Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The New York Times on steroids: cheating drug-abusing millionaire baseball players should be above the law.

The New York Times' explains why baseball is the only major professional sport without a serious drug testing program: it's the government's fault...
... the United States attorney's office seized the urine samples from the drug tests that major league players took last year.

If not for that, the union would most likely have agreed to a new testing program long before grand jury testimony was leaked last week, prompting McCain to call for stiffer testing...
... ace sports reporter Murray Chass tells us. Though he doesn't give any source for this claim.

Does anyone want to guess that it might be somebody in the players' union, which has been taking the heat from Sen. McCain, the press, the fans, and its own non-steroid-using members over its obstinacy in refusing to accept drug testing?

As for the how the union would have agreed to drug testing but for the government's actions, sure, I believe that. Anyone who follows baseball knows how the players' union habitually rolls over for management. But what was its reason for refusing to go along with drug testing before the government's actions?

Mr. Chass continues, offering up a novel legal innovation...

Confidentiality is the key to the players' acceptance of any program, and they feel that the government's action violated the promise of confidentiality, as well as anonymity...
What a great idea. Private parties can contract between themselves to bar the government from obtaining and using any evidence they may possess of criminal activities.

So I can contract to provide services to you, and you can insist that I be audited to assure I act in an honest and legal manner and as per all the details of our agreement. And I can respond sure, provided we agree that if it turns out I am, say, participating in illegal drug transactions, the grand jury and DA will be barred by our agreement from obtaining and using any evidence of it that the audit turns up. It'll just be between you and me. My drug-dealer friends and associates really shouldn't be bothered.

Confidentiality is important in business, after all. Deal? Done!

Why didn't Enron and Arthur Andersen draw up a contract like this? They should have had the players union's lawyer ... and its PR guy, to deal with the Times.

See, he'd say, cheating, drug abusing, lying, millionaire baseball players are victims of the "grandstanding" Sen. McCain and the government. "The Times is always looking for victims, that's how you spin it!"