Congress Should Do Something About Steroids in Baseball

A Report by Brian Costello in today’s New York Post skewers Major League Baseball’s drug policy in light of recent revelation about Barry Bonds‘s alleged steroid use. Costello quotes Dr. Gary Wadler, a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as wells as MLB’s vice president of labor relations Rob Manfred. Wadler obviously plugs his organizations list of banned substances as the bible of drugs that MLB should be using in its steroids policy. Manfred, of course, spins the story to make it look like MLB’s policy is just as thorough without certain substances being included that Wadler says are imperative.

The bottom line is that it is not in MLB’s best interest to be thorough in their policies. As long as guys are hitting moon shots over stadium walls that help put fans in the seats the owners have no interest in changing anything. And the players association is likewise not likely to want a more thorough system because as long as those fans keep filling the seats their salaries will continue to go up. What we have here is an old fashioned conflict of interest where the interested parties have no interest in bettering the system.

I’m not generally a supporter of government intervention to regulate private enterprise but I think it may be necessary here. Last year congress told baseball ‘police yourself or we will police you’. MLB adjusted their policies just enough to get out from under congress’ thumb. But I say it’s not enough and it’s time for congress to turn the screws a little more in the interest of the greater good. (OK, I don’t kid myself that the motivation would be to do something for the greater good. They’d obviously do it in a play to get more votes in their next election. But that’s good enough for me as long as it gets done.) Let’s get this thing taken care of once and for all so we can get back to what everyone wants to focus on: the game of baseball.

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