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WSI News - News Watch

Baseball's new steroid policy, no mention of Sox' role

filed by George Bova

January 13,2005

Major League Baseball announced today a new policy for testing ballplayers for muscle-building steroids and for punishing offenders.  Tellingly, they won't be testing for or punishing ballplayers using amphetamines or uppers, the widely-used "greenie" pills Astros pitcher Jim Bouton first brought to public light in his seminal 1970 baseball tell-all book Ball Four.  We're sure he's chuckling to himself about this.  Apparently any drug is okay if enough ballplayers are already using them, at least as far as the players' union is concerned.

Absent from any of coverage of the news at the Cubune was the role the White Sox clubhouse played in bringing about steroid testing.  It was spring training 2002 in Tucson where a large number of Sox ballplayers (the reported ringleader being Frank Thomas) refused to take the anonymously-administered test automatically adding to the number of  "positive" results that tripped further steps in implementing the policies that until now were in place for all of MLB. 

It's a unique angle because it was a Chicago ballclub that started this revolt against the owners, the union chiefs, and the dirty ballplayers who would hide their steroid use.  And it wasn't until the Balco scandal implicated the greatest home run hitter in the modern game and a former American League MVP winner that baseball took the steps taken today.

Yep, it started in Chicago... on the South Side.  And now you know why the Cubune didn't think it worthy of covering.  What excuse can we make for the rest of the Chicago sports media, too?

Have a thought about this
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