Sunday, June 21, 2009

Steroids, Performance Enhancers and Baseball...Oh My!

The recent allegations about Sammy Sosa reportedly taking performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) reinforces one thing for the MLB - that the 21 century has not been good for baseball.

The notorious list of 104 MLB players that admitted to taking PEDs has been in the news for seemingly ages. The question is who is in possession of this list of 104 players?

It's ironic that only two names have been released. Both names belong to players that are significant to baseball. Alex Rodriguez was supposed to be the savior of baseball amidst all the Barry Bonds allegations and Sammy Sosa is one of six elite players to hit more than 600 home runs.

Now they became a part of the plague that haunts the Major Leagues incessantly.

The results of the urine samples taken were meant to be anonymous under the agreement between the commissioner's office and the players association. Major League Baseball coded the results and stored them in two different labs, so that both lists were required in order to determine which results belonged to what player.

In 2004, a search warrant served by the feds in both locations changed that.

They were only supposed to be looking for names connected to their Balco investigation, but confiscated the entire report. That means there are two organizations with knowledge of the guilty: 1) Major League officials who administered the exam, and 2) the feds who investigated the Balco case.

MLB would not put themselves in a predicament by incriminating themselves, so that leaves the Federal Government responsible for the leak of information.

The New York Post cites lawyers with knowledge of the 2003 results who spoke under anonymity. Currently, the result are under seal in California in the middle of a legal conflict between the Government and MLB. It's a federal offense to divulge information under court seal.

Sammy Sosa's name arose after he announced his formal retirement from baseball and stated "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don't I have the numbers to be inducted?"

How much is someone getting paid for this information?

Let's take it one step further. Why is congress still interfering with baseball? There are plenty of other important issues (i.e. the economy, health care, the War on Terror - just to name a few) that should be the focus of their attention, instead of meddling with the game of baseball.

At the end of the day, the MLB and the game of baseball continues to be tainted by unnatural and unfair advantages that players continue to use to "make it to the top."

There are two solutions to this problem:

A) Release all the names on that list and put this in the past and enact a strict PED policy moving forward. That way the MLB can look forward to a clean, fresh start to the great American sport.

B) Urge the feds to destroy all traces of the list and internally stop the leaking of those names. This will end the tragic consequences that come to these players who believed they were taking an anonymous survey.

Both sides can be argued, but one course of action must be taken if the Major Leagues want to stop the bleeding and begin at Tabula Rasa (with a clean slate). The final decision will determines whether this will drag out the destruction of America's favorite pastime or not.

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