OLBERMANN Says New MLB Drug Testing
Misses the Mark
Say what you will about Keith Olbermann, there's one guy who actually read the new Major League Baseball (MLB) drug testing rules, unlike most of the reporting media, and didn't hesitate to tell 'This Week's George Stephanopolous March 30 why the new rules will do nothing to reduce drug use in baseball - similar to what this column said yesterday (see previous post below).
Olbermann is the only sports commentator to date, to our knowledge, to have come out against the tests, again, for much the same reason as we pointed out (below) yesterday: THE ISSUE IS NOT THE LENGTH OF PENALTY BUT FAILING TO PUT IN PLACE A TEST THAT WILL CATCH USERS OF CERTAIN PREVALENT DRUGS, IN THE FIRST PLACE. You can make the penalty any length and it won't help. Sure, it looks good on paper to the average person, not
really observant or paying attention.
Olbermann notes - the video from the news show has yet to be posted on the internet -
that the 19 players caught up in the Biogenesis indictments last year did NOT result from testing but came about only because of an informant, as we also previously noted, below.
The new drug policy does nothing to change the test for catching players using the new synthetic testosterone and other to now undetectable drugs, according to the provisions noted in the Hardball.com quote, below (Hardball is the only source to have actually outlined the new drug policy, in full - and even they failed to note the folly in the policy)
According to Oberman, the Biogenesis convictions actually work against the Commissioner, who claims baseball has 'cleaned up' the use of drugs, pointing out
1) that players are still using PEDs
2) that players are 'beating' the current drug tests (at least for the most prevalent drug, testosterone, for which the tests were not changed, to our understanding, from the Hardball information
It's a pretty clear cut matter to which even the top sports critics have either turned a blind eye
or simply aren't paying attention / doing their job. Even before the new testing measures were announced you had writers like Huffington Post's Len Berman claiming, in regards to the then-prospective new policies,
'This is huge...They'll also increase their efforts to detect increased levels of testosterone. ...'
Not so. Please find us another critic who sees the light - or tell us we're all wet, with proof.
Previous to new MLB drug test rulings, Olbermann chastised Barry Bonds and the San Franciso Giants on Bonds' one week return to the Giants as Spring Training hitting coach. Again, say what you will about Obermann he stands up for the Grand Old Game and is probably speaking for a lot of 'old timers' like dethroned home run king Henry Aaron (by Bonds) and even Willie Mays, Bonds' God father, who might like to say what Olbermann felt more comfortable saying. It seems there are two opposite camps reacting to Olbermann's comments, as you can see by viewing the site's comment section . Younger fans, who grew up with the drug culture, generally feel Olbermann is out of line while older fans who grew up on Aaron and Mays don't appreciate how Bonds 'blew past them' (to use Obermann's words) to the all-time homerun title. To quote Olbermann, opening his sports commentary program in a late March episode, in what he called ' the shame of San Francisco Giants,' comparing Bonds use of performance enhancing drugs to the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.
He goes on, first charging the Giants as a team that has 'sanitized his history and pretending there is nothing at least controversial about his performance in a major league uniform and resumed what they had been doing seven years later as marketing hims as one of baseball's most noble assets and not the symbol of baseball's darkest time sine the 1919 Black Sox scandal. And now he's back without an apology, without an acknowledgement... And, the latter point is the key. Others have been brought back, such as Mark McGwire, current Dodgers' hitting coach, who, as Olbermann noted, made at least a 'half -hearted attempt' to apologize and rehabiliate his image. As you see in the video, Bonds appears pretty much the same aloof, joking figure, hardly concerned about what he has done to the game, in our opinion. Again, the primarily younger fans commenting on the video, which appears on Youtube, mostly castigate Olbermann, rather than Bonds, for his strong rebuke. We see this reaction much as a similar split that seems to divide the nation, politically.
Olbermann has also backed up his words with some science, noting that without PEDs Bonds would only have had 611 career homeruns , well down the list of career homerun leaders , extrapolating his pre-steroid era homerun output (when he only hit as many as 46 homeruns one time) to his full
OLBERMANN Says New MLB Drug Testing Misses the Mark