The overwhelming reaction to the story in The New York Times yesterday that Major League Baseball clubs are tipped off when the “random” and “unannounced” drugs tests are supposed to occur was laughter. Maybe there were a few rolled eyes and feigned indifference, but for the most part, the news was good for a few yucks.
It wasn’t that deeply thought out laughter either. You know, the kind saved for Woody Allen movies, puns or when your boss makes another bad joke. This was derisive laughter saved for politicians who are caught breaking the law in such a manner that they should have just gone to the National Archives, removed the Constitution from behind the glass, and then slipped it into a paper shredder.
We save that type of laughter for arrogant types who we all know will never serve a second of time in the Richard M. Nixon wing of the Lompoc Federal Prison.
But here’s the really funny part about the revelation that Major Leaguers were tipped off about the drugs tests up to two days in advance: No one is surprised.
Seriously, did anyone really believe that baseball was conducting tests with teeth? Does anyone believe that MLB wants to find out if anyone is still using the caveman-type steroids that Rafael Palmeiro reportedly tested positive for? Does anyone think they are excited to hear another name tied to that Florida outfit that reportedly has supplied members of the MLBPA with growth hormone?
I think we all know the answer to that one.
You know what would really be funny? If MLB hired the French Lab (Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage) the Tour de France uses to make sure that all samples come back dirty.
Oh, but it’s not that the story didn’t have its humorous points. For instance, how funny is it that the screeners for the unannounced and random drug tests call the teams a couple of days ahead of time to request free parking passes? That’s a knee-slapper if there ever was one. Way not to be conspicuous, Sherlock!
Better yet, if the rest of the teams in baseball are like the Phillies, two things will happen. First, they will get the runaround and condescension for even suggesting they receive a parking pass in the first place. Then, after finally figuring out where they can park and how/when/where they will get the physical pass (because you need that), the testers will be forced to park a metric mile away from the actual stadium.
In other words, not only will everyone know the testers are coming, but they also will see them coming, too.
Forget the fact that the supposed performance-enhancing drug of choice these days is completely undetectable…
There is probably a serious point somewhere in all of the laughter about Major League Baseball’s “drug-testing program.” Amidst all of the Congressional committee hearings, investigations headed by former senators, and bluster from the commissioner, the real point is that most people – those associated with MLB, too – like things the way they are.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ltD21rYWVw&rel=1] Or… [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLepAFMcMII&rel=1] And it’s funny because it’s true… [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_mWu9P0daY&rel=1]