Thursday, March 17, 2005

Congress vs. Baseball

A number of baseball players are set to testify before a House panel today regarding the use of steroids, and the panel's chair today chided the sport's leadership for being uncooperative.
"Major League Baseball and the players' association greeted word of our inquiry first as a nuisance, then as a negotiation, replete with misstatements," Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., said in his opening statement.

"I understand their desire to avoid the public's prying eye. ... But I think they misjudged our seriousness of purpose," he said. "I think they misjudged the will of an American public who believes that sunshine is the best disinfectant."
There's no doubt that steroids are bad; for one thing, they're illegal without a prescription, and there's no doubt that the long-term effects outweigh any short-term ahtletic advantage that might be attainted. Yet, sadly, some people are so stubbornly blind to the dangers that it will probably take someone in baseball ending up like Lyle Alzado before everyone gets the message that these things are bad. There are a lot of aspects to this issue, but my question today is, shouldn't baseball at least get to try out its new policy before the government gets involved?

There's no denying that some poeple in government would like to micromanage every aspect of our lives. In this instance, the congressmen think that baseball's new steroid policy, which calls for either a ten-day suspension or a $10,000 fine for a first offense, is too lenient. Davis and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Cal., said the following in a letter to Commissioner Bud Selig and players union chief Donald Fehr:
"Even if players are suspended, the public disclosure is limited to the fact of their suspension with no official confirmation that the player tested positive for steroids," they said. "In contrast, the Olympic policy calls for a two-year suspension for a first offense."
Yeah, but that's a little different, isn't it? Olympic athletes are at least nominally amateur; suspend them, and they lose a few endorsements, miss out on their Wheaties box, what have you. In the case of a professional athlete, this is his job. Does anyone want Big Brother making personnel decisions here? Let's at least allow the employers (the league and the owners) the chance to do something first; their policy may not be as stern as that of the Olympics, but it's a start.

My personal take on this is that Congress has way too many things on its plate right now--the budget, the war, and Social Security, just to name a few--to be spending time telling a private business how to conduct its affairs. What do you think?

Sit! Stay! Don't chase the bunny! On my way home from working out today, I took the back way through a small town. I noticed they had a "country store" with an interesting schedule for Saturday morning on its marquee:

I guess the goal is for the dogs to be obedient enough by the end of the hour that they won't eat any of the Easter eggs the kids are trying to find...

The wearin' o' the green: Happy St. Patrick's Day to all! I'm not even trying for a snappy headline for this one, because I doubt I could beat the one I used last year. Since school is out, I don't get to see the comedy of non-green wearing kids getting pinched, but I'm wearing my green UNT shirt nonetheless (being a quarter Irish, with the name to match) and will probably attempt to quaff some sort of green beverage tonight.


Anonymous said...

Here's what I posted about the Congressional chest thumping on FOL:

I just find it funny that Congress thinks it has the moral high ground to lecture anybody on how cheating and dishonesty are bad.

I haven't been watching, but I have been following a site that's liveblogging the proceedings and it sounds like you could solve the country's energy needs forever if you could only harness the self-righteousness and zealous fury of the anti-steroids crowd.

Kev said...

Good point, Anon. (Is that you, GP, and you just forgot to put your initials, or somebody new?) What exactly is FOL, and could you link to it?

(Just a reminder that, while I accept anonymous comments, I'd prefer it if you identified yourself in some way--even if it's just a code name--so we can tell all the anonymous ones apart)

Kev said...

"The way the stage lights hit my hair, it looked luminescent! My parents and Cassi said it looked bright red. I think that's just a nice way of saying I had Bozo the clown hair. "

Well, that would go real nicely with that Bozo nose you wore on Halloween in high school, wouldn't it? ;-)

Kev said...

Ooh, ahh, you have a profile now. Be careful, though....YOU HAVE NOW BEEN ASSIMILATED INTO THE BLOG. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. ;-)

Oh yeah, so what's FOL? Frisco Online or something?

Kev said...

Haha! That sounds like a really snazzy ISP or, in order to access FOL, you have to get through all kinds of extra security--a gated online community, if you wish.