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Congress, Baseball, and steroids

  1. Mar 17, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Why in world is this a congressional issue? Sure, there appears to be a problem, and the situation may need to be addressed, but isn't this an issue for law enforcement, and not the leaders of a nation.

    Considering all of the problems that the US faces, I would think that ball games should come in pretty low on the list. What's next; the great bowling conspiracy?
     
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  3. Mar 17, 2005 #2

    russ_watters

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    Uh, because most congressmen don't normally get much airtime on ESPN...? :biggrin:
     
  4. Mar 17, 2005 #3

    selfAdjoint

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    Major League Baseball is interstate commerce if there ever was any, and so falls under the Commerce clause of the Constitution. Beyond that it has had special regulation enacted many times. If you didn't notice what the teams do with contracts and salary caps and all would be called collusion and combination in restraint of trade if it were any other business.
     
  5. Mar 18, 2005 #4

    russ_watters

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    Ehh, you have a point (they do get involved in strikes, etc.), but I don't see what steroids, specifically, has to do with the economics of baseball.

    edit: just saw this:
    Thin, but at least I can see some logic to it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2005
  6. Mar 18, 2005 #5

    loseyourname

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    The influence on youngsters is the primary reason. There have been scare stories of steroid usage in high school students who believe it will increase their chances of making the pros, and who can blame them? If Major Leaguers are juiced, the only way to compete with them is to become juiced yourself. Professional athletes, despite what Charles Barkley would like, are role models for a great many people, and though their personal decisions are their own, steroid usage is illegal, and if MLB won't regulate it adequately themselves, then Congress must step in.

    The connection to interstate commerce comes in because it is suspected that owners and MLB officials, along with union representatives, have not enacted stricter regulations because of economic concerns. The increase in home runs is directly correlated with the increased popularity of major league baseball. The duel between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire that resulted in McGwire breaking the single season home run record is thought to be the major event that revived ticket sales and television ratings after the strike in '95. If indeed the owners and league officials have been relunctant to enact strict steroid policies because it would hurt ticket sales, then Congress is within its jurisdiction in stepping in, especially when the health of young people is partially at stake.
     
  7. Mar 18, 2005 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    How about drug sting operations? Why is this different than any other drug issue? Bust em and lock em up. That will get the attention of youngsters everywhere.

    Still, the point about interstate commerce is a good one. Never thought of that.
     
  8. Mar 18, 2005 #7
    Doesn't congress have anything better to do than debate this issue? Shouldn't the administrators of the major league be the ones who are correcting this issue? Why waste congress' time? Don't they have a bill to pass or something.
     
  9. Mar 18, 2005 #8

    selfAdjoint

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    Congress will undoubtedly now make steroids a scheduled substance and add it to the wonderfully successful war on drugs; justification as usual, to "protect the kids". Kids I know, going back to the stone age when I was a kid myself, always knew how to get any drugs they wanted. Sometimes they wanted and sometimes they didn't, but there was never any problem about getting.
     
  10. Mar 18, 2005 #9

    loseyourname

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    It really should be more difficult to obtain steroids. They don't just grow on trees the way coca and marijuana do, and they can't be manufactured in home labs the way methamphetamine and ecstasy can be. Steroid precursors are another matter, as they can often be found even in herbal form, but the steroids themselves, especially the new designer steroids that the major leaguers were actually using, are only manufactured by a few select labs. Going after the suppliers in this case may very well work, unlike what we have seen with the more common illegal drugs, especially given that the suppliers are professional chemists working for nutritional supplement companies, not rogue criminals sitting at the heads of virtual armies.
     
  11. Mar 20, 2005 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    :biggrin: From what I heard during the Olympics, people are making new drugs faster than they can ban the old ones.
     
  12. Mar 20, 2005 #11

    Moonbear

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    It's also hard to enforce a ban on any drug if you can't detect it, which makes Congressional involvement even more pointless since they will probably just wind up passing legislation with no provision for enforcement. The newer drugs are being designed to avoid detection in drug testing, and as soon as a new test comes out, it seems there's another new drug waiting on the sidelines to again evade detection.

    As an aside, I wish they'd go a more legitimate route with manufacturing these drugs so their therapeutic values could be assessed. One of these artificial steroids could turn out to be useful in treating things like hormone dependent cancers or for alleviating menopausal symptoms, and they'll probably be banned before they ever get a chance to be screened for more useful purposes than pumping up baseball players. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Mar 20, 2005 #12
    I can only imagine what a congressman would think after he/she spent a day with me and saw what goes on at my school, with stress, drugs, sex and all. I couldn't even picture what they would be like if they saw what an inner city school is like. "Protect the kids"...we're not as naive as they make us out to be.

    If they want to protect us, why not address the question of why American high school seniors have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. I'll give you a hint, it has to do with the education system and colleges. My physics teacher told us that after he had read it. I can't remember where he said it was from.

    Congress makes gestures to "protect" us adolscents. They're not doing the best job in the world. I comend them for trying, but they need to put in a little more effort instead of pushing their own agendas.
     
  14. Mar 20, 2005 #13
    I heard that too. It always amazes me how they manage to get that creative with different substances.

    There is a new drug out there. I heard about it on Good Morning America. Apparently teens are smoking marajuana laced with coc and dipped in fermeldahyde and other embalming fluids. Now that's gross. :yuck:
     
  15. Mar 20, 2005 #14
    Moonbear, you've got a good point. There has got to be someway to test for drugs that can't be faked.
     
  16. Mar 20, 2005 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    As another aside, I have been waiting for the day that "legitimate" sports records would separate from the actual records. It seems to me that we may be seeing the first episodes of such a division. There is talk of throwing out some records if steroid use is believed to have contributed. IIRC, the Olympics commission has already done so. I expect that we will see another new arena of sports continue to grow - the whatever-is-possible-by-any-means crowd. To me it seems inevitable that for all practical purposes, superhumans will emerge via drugs, gene therapy, or whatever other technologies are available to increase the limits of human performance. Also, it seems likely to me that for many years to come, this will cost many young people their lives.
     
  17. Mar 20, 2005 #16
    It does seem inevitable. As far as the throwing out any steriod involved records, it sounds like a good idea.
     
  18. Mar 20, 2005 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    But people will still know what the real records are...
     
  19. Mar 20, 2005 #18
    True. They will. It might be an incentive for people to not use drugs for free of having their records tossed out with the garbage. Doubtful, but wishful thinking.
     
  20. Mar 20, 2005 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    Oh, I don't mean to say that nothing should be done. But in the end these things seem pretty tough to control. I can't help but wonder how large the gap may grow between real sports records, and the legally recognized records.
     
  21. Mar 20, 2005 #20
    Oh no. I totally agree with you. Seriously. It would be very hard to control. I can't even think of a place where they might start to go through the records. I mean they might want to start when steriods started to make headlines? I have no idea.
     
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