Only Baseball Matters
…. 1984

I’m trying to find a way to include a 1984 reference to the start of this piece, but I can’t seem to get my mind around the words….. *sigh*

The Sports Law Blog has been one of my favorite sites since it’s inception. Greg Skidmore has added several writers over the last year or so, and the site has seen no drop-off in quality. That said, this morning’s piece, an open letter to Bud Selig by Rich Karker, is simply mind-boggling. Here’s a taste:

…. Maybe you could consider how the FBI catches people who lie and cheat — they use lie detector tests. For example, the FBI is now administering polygraph tests to hundreds of state and local police officers assigned to terrorism task forces across the country as part of a new effort to battle espionage and unauthorized information leaks. As one particular FBI director noted, “There is no more powerful tool in our tool bag than lie-detector tests.”

Now, I know what you are thinking: Drug testing and discipline is clearly a “mandatory” subject as defined in the National Labor Relations Act (i.e. “wages, hours and conditions of employment”) that requires you to negotiate with the union because it pertains to conditions of employment. So how do you get the union to agree to polygraph testing with respect to performance-enhancing substances (including gene therapies, surgeries, etc.)?

Lie detector tests! Lie detector tests?

I can’t even begin to imagine the hell we’re heading towards in this country, this world, if we’re at the point where we’ve got lawyers advocating random lie detector tests for professional athletes. Really, I’m flabbergasted. Random lie detector tests.

Here’s a competely different take:

Let baseball players do whatever the fuck they want!!! It’s Barry Bonds’ life. If he wants to risk his health to push the envelope as far as humanly possible, WHO CARES!!! How is it your business, or mine? Even more to the point, why aren’t we celebrating his willingness to do everything he possibly can to get the most out of his ability and his career, to be the most effective athlete he can possibly be for his team and the city that follows them? We celebrate virtually anyone else doing the exact same thing in virtually any other endeavor. But not in sports.

How could it possibly have gotten this far down this trail of insanity? How can it have become so blown out of proportion? If a professional athlete uses a hormone or a gene therapy or a steroid to play a game, how could it possibly matter this much?

Lie detector tests.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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