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Lip Man 1
03-14-2005, 01:52 AM
This may be of real interest...

Meet The Press- Baseball Hearings

I just got through watching Meet The Press which I had taped earlier in the day. The middle section, about 20 minutes, dealt with the upcoming Steroid / Baseball hearings.

Tim Russert had on both representatives who are in charge of the committee, Republican chair Tom Davis from Virginia and Democrat Henry Waxman from California. Frank Thomasí name and Curt Schilling names were not mentioned at all during the interview.

It was an interesting conversation.

Some general themes before some specific quotes.

I wouldnít want to screw with Davis. This guy seems tough as nails with a no BS attitude. Among the general comments made were:

1.That this is a national health issue thatís why the committee is holding hearings. Kids are dying because they feel to succeed in athletics they have to use steroids and that has to stop.

2.If baseball players / reps donít show up, they will be forced to. Subpoenas that arenít heeded will be turned over to the justice department for follow upís. In an extreme case arrests could be made and jail time issued.

3.This may only be the first hearing. If the committee doesnít get answers, they will call other people and hold other hearings.

4.The committee is extremely pissed off with MLB. They canít understand why ownership is fighting them on this, also Davis said MLB has until Monday noon to comply with the request to turn over a detailed explanation as to what the Ďnewí drug testing policy is. Davis said after two weeks MLB still hasnít given him an answer as to what the policy is, how it will work and what the effects will be. The committee doesnít think a ten day suspension is enough, they want the same policy for MLB (and the other pro sports) that the Olympics have...zero tolerance. One and youíre done.

5. Davis wants to know how someone like Steinbrenner can order no facial hair and beards on the Yankees and gets his way despite the CBA, but canít order no steroids, period. He wasnít singling out the Yankees but basically he said heís heard some owners have turned the other way to this issue. Said itís possible owners may be called in to testify at future hearings.

6. Insisted that if Bonds were called, the focus of the hearing would be lost, that it would be zeroing in on him and not the issue of steroids itself. (That sounded like a cop out to me...)

7. Waxman said this has been going on for ten years and MLB refused to do anything about it, thatís why the committee has to do something.

8. Davis said MLBís antitrust exemption isnít an issue yet, however he stated that in addition to anti trust regulation, MLB gets some tax breaks (i.e. depreciation of playerís value). Insinuated that if MLB doesnít cooperate the government could start looking into these tax issues.

Here is what I thought was the most interesting question of the interview. (These are direct quotes taken from reviewing the tape of the show...)

Russert: "Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Why are these two men being asked to attend the hearing?"

Davis: "Theyíve been named. Theyíve been accused by former colleagues (notice pleural) of having used drugs at this point...theyíve been publicly accused. They have set records and there is a wide spread feeling that maybe they cheated."

He was very direct, straight forward, no hedging. Also notice he made no distinction between McGwire and Sosa. This will be interesting. Iíll probably tape it on CSPAN and watch it late Thursday night after the NCAAís.

Lip

cubhater
03-14-2005, 06:15 AM
I still believe these hearings are mostly grandstanding and trying to look good in the public's eye by the pols. But I really hope they can force baseball and other sports to make REAL major changes to their steroid policies. Baseball and Selig won't clean their house unless pressured to do so.

Ol' No. 2
03-14-2005, 08:58 AM
My favorite:
5. Davis wants to know how someone like Steinbrenner can order no facial hair and beards on the Yankees and gets his way despite the CBA, but canít order no steroids, period. He wasnít singling out the Yankees but basically he said heís heard some owners have turned the other way to this issue. Said itís possible owners may be called in to testify at future hearings.I never thought about it before, but it's a very good question.

Flight #24
03-14-2005, 09:29 AM
My favorite:
I never thought about it before, but it's a very good question.


It's quite simple. Identifying long hair and facial hair doesn't require a "personal search". It's the same reason why police can arrest you for smoking a crack pipe out in the open, but if you're walking down the street looking like a regular person, they can't just search you, find one in your pocket, then arrest you. The congressmen are simply counting on the average person not to recognize that fact in their blathering.

If Big George can devise a way of visualy IDing steroid users, then MAYBE he can do something. But when it requires a blood/urine test, that's IIRC considered to be something requiring probable cause and a warrant (or a collectively bargained ability to do so).

On a side note: does anyone actually think that if owners wanted to conduct suchtests the MLBPA would let them get away with it? They'd be in court and sanctioned faster than Scotty Podsednik goes form 1st to 3d.

jdm2662
03-14-2005, 09:43 AM
Does anyone know what time the hearings start and will they be on CNN? I'd like to tape it. This has really caught my interest.
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