union boss said he would not ask players to keep their opinions to themselves.

"We don't have any gag orders," Fehr said. "We believe in free speech."




top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join