Monday, February 9, 2009

Pinstripe Patterned Glasses

I would like to take a moment to respond to what a couple of my readers had to say about my post, “A Schilling For Your Thoughts.”

My reader, Josh, wrote, “In principle, I agree with Schilling. The fans deserve full disclosure from the Union. And the players who didn't use deserve to be vindicated.”

Blindbejeezus commented, “Don't let those pinstripe patterned glasses make you hate curt for saying something good. Screw what is possible and what is not, is there another player out there saying what is PLAINLY obvious at this point: The power currently wielded by the MLBPA has been bad for baseball ($$$ aside). The union has screwed the sport. I'm ready to bring collusion back.”

I want to make an important distinction.

I agree with both Josh and Jeez on one point: I think that the MLBPA does a major disservice to all of the players who aren’t juiced by covering up for the ones who are. Moreover, I think that part of the MLBPA's obligation as a union is to create a fair and safe working environment for everyone in baseball—an environment which obviously can’t exist as long as steroids are such a huge part of the game. This was, in fact, the subject of my piece, “Nothing Against A-Roid.”

So, in short: Do I think that the MLBPA should have agreed to the confidentiality terms of that collective bargaining agreement? No. Do I think they could have done more in the past to put an end to all this nonsense? Absolutely. Is there more they could and should be doing now? Obviously.

However, it doesn’t change the fact that the terms of that agreement were binding. Case closed. End of story. And just because we WANT to be able to know the names of those 104 players, we can’t demand that those terms be nullified. It’s simply not how the law works.

Here’s the problem: While the corruption in this case may be obvious enough for the breach of confidentiality to seem warranted, where do we draw the line? Maybe I’m just nostalgic for those two months I spent in law school, but you get into dangerous terrain when you talk about rewriting the law under certain circumstance when morality deems it reasonable.

So, while I think there’s nothing to be done with those tests that were taken in confidence—except wait for more of the names to be leaked—I do agree with both of you that the MLBPA needs to start getting its act together and cracking down on this situation like now. If the MLBPA and MLB combined forces and made a sincere effort to get steroids out of the sport, you wouldn’t eliminate them entirely, but you’d come a hell of a lot closer.

On another note, for those of you who haven’t already, you should check out Josh’s blog—Jews in Baseball. It’s about, well, exactly what you think it would be about, and it’s always a delightful read.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Thanks for the plug, Melanie!

It pains me to admit that you're right. The legal procedure is pretty clear on this. Even though Schilling puts his foot in his mouth more often than not, I'd still like to see it happen. But not if it means contravening the law. Maybe if they could find some kind of loophole...