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KingXerxes
06-19-2002, 08:45 AM
In front of Congress yesterday, Donald Fehr utters this soon to be immortal phrase regarding mandatory steroid testing and his opposition to it:

"(The Players Union) always believed that one should not, absent compelling safety considerations, invade the privacy of someone without a substantial reason"

DID HE SAY INVADE THE PRIVACY OF SOMEONE??????

This coming from the guy who demands every waking moment that the owners "open their books" (which keep in mind are every bit as private as a Paul Konerko urine test) so he can continue to demand more compensation.

This guy is a hypocrite to an unfathomable degree.

DrWatson27
06-19-2002, 09:13 AM
This is the reason baseball is so f**ked up and the players are going to strike. He wants everything for the players and is unwilling to compromise on anything.

On the bright side Fehr is getting older and is overweight we can only hope he has a heartattack soon!

PaleHoseGeorge
06-19-2002, 09:24 AM
That's a poor analogy. No privately-held company is ever required to open their books, unless there are mitigating circumstances. The most obvious mitigating circumstance is when that company is claiming financial distress during the course of collective bargaining with a certified bargaining agent.

Besides that, U.S. labor law requires them to open their books IF they are making such a claim.

As for steroid use, there use is illegal except with a physician's supervision. However, hundreds of thousands of job seekers must pass a drug screening as a condition of employment. As long as the test is work-related (generally accepted by the courts as providing a safe work environment), it's not illegal for the employer to require it.

It's not against the law for Fehr to assert a right of privacy. However, it's poor public relations to assert they won't accept testing. I don't believe that was ever the issue for the MLBPA. They had a problem with the random and specious nature of MLB's enforcement of the old policy. A judge agreed with them, and baseball hasn't had an effective drug enforcement policy ever since.

Are you surprised the owners managed to screw this up?

Dadawg_77
06-19-2002, 09:58 AM
Actually the books are open to the players, just unlike the last time, the owners made the players sign a agreement to prevent them from leaking the info.

I think drug testing is a wate of money, but that is an issue for the parking lot.

Fehr's job is to get the best deal for the players, that is it. While this is maybe bad PR, Fehr is basically taking this stance in order to win something from the owners in the final CBA. That is the compromise which will hopefully take place.

PaleHoseGeorge
06-19-2002, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Actually the books are open to the players, just unlike the last time, the owners made the players sign a agreement to prevent them from leaking the info....

Actually, the players were provided a set of financial summary reports by the owners. The union has been very careful not to disparage these numbers for fear they would poison the negotiations regarding the CBA. Fehr was very guarded in his comments in front of the Congressional sub-committee last December.

OTOH, the congressmen on the committee weren't nearly as charitable. There was open talk of charging Selig with perjury for misleading statements he made about the complete picture the numbers clearly did not reflect.

The day the players begin publicly challenging the validity of the owners' numbers is the day you can be sure the MLBPA is not interested in reaching a negotiated settlement. Thankfully, we haven't reached that point yet.

KingXerxes
06-19-2002, 11:25 AM
This just in, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds attribute their recent home run success to their "very private" nature.

PHG - Do you seriously think that mandatory steroid testing is not justified in sports because there are no mitigating circumstances?

The manifest reason for testing is that the sport is a physical activity by it's very nature - and any illegal enhancements should be rooted out. The mitigating circumstances are inherent in the activity.

To take Fehr's claim of privacy seriously is an affront to his (and anyone else's) intelligence.

PHG - We've got our differences on the financial shape of this game, and why it's so seemingly out of balance, but how can you seriously lay steroid use (or the MLBPA's refusal to submit to testing) at the feet of the owners?

KingXerxes
06-19-2002, 11:46 AM
As far as charges of perjury go toward Bud Selig - in no way were those Washington blowhards doing any more than grandstanding - which is what they do best.

The comparison that keeps getting drawn is the Baseball Owners Study vs. Forbes. Let's say that the owners tainted their numbers to make their case in a reckless fashion, and let's accept the Forbes numbers as a Gospel Truth (while in reality the actual truth probably lies somewhere in between). Forbes stated that about ten teams or so are losing money, and that on the average a team makes $3 million. Accepting the Forbes study as an undeniable fact still tells me that the average baseball team makes 12% of what Alex Rodriguez makes. The game is way out of balance financially.

I am not trying to re-ignite an old - and beaten to death subject - but I simply don't think charges of bringing Bud Selig up on perjury are rooted in anything but the mind of some Congressional hacks.

PaleHoseGeorge
06-19-2002, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
PHG - Do you seriously think that mandatory steroid testing is not justified in sports because there are no mitigating circumstances?

In a word, "No." To the contrary, I believe the MLB owners could put in place a set of drug testing procedures and win their case in court. Until Canseco and Caminiti put the issue in the public spotlight, the owners preferred to ignore the problem and pursue other more profitable interests--blackmailing cities for new stadiums and rolling back union gains, as two examples.

Originally posted by KingXerxes
The manifest reason for testing is that the sport is a physical activity by it's very nature - and any illegal enhancements should be rooted out. The mitigating circumstances are inherent in the activity.

Which, more or less, is precisely why the owners could expect to win any court decision involving their responsiblity to provide a safe work environment over the players' assertion of privacy.

Originally posted by KingXerxes
To take Fehr's claim of privacy seriously is an affront to his (and anyone else's) intelligence.

PHG - We've got our differences on the financial shape of this game, and why it's so seemingly out of balance, but how can you seriously lay steroid use (or the MLBPA's refusal to submit to testing) at the feet of the owners?

If you go back and read what Fehr actually said, the notion of drug testing isn't what the union is against. What the union is fighting over is the specter of ballplayers being publicly "smeared". This is an especially large concern given legal status of over-the-counter supplements that can give false positives for illegal steroids.

Isn't that what "privacy" is all about? Fehr specifically said, "No one cares more about the game and the health of the players."

I think you're reading something into the MLBPA's stance that has not been articulated by the union's chief.

PaleHoseGeorge
06-19-2002, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
As far as charges of perjury go toward Bud Selig - in no way were those Washington blowhards doing any more than grandstanding - which is what they do best.

The comparison that keeps getting drawn is the Baseball Owners Study vs. Forbes. Let's say that the owners tainted their numbers to make their case in a reckless fashion, and let's accept the Forbes numbers as a Gospel Truth (while in reality the actual truth probably lies somewhere in between). Forbes stated that about ten teams or so are losing money, and that on the average a team makes $3 million. Accepting the Forbes study as an undeniable fact still tells me that the average baseball team makes 12% of what Alex Rodriguez makes. The game is way out of balance financially.

I am not trying to re-ignite an old - and beaten to death subject - but I simply don't think charges of bringing Bud Selig up on perjury are rooted in anything but the mind of some Congressional hacks.

Say what you want about Congress. Here's something you can take to the bank: if there is a strike, Bud Selig will be served a congressional subpeona.

As for how he fairs in his next appointment in front of that sub-committee, he can only go up--not unlike his Brewers in the N.L. Central.

Dadawg_77
06-19-2002, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
This just in, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds attribute their recent home run success to their "very private" nature.

PHG - Do you seriously think that mandatory steroid testing is not justified in sports because there are no mitigating circumstances?

The manifest reason for testing is that the sport is a physical activity by it's very nature - and any illegal enhancements should be rooted out. The mitigating circumstances are inherent in the activity.

To take Fehr's claim of privacy seriously is an affront to his (and anyone else's) intelligence.

PHG - We've got our differences on the financial shape of this game, and why it's so seemingly out of balance, but how can you seriously lay steroid use (or the MLBPA's refusal to submit to testing) at the feet of the owners?

The MLBPA isn't going to give up anything for nothing. And drug testing does invade a person privacy, and it is a concern.

Also who is to say the owners want to eliminate drug use. While you could argue that reducing steroid use would lower hitting stats, which would result in lower salaries. One could argue that since the league offensive stats went down as a whole, a person stats (which salaries are based on) would be relatively the same thus command the same salary. But revenue would go down since people (casual fans) would be less into the game without the inflated offensive stats. Thus the owners would make less money. Is it the MLB job to protect the players from harmful substances? or is the MLB responsible for creating environment which money and competition for it, can drive people to take harmful substances?

Randar68
06-19-2002, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Is it the MLB job to protect the players from harmful substances? or is the MLB responsible for creating environment which money and competition for it, can drive people to take harmful substances?

No, but I would argue that it's the MLB and MLBPA's job to ensure players don't have to risk their health or potentially lives just to compete with an ever-growing population of cheating juicers.

voodoochile
06-19-2002, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77


The MLBPA isn't going to give up anything for nothing. And drug testing does invade a person privacy, and it is a concern.

Also who is to say the owners want to eliminate drug use. While you could argue that reducing steroid use would lower hitting stats, which would result in lower salaries. One could argue that since the league offensive stats went down as a whole, a person stats (which salaries are based on) would be relatively the same thus command the same salary. But revenue would go down since people (casual fans) would be less into the game without the inflated offensive stats. Thus the owners would make less money. Is it the MLB job to protect the players from harmful substances? or is the MLB responsible for creating environment which money and competition for it, can drive people to take harmful substances?

The courts have consistently sided with employers on the issue of drug testing. That is really all that matters. Every other sport outlaws the use of steroids. Football even tells us who the transgressors are. It would NOT be difficult to implement this policy and stick with it. I am not surprised the players are against testing. If the estimates are correct on how many of them are using, it will blow the lid off the records created recently and will be a huge black eye to the game. Also, as you pointed out, salaries would go down. The game might be injured in the short run, but in the long run it would be fine. Sad to say that I think MLB baseball is dying anyway. The current group of owners and players will kill it at their present pace...

Paulwny
06-19-2002, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile

The courts have consistently sided with employers on the issue of drug testing. That is really all that matters.

The testing the courts have sided with concern salaried employees. Unionized employees, unless there are immediate safety issues, cannot be tested unless it's in the contract.

voodoochile
06-19-2002, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny


The testing the courts have sided with concern salaried employees. Unionized employees, unless there are immediate safety issues, cannot be tested unless it's in the contract.

There is testing in the NBA AND the NFL. I'd bet there is testing in several other major unions. I guess that means the employees agreed to it. If so, why is Fehr making an idiot out of himself in Washington with this "invasion of privacy" crap? He is just making it more public and will end up making the players look even worse when/if they don't agree to testing.

Donald should shut his mouth and try to keep this issue as quiet as possible while they negotiate. By talking about it in public, he is not doing his charges any favor. If they are against testing, the players should tell that to the owners quietly and say, "It is off the table, period. Now shut up and negotiate the rest of it, and don't tell the press we said this, or you are in for a long fight."

Will the press coverage go away? No, but it could be lessened by people keeping their mouths shut. The owners have come out in favor of testing. The only way for the players to keep their "stats in a bottle" is to try and lessen the furor. Does anyone think the average Joe Blow wants to hear the players whine about "invasion of privacy" over steroid testing when that same average Joe Blow can't smoke a joint once a week and keep his job?

Daver
06-19-2002, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny


The testing the courts have sided with concern salaried employees. Unionized employees, unless there are immediate safety issues, cannot be tested unless it's in the contract.

Every major trade union in the Chicago area has a mandatory drug test that must be passed before you can be accepted as an apprentice.

Paulwny
06-19-2002, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile

There is testing in the NBA AND the NFL. I'd bet there is testing in several other major unions. I guess that means the employees agreed to it. If so, why is Fehr making an idiot out of himself in Washington with this "invasion of privacy" crap? He is just making it more public and will end up making the players look even worse when/if they don't agree to testing.


Very true, major unions have taken a few extra $$ from companies for their members. Sine the vast majority of people don't do drugs they gladly voted for drug testing in exchange for $$. The player's union really looks stupid in this instance.

Dadawg_77
06-19-2002, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny


Very true, major unions have taken a few extra $$ from companies for their members. Sine the vast majority of people don't do drugs they gladly voted for drug testing in exchange for $$. The player's union really looks stupid in this instance.

There is the key, the unions say no till the company ponies up and says alright we do drug testing and you'll get this. That is what Fehr is doing. But drug testing is still a waste of shareholders money, but thats for the prking lot.

Paulwny
06-19-2002, 02:23 PM
As I side note, I had heard that companies who drug test employees receive a discount from their insurance carrier since the company has created a saver work environment. It's a win, win situation for the company and the employees who don't use drugs.

DVG
06-19-2002, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


he can only go up--not unlike his Brewers in the N.L. Central.

I prefer to call them "The team formally known as the Seattle
Pilots."

ISUSoxfan
06-19-2002, 06:35 PM
Any player who is not taking illegal performance inhancing substances should want mandatory random testing for them. Players who are on the juice are putting up better stats and making money that would otherwise be paid to the drug-free players. There are probably instances where average players have been unable to make the major leagues because they were passed up by a lesser players who improved their power numbers by taking illegal substances.

The strong stand that Fehr is taking in support of steroid using players means one of two things. Either more than 50% of the players are using illegal substances or Fehr is terribly misrepresenting the majority of players and fighting against their best interest.

Daver
06-19-2002, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by ISUSoxfan
Any player who is not taking illegal performance inhancing substances should want mandatory random testing for them. Players who are on the juice are putting up better stats and making money that would otherwise be paid to the drug-free players. There are probably instances where average players have been unable to make the major leagues because they were passed up by a lesser players who improved their power numbers by taking illegal substances.

The strong stand that Fehr is taking in support of steroid using players means one of two things. Either more than 50% of the players are using illegal substances or Fehr is terribly misrepresenting the majority of players and fighting against their best interest.

He is not fighting against testing per se,he is making a point that the only way the players would agree to it if there is a way for it to be discreetly enforced.The last thing he wants to see is player's getting persecuted in the media for failing a drug test,whether it be for steroids or anything else.

That and he can always turn it around and say the player's will accept testing as a concession in the bargaining process,this guy never misses a trick.