Friday, January 11, 2008

Major League Baseball Office of the Vice Principal

Major League Baseball has announced the creation of a "Department of Investigations":

Major League Baseball launched a department of investigations Friday, a permanent branch of the commissioner's office responsible for looking into drug use in the sport . . .

. . . Dan Mullin, a former New York City Police Officer who had been in baseball's senior director of security operations, was appointed vice president and head of the unit. George Hanna, a former FBI employee currently in baseball's security department, was appointed senior director of investigations.

I love this. While the article claims that the unit "will have broad authority to conduct investigations," it cannot, by definition, have any more power than George Mitchell had (i.e. very damn little) which renders this yet another exercise in empty p.r.

There is a reason why Selig is announcing this now: he has to testify in front of Congress next week, and he'll be damned if anyone is going to chastise him for not looking like he cares. I've said it before, but let me repeat: no substantive change in baseball's drug policies or procedures can happen without the willing and meaningful participation of the players' union. Nada. Zilch.

If Selig really cares about drugs in baseball he will reach out to the union. If he doesn't, he'll continue to grandstand like this.

(hat tip to Jason at It IS About the Money, Stupid)


Jason said...

Thanks for the link, Craig.

Yes, it's too little too late now (the horses have all left the barn but we just got this shiny new lock for the barn door), but I'm viewing this as a positive for the future.

I've got two young boys who are getting really into baseball. It'd be nice to have them idolize guys that we can at least quasi-believe are clean. Won't really happen until there's either blood testing or a urine-based HgH test, but still, we can hope,

And yes, I share your cynicism with the timing. Nothing's accidental. Like how Congress picked the day before Pitchers and Catchers report to have the Clemens/McNamee hair-pulling cat-fight.


Pete Toms said...

Post MR I've thought the PA was getting beat up in the blogosphere and media more than they deserved, and they are as complicit in this as anybody.

Having said that....if they don't oppose this - I don't think any of us believe they won't - they are worthless.

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Don Evans