November 15, 2005

Wait Til Next Year (MLBPA Edition)

Posted in Baseball at 10:14 pm by antonello

Major league players and owners agreed to toughen penalties for steroid use to a 50-game suspension for a first failed test, 100 games for a second and a lifetime ban for a third. AP, Nov 15, 2005

I am some kind of shocked that the MLBPA ended up agreeing to the ownership’s exact terms on this. Fehr and Orza had said for quite some time that any random steroid testing program was an invasion of players’ privacy and impingement on the presumption of innocence before they agreed to open the CBA to include drug testing last year. That Fehr ended up reopening the CBA again and agreeing to these terms after having suggested a less onerous package indicates some heat from below (and above. and Senate.)

I understand the union leadership’s argument from the perspective of fiddling with the CBA; it is a slippery slope. Still a muscular (ha!) steriod policy that settles the issue out of season and before the CBA expires next year seems like a better strategic move (John Brattain seems to agree with this). It’s also solid (well, at least, not bad) PR for the union which often suffers from derision especially when negotiating comes round.

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