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Baseball’s Steroids Policy Still Needs Fixing; Orza, Fehr, Selig Should Be Fired

I look around at track and field and see that athletes who test positive for banned substances get eight-year bans like Justin Gatlin. I see that in cycling Floyd Landis is returning to action after a two-year ban for failing a doping test. But in baseball, I see that my hometown team, the Dodgers, have signed reliever Guillermo Mota who was suspended the first 50 games of the ’07 season for PED use. Just what I want to do, go to the ballpark to watch this guy come out of the pen, still making the good money and taking a roster spot away from someone who may have reached that level cleanly.

Thank goodness for Jose Canseco blowing the lid off the issue which forced the government to get involved otherwise we might still be back in the Texas Roid Rangers days. The Mitchell Report may have been a step in the right direction but it’s not good enough. The glaring issue to me is that the penalty for using performance-enhancing drugs is still too weak. While my feelings on A-Fraud may never change, my questions about the game can at least be mitigated if there were harsher penalties in place for users. 50 games for first-time violaters doesn’t give me the peace of mind knowing that roids and other PEDs are out of the game. A two-year suspension from the game — something that truly hurts the livelihood of a player — for first-time violaters is what I’m talking about. After that, I want a lifetime ban for any repeat offenders.

There’s no way these penalties and changes will be made as long as Donald Fehr and Gene Orza are still running the player’s union. Because of those two clowns and all the player’s union reps, we never had testing in the game and there were never suspensions handed down on players. I want blood tests, I want regular drug tests, and I want lifetime bans. I also want Fehr gone as he’s created the presumption of guilt until proven innocent amongst players from the “steroid era” because he wouldn’t allow testing. And I’ll be damned if Gene Orza isn’t fired for tipping off star players to when the drug tests were coming. How much of a creep can you be? Bud Selig may have had his hands tied by the union for the most part, but he was still leading baseball in all of this and should go down with it. Plus, I’ve already detailed plenty of reasons why he should be fired.

If you’re O.K. with baseball the way it is, still full of questions about player performance as it relates to PEDs, then keep supporting the game. If you’d like it to get cleaned up, and let’s be real — the system we have in place isn’t half of what it should be — then you should be outraged. I demand change!

Dodgers, Padres, Baseball, in China?

I wasn’t too happy about the NFL going to London, and I’m not too fond of the NBA globalization efforts. Pretty soon our sports won’t even be our sports, if the current league execs have their ways. Why? Globalization gives the owners and leagues more opportunity to generate revenue. And with that, we lose home games to watch and get thought of as being less important in the eyes of clubs. This all brings me to the announcement that the Dodgers and Padres will play an exhibition game in China. Everyone wants to crack the Chinese market, but thankfully it appears as if baseball there won’t work. “Explaining the rules is hard enough in the USA to people who are new,” Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said at a news conference here Thursday. “You have to be able to witness the game.” My favorite comment however, was this as a selling point for baseball in China:

Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the MLB Players Assn., was more blunt on the subject of Asian physique.

“We’ve got to tell these children, ‘You’re not going to grow to be a basketball player. You’re too short. Try baseball,’ ” he said.

I’m sure that’s exactly what they want to hear. Gene Orza always good for a chuckle. Good thing baseball hasn’t exactly caught on over there, you know, being thought of as a counter-revolutionary sport and all. There’s one, and only one thing that could be useful about baseball in China: there’s 1.3 billion arms over there — certainly one of them has to have a better arm than the likes of Brett Tomko, right?