Monday, June 9, 2008

News Flash: Congress Mad At Baseball Over Steroids Again

Like Dylan's Christian albums and Frank Black's more recent work, the latest news about Congress and Steroids is for completists only:
When baseball and union officials appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on March 17, 2005, they presented figures that showed that baseball’s two-year-old testing program had substantially reduced the number of positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs. According to the figures, the number of players who had failed drug tests in 2004 had dropped to about a dozen from about 100 in 2003.

But the accuracy of the picture provided by Commissioner Bud Selig, his deputy Rob Manfred and the players union’s executive director, Donald Fehr, about how the testing was conducted has come into question . . . At the heart of the issue is the fact that the committee was not told that the 2004 testing, with its significantly lower positive test results, had been partly shut down for much of that season, what Selig’s office later called an emergency response to an unforeseen situation. Specifically, the shutdown arose from the federal investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative steroid ring.
Sure, there's your standard outrage from Henry Waxman, the expected recounting of BALCO, Mark McGwire's testimony, and the evolution of the testing regime, but it's certainly not mandatory reading for anything by the most hardcore steroid news loyalists. Casual fans would do better to stick to the essential early releases.

3 comments:

Scott said...

"...baseball’s two-year-old testing program had substantially reduced the number of positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs."

Shouldn't the goal of this program be something more than reducing the number of positive tests? I know it's largely just semantics, but when your goal is "eliminating performance-enhancing drugs from baseball" you're more likely to focus on eliminating the drugs.

When you focus on the tests, you're probably just trying to reduce an abstract score. And there are a lot of ways to do that without doing a thing about the drugs themselves.

Mr. Thursday said...

Just a note on the lede: some of us feel that Black Francis is wonderful, whereas all that is Frank Black is for the aforementioned completists.

Craig Calcaterra said...

I think the self titled debut and Teenager of the Year were pretty good, as long as you don't come in expecting Pixies. The first Catholics album was OK too, but I haven't felt the need to listen to it for many years and probably won't for some time.