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MLB certainly has public opinion behind it on the 100-game suspension thing

Jul 10, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT

Not scientific, obviously, but I’m pretty sure you’d get the same results if Nate Silver, C-3PO and Marvin the paranoid android teamed up to calculate this bad boy:


Probably worth noting that just about everything Major League Baseball has ever done with respect to PEDs has had its genesis in public relations disasters:

  • The league did not acknowledge PEDs as a problem until Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti started talking about it in 2002;
  • It did not conduct an investigation into PEDs nor did it have anything approaching serious penalties for their use until the league and its players embarrassed themselves in front of Congress and other players began being called before the BALCO grand jury;
  • It’s been investigating PEDs in south Florida for several years but did not take any real action until Biogenesis was splashed all over the news in January.

The league has always been reacting. Even if it has come to genuinely care about PEDs in the game and even if does possess a strong and legitimate interest in punishing drug cheats — two things which I sincerely believe — the fact is that P.R. considerations have always been the most powerful catalyst for Major League Baseball’s actions regarding performance enhancing drugs.

I don’t know if MLB is actually seeking 100-game suspensions. I don’t know who’s leaking the notion that players could face such suspensions. It may be the league. It may be agents and lawyers for the players. But I do feel like, whoever is doing the leaking, Major League Baseball will walk away pretty pleased from all of this, no matter the length of the actual penalties assessed.

People think the league is getting tough. Even if they can’t make 100 games stick, the public is behind the effort and the players and their fancy lawyers will be blamed if they don’t. For once, Major League Baseball is ahead of the curve, public relations wise. Which even if it isn’t the primary goal here, you can bet is something with which the folks on Park Avenue are quite pleased.

source: Reuters

  1. Bob Loblaw - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Considering Saint Ryan is one of those who would get 100 games, I am very surprised that Milwaukee is in the Red in the chart above. Let’s see how it looks later today. I have a feeling that may be a blue state before the end of the day.

    • Bob Loblaw - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      I meant Wisconsin LOL

      • jwbiii - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Gov. Walker signed an anti-abortion law recently. Wisconsin is very much a red state.

      • sandrafluke2012 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Or don’t like killing

      • Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        The appeals court just hamstrung that stupid law. So it goes. Walker is popular – for some reason corrupt bloviating tin-pot anti-labor demagogues sell this season – but the state still goes Democratic every four years. People are endlessly complex.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Wisconsin is now the only state or territory that is blue. Nice call.

    • sandrafluke2012 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      OLDGATOR. Anti-labor? LOL. No one should be forced to join a union. If you have skills, you won’t need a union. It’s in a business’ best interest to make their employees happy. Businesses compete for employees.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        On point Sandra. As someone who runs a business…I agree with you wholeheartedly.
        If our employees aren’t happy…they walk. I don’t want them to walk.
        It really is as simple as that.

      • shawndc04 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        Yeah sure. So unions weren’t needed in the first place. Clown post bro or sis.

      • misterj167 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Right, because when corporations band together and work for their own interests and profit at the expense of everyone else, that’s The American Way, but when working people band together for their own protection, that’s Communism. Take what they give you and stfu and be thankful you even have a job.

      • Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        That’s baloney. Business will get away with whatever they can get away with and pay the people whose labor makes their wealth the least they can get away with paying them – especially in an economy like this, where few workers really have someplace to “walk” to if they leave a job. If working class gulls of corrupt demagogue whores like Scott Walker think they’re gaining by giving up their bargaining rights, or if they think that slipping continuously behind the cost of living curve while they cede more power over their lives to their taskmasters will benefit them somehow because their employers want them to be “happy,” just wait until they begin losing a century’s worth of gains in job safety and health matters too. It’s just around the corner.

      • Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Oh, and by the way – it would hugely gratify my revolutionary proclivities if once, just once before he retires, someone in a crowd would pelt Bud Light – on camera – right in his glasses with a very soggy tomato. I’m not asking too much here – not for a dog turd, not for a rotten egg, just a garden variety (nyuknyuknyuk) soggy tomato.

        That’s not utopian, is it?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        Sandra…obviously…your (and my) thoughts on this particular subject differ with 98% of the folks here at HBT. However, my (and your) point still stands. Unions had a purpose.
        A very good purpose…at one time. Now? Not so much. There are labor laws and reams upon reams of regulation that ensure the atrocities of the early 1900’s through the 1970’s don’t happen here.

        Again…you take care of your employees because they take care of you. If you don’t…they walk. And in a business such as ours (with skilled tradesmen)…these guys could very much leave today and find a job tomorrow. You don’t hire them out of the paper, online, or through an employment service. Cause’ again…it is a skilled trade.

        Lastly…America isn’t India, China, Thailand or any number of other far East Countries.
        Our government regulates this stuff. In a big…big way.

  2. Matt Loveland - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Nobody outside Brewer fans likes Braun, and nobody at all like A-Rod. I think that matters here. The Wisconsin votes are interesting, but I’d be that’s a lot of Twins and Cubs fans too. Also, I can’t believe I thought this much about a Sportsnation poll.

    • Bob Loblaw - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      LOOOOOL…Wisconsin is already in the gray at 50/50. I’m freaking Nostradamus.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Let me help you with your assessment. Nobody WHO CONSIDERS ESPN WORTH TWO SPITS likes Braun….. I know many people who like Braun more now because of MLB’s and ESPN’s handling of his piss cup.

      See, that’s the rub. It’s ESPN who previously screwed the pooch by breaking confidentiality agreements by not waiting till after Braun’s appeals process; and it’s MLB who thinks that WADA is really onto something when it comes to piss-poor (intended) drug testing guidelines and ramifications.

      This whole thing is stupid. I hope that Braun decides to sue the crap out of Berman and the rest of those jokers up in Bristol. What a bunch of aholes.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        You nailed it Sandy. Initially I was…meh…when it came to Braun. Now…I like him.
        As Gator stated…people are complex individuals.

      • Matt Loveland - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        Yeah, I agree. I’m a Brewers fan. I’m a Braun fan. But, he got booed a lot on the road before the ‘steroids’ rap (even though it was never steroids). We’ve now thought more about this than 99% of the people who voted in that Sportsnation poll.

    • sandrafluke2012 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Stop being jealous. No one should hate or like someone they don’t know

  3. chill1184 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Its going to be an interesting ride

  4. rbj1 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Given the tactics Selig et al., are using, they most certain don’t have my opinion behind them.

    Bud needs to come clean about what he & the other owners knew or suspected about PED use since the 1970s.

    Oh, and about how for a long time amphetamine use was at least condoned, if not outright encouraged.

    • chill1184 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      At this point it isn’t about the “integrity of the game” of whatever newspeak Selig and his minions want to use these days. Its all about Selig and his legacy. He’s F-ed up so much he wants one last big hurrah before riding out into the sports sunset.

      • gloccamorra - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        Funny, when he came in, he misjudged the players’ union (and his own legal position) so badly, they went on strike, ending what could have been a magical year for baseball. Right now his best claim is the baseball “peace” that has endured since.

        If he pushes mass suspensions without having the players’ union on board, he could end up beginning and ending his tenure with another strike. Those are not the bookends you want on your CV.

  5. holleywood9 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I disagree with the 100 game suspension. It’s a first offense and should be treated as such. The game is cleaning up and will be for years to come. There will always be bad eggs trying to beat the system. But they will get caught. The way they are looked upon by the nation and how much they cost themselves when free agency hits, ie melky, adds a lot to the punishment as well.

  6. spudchukar - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    A Douglas Adams reference. Kudos!

  7. danaking - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Leaving aside whether this is the proper thing to do, I find it funny to see these poll results, considering during the time steroids were an open secret, the media insisted the fans didn’t care. Turns out they might, after all.

    • Bob Loblaw - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      The media as a whole is as complicit with its silence as anybody during this entire Steroids Era. Thus the sanctimonious attempt to redeem itself with its idiotic Hall of Fame voting.

      • chill1184 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        “Ding, Ding, Ding”! We have a winner!

  8. Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I just flat out don’t believe the poll results. This population can’t agree on anything. Something about those numbers really redlines my bullshit meter.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Just admit that it scares the crap out of you to see the entire nation painted red Gator. ;>P

      • Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        I’m a socialist, remember? I’d be happy to paint the whole country red.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        That’s the first I’m hearing that Gator. but I haven’t been around these parts much lately either. I bet you hate puppies too.

      • Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        And meerkats. I hate meerkats. After the revolution, we will exterminate them – and it won’t be pretty.

        Did you hear that, meerkats? I said we…and stop looking at me like that!!!!

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        No, no, not puppies. Children he has admitted to hating, but not puppies.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Dang it! My post came late. Ok add puppies to the list. And kittens, and just about anything cute.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      “Business will get away with whatever they can get away with and pay the people whose labor makes their wealth the least they can get away with paying them – especially in an economy like this, where few workers really have someplace to “walk” to if they leave a job.”

      That’s a very broad brush you are painting with Gator.

      Our guys make $3.00 – $4.00 LESS an hour (compared to their Union counterparts).
      That’s huge huh? Until you consider their Union counterparts don’t have Benefits.
      Yep. No insurance, no sick days, no paid holidays and no vacation days. Out of all of my competitors in the Central part of the state (roughly 20 businesses) only TWO are Union. There is a huge reason for that. But it isn’t what you think. These two business are very small. The Union allows them to keep their overhead low. They need guys…they call the Hall. They don’t have to pay them unless they are working. The flip side of this is they also don’t have the control over their labor while on the job. You get who you get (when you call hall). And there is typically a very good reason why these guys are still on the bench waiting on the phone to ring. And it isn’t because they are solid tradesmen.

  9. skeleteeth - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Hmm, don’t know. Maybe this is something a grand jury or Congress could answer?

    • Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Or maybe a blue ribbon commission appointed by Bud Light hisself?

  10. dlf9 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    What bothers me is that Selig has put PR in front of every other issue involved.

    We have been in a period of relative labor peace. For those of you who remember history, some of the worst labor strife in baseball history followed from Kuhn and Uebberoth’s attempt to unilaterally suspend players for cocaine usage in spite of the language in the CBA. We can argue all day about drug usage, but management clearly rejecting a provision of a CBA almost always results in an arbitrator striking down the action AND future strife.

    Here, there is supposed to be complete confidentiality until after the suspension and any appeal. But it appears likely that the Commissioner’s office, or someone at their bequest, has been leaking names and possible suspensions. That again is a violation of the CBA. I can only hope it doesn’t spill over into the next labor negotiation.

    I would really prefer to keep the players from becoming human guinea pigs and taking unsupervised pharmaceutical products. The Union and Commission’s Office should be working towards safer workplace standards. But since the Mitchell Report (and before then in the Pittsburg and Kansas City cocaine trials) through the present day, Selig and Co. have been more interested in appearing to be strict than actually accomplishing anything positive.

  11. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    There is approximately 22+ people about to be suspended, yet the only two the news keeps leading with is Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez. Two names that have been vilified for some time now. I can’t help but wonder if public opinion might be a little different if the names were of people the public haven’t already decided were guilty. But then again, the public has already decided that Chris Davis is guilty, without a shred of evidence, so maybe this is more a sign that the public is just tired of hearing about it and wants to burn all the witches and prosecute all the McCarthyists.

  12. rick1k6 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Selig seems to have that look on his face that says, “Finally, I know how to untie an All-Star game.” I can only assume his shoes will be next on the docket.

  13. blacksables - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I’m curious why the felt the need to make this a red/blue chart?

    The politics of this have nothing to do with American politics, but SB Nation is sure trying to make it into that.

    Why not get our baseball news from Fox and MSNBC instead?

    • nategearhart - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Simple map-making 101: If you want to display contrasting opinions, you should use colors that…contrast. Why do you think the whole “red and blue” thing started getting used for tracking political election results in the first place?

      • blacksables - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Yep, that was all covered in my Intro to Poly Sci, and I understand why.

        My point is, there are many contrasting colors, and SB Nation using these colors is an attempt, in my opinion, to make into a political issue, where one side follows the lines of one political party, and other side of the issue, the other political party.

        Feels completely unnecessary to me.

      • nategearhart - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        I’m sorry if I came off harsh; I wasn’t trying to insult your intelligence or anything. I just don’t know that I agree there was anything to the decision besides pure aesthetics. It’s possible though.

      • blacksables - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        I wasn’t offended. You stated you opinion. Easy enough.

  14. sdelmonte - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    This is a self-selecting poll, of course. It’s possible – maybe likely – that a lot of people who are following this story just don’t participate in this sort of thing.

    Anyway, it’s not like the public can’t be wrong. Half the country always thinks the other half is wrong, for starters.

    • Old Gator - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Sounds like a marriage. A traditional marriage between one man and one woman, I mean.

  15. gammagammahey - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Can we get a survey on the average IQ of people who respond to SportsNation polls? Usually, they’re voting on things like whether or not they think Tebow is a starting NFL QB or if LeBron didn’t look happy enough after winning the title.

  16. chip56 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I agree with the thought that MLB’s response to PEDs in baseball is wholly a response to negative PR, but end of the day aren’t public opinion and financial considerations the reasons why most institutions make major changes?

    • dlf9 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Institutions have any number of constituents. They have to please the consumer, certainly. But they have an obligation to their employees as well. I would enjoy a trip to the dentist much more if the hygienist were naked and sat on my lap during the procedure, but if the employer required that, it would most likely run afoul of sexual discrimination or harassment laws.

      Here, the league bargained with the union for certain provisions included in the CBA. They can’t unilaterally abrogate those just to feed the prurient interests of public opinion.

      • chip56 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM

        Where has the league done that? They are interpreting certain provisions in the CBA to their benefit, certainly. If an arbitration board feels that the league has overstepped, they’ll say so. But what you’re talking about would be more on point if after Alex failed his test in 2009, before PEDs were banned in the CBA, the league suspended him just to make fans happy. That’s not what they did. What they did was they, along with the union, bargained for new rules going forward – what’s your issue with that?

      • dlf9 - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        At a minimum it sure seems that the Commissioner’s office has violated the confidentiality provisions. This whole PR campaign in itself violates the CBA.

  17. rbzombie - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    One thing that has not been discussed much is that an overwhelming majority of players are in favor of more serious consequences for cheaters…..clean players are getting sick of cheaters clouding their accomplishments.

  18. onbucky96 - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Drop dead Bud. YOU cashed in during the steroid home run chase w/Big Mac and Sosa. Can’t have it both ways. Go away Bud, and stay out of Milwaukee. BTW, will your son in law keep his job w/MLB when you leave?

  19. pipkin42 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Well, another indication that I don’t understand a majority (unscientific sample notwithstanding) my fellow Americans.

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