5.13.2009

My Three Step Plan to Clean Up Baseball

Here's my simple plan to clean up baseball and restore its integrity.

1. Announce a one month amnesty period. Any player that comes clean during that period is exempted from repercussions in their past (not any future cheating, of course). This exemption, obviously, wouldn't extend to the fans who would very likely be thoroughly disgusted and pissed off about so many players having been cheaters. There would be a real danger of baseball folding because of the revelations of those taking up the amnesty offer.
2. At the end of the amnesty month, hair samples, urine samples and blood samples will taken from each player, part of the samples will be tested and part will be stored to be tested at a later date as testing methods improve.
3. Any player that did not take the amnesty and is found to have cheated in any way, at any level is permanently banned from Major League Baseball. No baseball, no Hall of Fame, no residuals, no pension, nothing. It would be as if they had never played the game.

It would be brutal to implement and, by some estimates, up to 75 or 80% of players might be eligible to take the amnesty offer. Some would not, of course, and some would eventually be found out to have cheated. Some players would have to pay the price and be banned but the vast majority would see the wisdom and fairness of the new rules and play fair.

Making the penalties severe enough would make the risk/reward equation too lopsided to make sense to even attempt.

But, for something as harsh as this to go into effect, it would require an untainted commissioner with a great big set of balls which pretty much excludes Bud Selig. It would also involve the player's union realizing that these steps would be for everyone's betterment. Why? Because PED's shorten player's lives and suck the quality out of lives that aren't shortened. A cleaner game is a healthier game and that means the players' long term interests are being better served.

Let me know what you think in the comments, I don't pretend to have all the answers and this may not be the perfect solution but I believe its on the right road to a real solution to drugs in professional baseball.
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