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Who is to blame for Steroid abuse?

In 1966 the Major League Baseball Players Association, at the time a 13 year old, inconsequential union hired Marvin Miller to head the Union.  He remained the Executive Director until 1983.
In 1968 he negotiated the first Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”).  The 1968 CBA raised the minimum salary from $6,000.00 to $10,000.00.   
The 1970 CBA included arbitration to resolve all disputes.  This would ultimately result in the free agency of Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally.
In 1972 the players stuck because of ownership’s refusal to increase pension funds.
In 1974, arbitration made Catfish Hunter a free agent when his contract was breached because of Charlie Finley’s failure to make a $50,000.00 payment into an insurance annuity.
In 1975 the reserve clause was challenged, which led to the beginning of the era of free agency.
Miller clearly had the best interest of the union members in mind.  What about his successors?
In 1990, Football player, Lyle Alzado, dying of a Brain Tumor, cited the use of steroids for his imminent death.  At the same time Jose Canseco was getting bigger.   Len Dykstra, we now know, was using steroids.
In 1998, Rick Helling, then the player representative of the Texas Rangers, in an MLBPA meeting called the Homerun race between McGuire and Sosa a fraud.   He warned of the excessive use of Performance Enhancing Drugs.  The Union representatives, Donald Fehr and Gene Orza, did nothing.
In 2002, Ken Caminiti, admitted to steroid use during his 1996 MVP season.  He died in 2004 of a heart attack at age 41.   The union failed to act.
This is not to diminish the culpability of Bonds, Clemens, Rodriguez, Palmiero etc...but, do you think had the players union heads had thought about other issues regarding the players welfare, besides the obscene amounts of money they were making, that these issues would be as much in the forefront as they are today.
So who is to blame?
1) Bud Selig.  He clearly turned a blind eye to the problem as he ruled over a cash making machine.
2) Ownership.  Is money the only thing that counted to the people.
3) Donald Fehr, Gene Orza and the players union.  They knew what was going on.
4) Team Doctors, Where were these men and women?  Didn’t they take a Hippocratic oath?
5) The players.  They blame the pressure to compete.  My God, try living in the real world.
6) The fans.  We knew that there was something amiss in 1998, but we looked the other way watching the Homerun derby.
7) The Press.  With some exceptions, these “guardians of the truth” did nothing.
So now people are saying, how do we punish A-Rod?  As far as I can tell, if you punish A-Rod, you have to punish everyone, but Rick Helling. 


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
I agree!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 16th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Curt Flood lost the case.

Free Agency was created by an arbitrators decision.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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