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Bud Selig wants tougher PED penalties

Mar 2, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

Bud Selig AP


“I have been interested in stiffer penalties for some time,” Selig said. “We’ve made meaningful adjustments to our testing and it is time to make meaningful adjustments to our penalties.”

Selig said last season there were only five positive tests of the more than 5,000 that were conducted. The new penalties are intended to deter the small number of those who still don’t see the current penalties as harsh enough.

“I don’t know if we can ever get to zero; there will always be somebody out there,” Selig said. “For a very small percentage of people it hasn’t served for as much of a deterrent as I think it should.”

MLB’s more stringent drug punishments have been cited as one large reason why offense began to decline starting in 2010. The average Major League team averaged 4.61 runs per game in 2009, but it dropped to 4.38, 4.28, and 4.32 in the following three years. Home run rates from 2007-12 are at their lowest rates since the early 1990’s.

Selig’s wish for harsher penalties for positive drug tests is curious given that, as the ESPN article mentions, very few players are testing positive. At some point, you get diminishing returns cranking up the dial on suspension lengths and fine amounts. And it looks silly in comparison to the biggest of shrugs MLB gives to alcohol abuse — Philadelphia’s Delmon Young was suspended a mere seven games without pay when he was charged with third-degree assault and an aggravated harassment hate crime last year.

  1. lazlosother - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    I really don’t know what MLB could do about alcohol without the cooperation of the union. This is a repeating meme here, but unless the union wants to play nice nothing will or can happen. Instead of ripping MLB here, we may want to concentrate on the the other side of the table.

    Disclaimer: It hurts my brain to defend the worm in any way.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      This is a repeating meme here, but unless the union wants to play nice nothing will or can happen

      So let me get this straight?

      The owners want something
      The players want something in return for said something
      The owners won’t do it

      And it’s the players who are the bad guys here?

      • Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        Kind of like how Republicans want to slash spending, Democrats want some tax revenue in exchange, Republicans refuse and we’re supposed to pretend the Democrats are the bad guys.

  2. randygnyc - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Selig knows, as do I, that players are beating tests with new undetectable compounds. Those that got caught were using run of the mill testosterone. 1st offense, one year. 2nd offense, that’s all folks. That’ll get the players attention. Teams also have to lose their first round draft pick.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Do you realize how much of a dumb ass you sound like? “Players are beating the test, so obviously the answer is to make the penalties for falling those tests greater!” How does that help solve the problem of players beating the tests?

  3. historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I am so impressed with Selig for taking such a hard stand on the subject…now that the damage is done and testing is in place. At this rate, Selig will be taking a stand on an MLB-wide DH rule via Gator’s Ouija board.

    • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      It’s a Ouija Scrabble board. You would prefer to sit there all night with a beer head on and watch you planchette swill around in mindless circles?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        You have a great faith in their literacy, OG.

  4. DelawarePhilliesFan - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    “shrugs MLB gives to alcohol abuse — Philadelphia’s Delmon Young was suspended a mere seven games without pay”

    The guy has not even had so much as a Spring Training AB with the Phillies – how did he become “ours” with regards to a infraction that happened when he was playing for Detroit? A casual reader would think that susepension happened while in Philadelphia

    On a serious note – Baseball does need to get it’s act together with regards to alcohol abuse

    • Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      He’s under contract with Philadelphia, that makes him Philadelphia’s player. The readers of this blog are pretty much universally aware of Young being on Detroit when this happened last year.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        But that lingering unresolved legal issue came with the incredible defense and speedwalking talent the Phillies snapped up…oh, and he may have switched teams, but he’s still Delmon Young.

  5. cur68 - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Know what we need stiffer penalties for? Grown men wearing blonde muskrats on their heads in an effort to appear younger. Seriously, every time I see that pic of Selig with the blonde hair-do I wanna grab the ole .410 and kill me some varmints starting with that bottle-blonde rat on his noggin’.

    As to the issue at hand: stiffer penalties? What for? 5 + out of 5000 tests indicates “its working fine”. Keep samples for 5 years, re-test when new tests become available, announce the results and let the players live with it if they’re already retired and punish those that are still active. DONE.

    From all indications no one wants to be known as a cheat in retirement no matter how much dough they’ve made. What’s more, if there’s even a whiff of steroids to the player the BBWAA have shown how they’ll handle HOF voting, so its a non-issue for The Hall.

    Anyhow, I cannot take Selig, or anything he says, seriously if he’s going to go around with the head covering of an aging gigolo.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:48 PM

      That thing is genuine Canadian beaver. The yellowing is a dead giveaway.

      • cur68 - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        Phooey! I bet you wouldn’t know Canadian Beaver if one tore your leg off. That’s muskrat. You can always tell muskrat. Its limp and without even a soupçon of class.

        Beaver pelt gots class. It is luxurious and and thick and has the sheen and gloss of true quality.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        Nope, it’s definitely Canadian beav that’s been laying out in Tampa too long. It had class once, but that has long since been stewed in rum.

      • cur68 - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:18 PM

        Know what’s that shade of yellow? Tiger fur. Just re-wached Life of Pi. Richard Parker was exactly that colour by the end of the movie.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        Hmmm, perhaps your problem is colorblindness. Also, isn’t it “tigeur” in Canadian?

      • indaburg - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        Selig looks like he’s wearing a bowl of bread pudding on his head.

      • cur68 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        Okay. I’m changing my opinion on evidence. That’s bread pudding on his head, no doubt about it.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:34 PM

        Holy crap! That needs some bourbon sauce and raisins, but man, it looks orgasmic !

        But, no, that thing on Selig’s head is dried up ol’ Tampafied Canadian beav. No two ways about it.

      • indaburg - Mar 3, 2013 at 7:53 AM

        We have it on record. ‘philiac thinks Selig’s hair looks orgasmic.

      • Old Gator - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Looks like a Kansas wheatfield after a locust blight, if you ask me.

        Um…you did ask, didn’t you?

  6. Old Gator - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    I can’t put my finger on it, but for some reason the headline of this blog made me laugh uncontrollably.

  7. bigtrav425 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    penalties are already tooooooo much as it is!! especially for HGH which i think is a fantastic thing!…Screw Selig

  8. Walk - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Following seligs logic here, i think he would lessen the penalties if he could catch more players. In all seriousness as been stated by cur keep samples for a longer period. Perhaps a decade after hof eligibility has passed and retest prior to any future award like hof nomination, all star roster made, mvp award, cy young etc, and also retest as tests change.

  9. nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    The fact some players may still be taking PEDs is all the evidence we need to show that no one wants a 21st century instant replay system.

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