Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 13 Jul 05 08:44
Our next guest is sports writer Howard Bryant, who joins us to talk about his latest book, "Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball." Howard describes himself as "a leper." "I don't like to think of myself as such," he adds. "I'm just a guy who misses playing softball in Larkspur, CA with my friends. But Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball, told me if I wrote this book without blaming the players for baseball's drug problem, a leper is what I would be." Sports lawyer Stephanie Vardavas leads the conversation. Stephanie is on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyer Association (see her full bio at http://www.sportslaw.org/bodprofiles.cfm#sv) "More importantly," she says, "I have been on the Well for 11 years and cohost <weird.> (with mcow) and host <biz.>." Welcome, Howard and Stephanie. Glad to have you here!
Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Wed 13 Jul 05 12:33
Hey Cynthia, thanks for the warm welcome. And hey Howard! I am so looking forward to this interview. Ive really enjoyed the book (I am rereading whole chunks of it now) and once again MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS on the great notice in the NYT from Michiko Kakutani (no pushover she, as many have learned the hard way). Youve made me do a lot of thinking about the subjects you raise. And I do intend that as a plural. Steroids as an issue seems in some ways indivisible from other historic tensions and issues that have afflicted the game for generations. So I want to start with a set of higher level questions before we drill down into too much detail. Heres what Id like to you to talk about first: It is often said that Babe Ruth "saved baseball" after the Black Sox scandal in 1919. Ruth started out as a pitcher, of course, and a damned good one, but he will always be remembered for the home runs. Seventy-five years later, in 1994-95, baseball suffered an equally devastating setback in the form of the late season player strike, cancellation of the World Series, and the owners' desperate near-abandonment of the game to replacement players. This setback was followed by an era that seemed to portend renewed glory and relevance for baseball. You quote observers to the effect that "Cal Ripken saved baseball" but the story you tell is more complicated. It includes new ballparks but it also includes a new golden age of offense ... specifically, yes, home runs. As (ahem, someone) observed a few years ago, "Chicks dig the long ball." Truly, most fans love it. (The appreciation of a pitchers duel is a much more subtle thing.) Were the steroid-using players just giving the fans what they wanted? How much of the steroid use would you ascribe to (no pun intended) a kind of arms race among big league hitters? After all, they looked around and saw their opponents as well as their teammates getting bulkier and stronger every day. When you have a major league club literally handing out jars of creatine in the clubhouse, how are players to resist? Isn't power itself pretty appealing and addictive to all concerned? During the same period, as Don Fehr observed, didn't the United States generally become more of a pharmaceutical culture? Or would you say that the owners bear principal responsibility because they created the underlying business conditions that put baseball into a state from which it needed to be saved in the first place? Should we think about creatine the same way we think about the anabolics? What about "andro?" Isn't there plenty of "blame" to go around? Here we go ...
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Thu 14 Jul 05 08:19
Hi Stephanie! And thanks for the starting the first game with a 96-mph fastball. I'll see if I can catch up. First, there is plenty of blame to go around. I went into this project with one simple question to begin my reporting: "What were the reasons for the greatest era of offense in the modern era?" We all had heard theories: bigger players, smaller ballparks and strikezones, dreadful pitching talent, and the use of performance enhancers. What I wanted to know was how to put a value on each, of how to measure the effect of ballparks against better nutrition, etc... But what came as a result of the reporting was a story about power. The steroid element so overshadowed all of the other variables that real discussion of these other issues was virtually impossible, and that led me down the road of: "how did this happen, and who is responsible?" I began to zero in on the power struggle between _ surprise! _ Bud Selig and Donald Fehr. What I began to conclude as I continued the reporting was that the 1990s adopted a culture of bigness, where executives valued size and power at all positions (even ones that were traditionally defensive ones), and that the players recognized that this bigness, this need to produce power was what the game respected, evidenced by the big-money contracts.
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Thu 14 Jul 05 08:26
After reading more of Stephanie's questions, something else struck me as well: you mentioned the Black Sox scandal and the notion of "saving baseball." What I believed occurred during this time was that coming out of the 1994 strike the owners were so fearful of losing the public a second time that it did not police itself on this issue. The issue grew outside of the game's confines (just as in 1919), the government got involved (just as in 1919), and a scandal ensued. The DIFFERENCE, and it is significant, is that in 1919, the owners were convinced their financial fortunes rested on cleaning up the game from gamblers, from taint. During this decade, home runs flew, and more fans paid more than ever. The game was never more prosperous, more immediate, than during 1998-2001. This prosperity occurred just as the taint of steroids offended some of the great retired players and significant records fell. So my question in the book was this: "Which vision wins out?" Bud Selig says baseball is in the throes of a renaissance. Jim Bunning says the game is irreparably damaged. Can these two visions of the same period co-exist?
Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Fri 15 Jul 05 12:05
Well, I consider Jim Bunning to be irreparably damaged, but that's a whole other thing.
Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Fri 15 Jul 05 12:11
(Sorry to be flippant, well, only a little sorry, I guess.) Let's talk for a minute about some of those significant records that fell. Elsewhere on the Well (in the Sports conference or maybe the Media conference or maybe both, I don't recall) I have expressed a personal view that players proven to have used steroids during specific seasons should lose their stats from those seasons -- their records should not be allowed to stand. In my mind this is the best way to try to preserve the integrity of records. Others say, well, Player X was on greenies when he set that record in 1958, so why does it matter? I might rejoin, as nearly as I can tell, in 1958 EVERY player was on greenies, and greenies did not have the kind of disparate effect on hitters and pitchers that the steroids seemed to have. But maybe I'm just rationalizing?
RJ Johnson (rmj) Fri 15 Jul 05 14:15
May another Sports host pop in here for a minute? :-) Howard & Stephanie, I don't want to run this to a reductio ad absurdum argument, but where do we draw the line for punishing players for using items that weren't explicitly banned at that particular moment in history? Yes, steroids were banned but not nutritional supplements which was how androstenedione was being advertised. Do we take McGwire's 1998 stats out of the book if all that can be proved is that he was using items that weren't at-that-time outlawed. Howard: I'll state upfront that I'm in a union myself and I'm in disagreement with you somewhat about how the MLBPA should have stepped forward to submit for testing without reasonable individual suspicion. I think that curtailing civil liberties to address a public relations problem scares the hell out of me, not just in baseball but as a precedent for overall society. I'm not sure I have a question on this point right now, but I wanted to let you know where some of my biases lie.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 15 Jul 05 14:57
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Sam Delson (samiam) Fri 15 Jul 05 16:32
If I can jump in with another question, Howard, congratulations on a great book. It's nice to see a former colleague achieve a new level of excellence. Did you see the recent Real Sports report on HBO in which Armen Keteyian, who for years has reported on the dangers of steroids, took the contrarian view that steroids, when properly administered, can be used safely by adult males without major side effects? Keteyian said he was amazed to find that there are in fact no peer-reviewed scientific studies that document major health risks in steroid use for adult males (although dangers to youths and females have been better documented) and that there is no solid evidence that Lyle Alzado's death was linked to steroid use. Obviously the issues surrounding steroids in baseball include many other issues than health risks, and include concerns about the integrity of the game's records, but I found the HBO report surprising and wonder if you give it much credibility.
Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Sat 16 Jul 05 00:15
"When properly administered" ... any sense of what that means?
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 03:57
Hey everyone. Thanks for joining the discussion. Already, there is much to discuss. Hiya Sam! I think Stephanie's first question struck me directly: yes, there is plenty of blame to go around, and yes, power is *extremely* appealing, warping, frightening, etc...And also, yes, players have been trying to find what will give them an edge forever. But I don't believe this decade, with the powerful confluence of science and technology, has much of a precedent. I think because we're at a point in the game now where the leadership is running from its own creation, we can assume that "mistakes were made" at the executive level, many of which we can get into over the coming days. But <rmj>'s point is a good one. Spoke to Bob Costas yesterday about his HBO show, and the Armen Keteyian report that appeared on Real Sports and the question of "where do you draw the line" in terms of discipline is at issue. It is one of the reasons why Bud Selig is so against an investigation of the decade. "Okay, here's what we found. What do we do about it?" I think the thing that struck me most about the research is that Keteyian, to some degree, is correct. There is no irrefutable evidence that says with certainty what steroids or hGH will do to a 35-year old person. The lack of consensus in the medical community about these substances only clouds the debate-- but to a point. The ethical argument is different. John Hoberman, the U. of Texas professor who has written extraordinary books on the subject (Testosterone Dreams is his latest) believes this notion of "well, because we don't know for certain, we can do anything" is the most cynical form of smokescreen. To him, boundaries need to be established, at the very least, to move forward. What we DO know is that in people who are still producing hormone at a maximum level (ages 15-24, roughly), steroids and human growth hormone are lethal. This is indisputable. And the biggest area is in the brain. Richard Melloni, one of only four scientists funded by the NIH to study the effects of steroids on the brain likens the dynamic to a gas-brake mechanism. The gas is aggression. The brake tries to control it. The brake chemical is called seratonin. Anabolic steroids increase the power of the gas while simultaneously reducing the seratonin, which produces more than double the effect: the gas is revved while the brake is weakened. But what Melloni has been trying to appeal to people _ especially the athletes who say "I'll just use steroids for a while, then get off once I reach my goals" _ the gas/brake mechanism never returns to normal, even after steroid usage has ceased. The result is the creation of an altered brain, one very reactive to stress with a weakened ability to deal with it. This is the portion of the debate that never gets discussed. It was one of the more fascinating parts of the research as well.
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 04:04
<Vard>'s question as well, the Jose Canseco phrase of "when administered properly" is one that has stirred debate and the frustration of numerous scientists. This book first came to be during a series of articles I wrote in June 2003 for the Boston Herald called "A Tainted Era? Major League Baseball 1995-2002" Knowing what I know now, I cringe at it today, but the most interesting thing that came out of that series occurred the day after the steroids-hGH medical explanation story ran. I must have received 40 voice and e-mails about that story, and the overwhelming majority of the questions from readers were not of outrage, but "where can I get some of this stuff?" When it comes to anabolic steroids, there isn't a "proper way" to administer at all. Growth hormone is, as they say, another kettle of fish altogether, especially after at a science conference in Norway, a Finnish scientist declared in a research paper that growth hormone had no muscle-building value whatsoever.
RJ Johnson (rmj) Sat 16 Jul 05 11:27
Howard, one of the things that made the book a bit of a difficult read for me was the confluence and occasional conflation of several different perspectives: Medical: What are the physiological effects, short- and long-term of steroid, hGH, and other supplement use? Competition, point one: What effects do pharmaceutical measures have on the quality of the game? Competition, points two through N: what effects do new stadia, increased revenues, et al have on the quality of the game? Mediation: How does MLB ownership, the MLBPA, and the commissioner's office intervene *going forward* to address competetive and medical concerns? Moral Outrage: What can or should be done to address the supposed tainting of baseball's legacy that supposedly occured in the roughly past 10 years? IMO it is the last point that seems to skew meaningful discussion about the first three, much the same way that the bleatings of "We must protect the chilllldren!" skew discussions about drug and sexual education policy in the US. 85 years ago, baseball banned the spitball but I've not heard of anyone wanting to edit the records of Burleigh Grimes nor remove him from the Hall of Fame; so why the sudden rush to judgment on items that at the time they were being used were not legislated against by baseball?
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 15:17
All good questions, and I'll try to answer each in turn. 1) Medical: While there is great debate about the efficacy of hgh and androstenedione, the muscle producing effects of steroids and the recovery characteristics of creatine are well documented. Steroids enhance muscle, speed recovery from injuries, enhance quickness and torque. Creatine does not enhance muscle mass, but allows muscle to recover faster and sustain higher level of performance. It is produced in small amounts by the body. 2) Competition, part one: It is important to remember that there is no precedent for the addition of these drugs into the discussion. But clearly, these substances have a profound effect on the game because they allow for increased and better-sustained output. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is one of the ongoing arguments in cycling, where the question is "do you want to see a race at 5 mph or 15 mph? For the players, these substances are vital to play at peak performance, especially in an era of greater travel and more prohibitive schedules. The question has been posed in this way: what happens when the performance-enhancer becomes the performance-enabler. Competition, pt. 2 - Trying to understand the complexity of these confluences was the challenge of and the attraction to the book. Steroids were the sexy topic, but was it possible to place a value system on the effects of stadia, revenue, laser-eye surgery, etc..? What I think became clear was that a fair number of pitchers who would not be major-league quality in a previous era found themselves in the big leagues as a consequence of economic stratification. The effect on the quality of the game at the low end of the spectrum is clear. Listen the Oaklands, Kansas Citys and Pittsburghs of the world complain not necessarily about raw talent, but about depth and pitching depth. Those clubs can compete for a short time, be it a season, a few seasons or a couple of months during a season, but eventually, the inability to retain and attract talent diminishes the product. There have always been also-rans, naturally, but during this era, the number of 90-loss teams _ meaning the number of not just bad teams, but dreadful ones _ increased dramatically. On the high-end, one of the arguments inside the game is that the very rich clubs became, at least in the AL, less nuanced and more about power. The Yankees and Red Sox, especially, were star-laden teams. Stars are less-inclined to do the little things that made baseball more intricate. Money buys the biggest club. And the bashing began.
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 15:27
Mediation: I think this goes back to the point raised earlier. The owners have never articulated a clear strategy for moving forward, other than being convinced they don't want to look back. The players believe the conversation to be so layered that outside of testing, the rest of the game is merely evolution. What I enjoyed about the book was the pitchers' contention that everything they need to be successful has been taken from them, that every new element to the game has helped hitters. Tony Gwynn believes the mound should be raised back to the 1968 level. When Jim Rice retired in 1989, it was clear that his eyesight over the past three years had weakened. Bernie Williams had laser-eye surgery in 2000, I believe. What is to say that increased vision isn't more of an advantage than any type of supplement? <rmj> sounds nonbelieving about the "tainted era" question, and that's what I was trying to get at. I did come to one conclusion, however, and that was the lack of leadership vision gave the steroid issue much more weight than perhaps it deserved. The surrounding variables are equally, if not more, interesting.
RJ Johnson (rmj) Sat 16 Jul 05 16:00
I think the idea of a "tainted era" is a pointless one. Did a player or players use substances that were at the time banned by baseball? If the answer is a provable "yes" then you move on to the penalty phase against the player(s) found in viloation. If the answer is "not a provable yes" then drop it and move on. The notion of "Baseball as an inviolate, invariable ideal" is what is flawed. Gloves and bats are better now than they were 30, 40, 80 years ago: does that make our era tainted or the earlier ones? Societal norms have changed so that athletes of all races can participate in the sport; does that make pre-integration baseball a tainted era? Gay men cannot be out and play at the professional level; does that make all of baseball history tainted? I do agree with you that the management of MLB, starting with Bud Selig and working down, has not shown much if any leadership on these issues. I wouldn't object to them saying, "We can't go backward in time, so let us look at what we can do now and going forward." Howard, if you were the commissioner of baseball, how would you address the situation?
Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Sat 16 Jul 05 16:37
And, Howard, let's talk a little bit about the terrible tensions and conflicts between labor and ownership in baseball that fed this problem. Obviously both sides were in denial for a long time, and that served their mutual interest. In a way the best thing that could happen to both sides would have been federal legislation -- because this whole issue would have been off the table for bargaining.
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 17:37
<rmj>, I couldn't disagree with you more that because substances weren't banned specifically by baseball that there was no violation. Steroids are a schedule III drug, no different from heroin or cocaine. Because baseball chose not to act on information it had or was readily available is exactly the reasons for considering the era to be tainted. Nor will I dismiss the strong feelings of the players who came before, who believe that something has been lost, not necessarily by the changes in the game, but by the leadership's refusal to confront one issue specifically: the use of illegal muscle-building drugs. That is an argument that is inconsistent with history, and the commissioner's "best interest of baseball" powers And what do you mean by a "provable yes?" It is clear if you polled 1000 major-leaguers who played between 1994-2002 they would tell you steroids were a significant fact of their lives. in 2002, 79 percent of big leaguers said they felt pressure to use performance-enhancers to compete. Bud Selig knew in December 2001 that of 2,000 minor leaguers tested, nearly 430 players tested positive for steroids. It stands to reason that some of those players made the big leagues. I think the notion of a "tainted era" stems from inaction, not "prove-ability" We'll never know the pervasiveness of steroids because they did not try and find out. That's the point. I could see if investigation proved inconclusive. That's one thing. Actively refusing to look is another.
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 17:49
Hey <vard>. At the center of this story is power. And you're right. Denial served interests on both sides. Murray Chass, the HOF journalist for the NYT believed the entire mechanism was flawed. It reminded him of the drug trials of the 1980s. There was no way the owners would rat out their own players. It was a better risk, he said, to hope either no one found out or that the public forgave and forgot. A crusading organization would take money from its own pocket and put itself at a competitive disadvantage if players were distrustful of the front office. Word would get out, and free agents might not want to go there. At one point during the research, I called Bud Selig to ask him some questions. He said, "What frustrates me is that we get blamed for everything but couldn't the Union for once put the game ahead of its agenda?" I relayed this to a few Union people and they cited historical grievance. "Look at what happens every time we give in. in '85 we gave them a year on arbitration. What did they do? Collusion." The union issues were clear: They did not trust baseball to not screw them on testing. How would they know that an organization would test for what they said they'd test for? The tests would be independent, but the union still didn't buy it. How did the players know that testing wouldn't be abused during contract time or when an organization wanted to get rid of a player? There was so much mistrust between the two sides on a thousand issues, many of which dated back to the '60s, and the original fights. The prevailing attitude was that as long as Fehr and Selig were in charge, nothing meaningful would ever get done. A union official just called me a couple of months ago with a similar grievance. Remember that Saturday in April when Bud announced he wanted to impose 50-and-100 game penalties for steroids? Well, the Union was frosted because that memo was supposed to go to the Union for consideration. Instead, it went public, backing the Union into a public relations corner. A union lawyer told me, "This is the kind of shit they've been doing for 40 years."
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 19:42
After reading your last point about the government getting involved as a remedy for the infighting, it actually seems to have created more problems, as the MLBPA is of the mind that Bud's reversal from "we don't have a problem" to "We can handle our problems in-house" to "I'm for whatever the government says" as potentially undermining a new agreement.
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 16 Jul 05 20:37
What I would do as commissioner is a funny question. After the Canseco book was released this past February, I appeared on "60 Minutes" with Mike Wallace. The next day, I received a phone call from the Commissioner's Office. One of his representatives was livid, suggesting I did not know anything. I told him I would investigate. If baseball could spend $3 million on Pete Rose, finding out the depth of the steroid problem _ to finally have some answers _ was worth the investment. Then I was asked, "Well, how would *you* proceed?" I don't think anyone wants or needs the Kefauver hearings. I do think people want the Commissioner's Office to investigate, if not individual players, then the depth of the problem. They would have to interview trainers instead of threatening them with fines for talking, as Bud Selig did ($10,000). They would have to talk to the traveling secretaries, who know where the bodies are buried. They are the ones who fly in the families, friends, entourages and mistresses. I think the reasonable goal would be whether it is possible to glean enough information to determine whether or not the notion of a "tainted era" is indeed pointless. Right now, I think there are so many questions and not enough answers. But that doesn't mean there are no consequences to this miasma. Hank Aaron is disillusioned. So is Reggie Jackson. Willie Mays has been silent, Mark McGwire disgraced. I think there should be some form of factual basis to begin closure, because right now, other than the accountants, people don't feel particularly good about celebrating 1998 anymore, or Barry Bonds today. That said, what do you do if you conclude that there was sufficient evidence of a rampant steroid problem? Good one. I think the asterisk is unsatisfactory, but I think the NCAA Tournament-style expunging is harsh as well. If there is no middle ground, I might choose the latter, but doing so discounts the other extremely important variables of the decade that I look forward to talking about.
Chip Bayers (hotwired) Sat 16 Jul 05 20:40
The "players who came before," at least those who played in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, were either scarfing down amphetamines by the handful, or looking the other way while their teammates did. Their outrage over a new generation's performance-enhancing drug use sure rings hollow to me. Also, a number of the players named this year as testing positive have been pitchers. If hitters who used steroids as part of a strength-training regiment are hitting homers off pitchers using steroids as part of a strength-training regimen, who has the "unfair" advantage, if there even is one?
RJ Johnson (rmj) Sun 17 Jul 05 02:21
Howard, can I get a clarification on which items were banned by law and which items were banned by baseball along with when each item was outlawed or banned? 'And what do you mean by a "provable yes?"' Something substantive enough to pass muster in a court of law given that should owners or the commissioner's office seek to limit a player's earning ability the matter would most likely wind up in a lawsuit. 'It is clear if you polled 1000 major-leaguers who played between 1994-2002 they would tell you steroids were a significant fact of their lives.' Has such a study been done? If so, could you post a link to it; I'd love to read it. Again, I have no quibble with proceeding from a set methodology and actively investigating the present (which baseball seems to have begun this year), I just have yet to see a methodology laid out for meaningfully investigating the past. Until such a method exists, I'm unwilling to pre-emptively label a period and the players within it "tainted." I still have a fondness for "innocent until proven guilty" and not the other way around.
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sun 17 Jul 05 22:25
I too have a fondness for innocent until proven guilty, but that's not the point with baseball. The point is that the sport hasn't been willing to have a trial. Let's back up for a second. I went into this book project without preconceived notions. I have never been convinced that steroids were the reason for the decade of offense nor that eliminatinig them from the game would provide the answers. The quest in the project was to find out about the varying reasons for the uniqueness of this period. What ensued was a fascinating discussion with people who know more and have forgotten more about major league baseball than all of us combined. Some of the best discussion, which I hope we will be able to get to over the coming days, was about the fundamental attitude by baseball executives toward the sport, such as Sandy Alderson's contention that during the 1980s, executives stopped looking for baseball players to fit traditional positions in favor of bigger, offensive-minded players to fit *every* position. He does not believe that an Ozzie Smith or Luis Aparicio today would even have a chance to be a Hall of Fame player becauase they don't hit enough. I very much enjoyed listening to pitchers talk about how they believe that everything they need to be successful, in this era of offense, has been taken away from them. Bill James and I had very spirited discussions about the decade from a valuation standpoint: how do you place values on each of the disparate variables that created the decade, from steroids, to parks, to drafting 6-3, 210-pound Alex Rodriguezes to play SS instead of 3B or LF? But then something happened: as the steroid question became more pronounced, it appeared that it was not possible to have that sort of reasoned baseball discussion. Steroids overshadowed these different, possibly more important variables. The book became a story or leadership and how a powerful industry failed to confront its greatest crisis. The reason why there is such difficulty in answering many of these questions is because the sport never chose to find out the answers when the opportunity was present. I don't think that the sport is tainted because there is definitive data that says so. The sport is tainted because of the degree of uncertainty, much of it due to a deliberate lack of desire to construct the kind of mechanisms that could answer the questions being raised here. That's the story. Along the way, you find out why. You find out that the players and owners did not trust one another to even begin dialogue. You find out that things are complicated. <hotwired> brought up amphetamines, a great issue and example of the varying viewpoints I tried to convey. To a lot of players, Greenies aren't performance-enhancing at all, but are enablers. They believe the sport could wipe out Greenies immediately by reducing the hardship of travel and the schedule: too many day games after night. Too many night games on the West Coast following an East Coast trip. Too many days in a row without off days. Too many night games in spring training, etc... The players make the distinction between steroids and amphetamines, which is why the older guys grouse about roids while having taken greenies. That's part of the discussion. You find out that there are conflicting visions of the decade. Bud Selig refers to it as a "renaissance." I refer to it in the book as "Bud Selig's Renaissance." Is it possible to have a renaissance at the same time great HOF players say the game is tainted, Congress is breathing down your neck and the game's greatest players must defend their achievements? <Has such a study been done? If so, could you post a link to it; I'd love to read it.> We all would, <rmj>. The closest thing was the USA Today study in 2002. I have it in my archives. But it, too, is flawed because it came from an outside source, not from baseball. But it does speak to the culture of the times: players felt pressure to perform. They believed that the game respected power and were willing to compensate for it. And they were right.
Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Sun 17 Jul 05 23:59
<scribbled by vard Mon 18 Jul 05 10:26>
Chip Bayers (hotwired) Mon 18 Jul 05 09:41
Federal legislation to do what? Mandate drug testing? Weaken the 4th Amendment for everybody because there's too much antagonism between labor and management in a particular entertainment industry?
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