I have been a bit busy (OK, very busy), with little time to write, but David Pinto keeps on bringing up some very good points on the subject of the new drug testing agreement. So, stick with David for the time being, and I’ll get back on the stick in a little while.
Baseball Prospectus has two articles on the subject of the new testing agreement. Both are Premium content (get it here if you don’t have it already), one by Joe Sheehan, and one by the venerable Will Carroll. Both men are even-handed in their look at the testing agreement, noting that it is more of a public-relations ploy than an actual dramatic step forward.
I’ll just throw my two cents out there again, and say what I’ve been saying all along. Steroid use in baseball is nowhere near as prevalent as some of the major media outlets have been saying. If it were, there wouldn’t have been a revised agreement. That said, the pressure to avoid being the first player to fail a drug test, (and then be publicly exposed) will work fantastically. Few players would trade places with Jason Giambi right now, even with $86 million dollars left on his contract.
As for the agreement, without testing for (or even addressing) amphetamines at all, MLB and the Players Association underlined my point perfectly; their concern is directed at the ongoing media frenzy, and not at either the integrity of competition or the health of the players. Fine. The players, ignorantly, in my opinion, allowed themselves to put themselves in such a difficult situation. That’s their perogative. I wouldn’t have, but then again, who am I, anyway? ;-D
Update, Part II:
Tom Verducci and I are in agreement? Amazing, but true. Here’s Verducci’s on the new agreement. On the issue of amphetamines, he’s not as off-base as I’ve accused him of being in the past, although he does continue to lay it on a bit thick when he rants on and on about how many players he thinks use steroids. In today’s piece, he rebuts some of the nonsense out there, and then wraps it up with a strong case against ignoring speed.
PS…. Only Baseball Matters surpassed 300,000 hits sometime yesterday. Thanks to all of my readers, who have made this site one of the top baseball sites in the world, and thanks to all of my fellow writers, (especially David Pinto), who have supported, plugged, and promoted my work. I love doing this, and couldn’t be happier.