NEW YORK -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig asked players to agree to a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders and a lifetime ban for a third violation under what he called a "three strikes and you are out approach" to doping.
In a letter sent this week to union head Donald Fehr, Selig proposed a 100-game ban for a second offense. He also asked the union to ban amphetamines, to have more frequent random tests and to appoint an independent person to administer the major-league drug-testing program.
"Third offenders should be banned permanently. I recognize the need for progressive discipline, but a third-time offender has no place in the game," Selig wrote to Fehr. "Steroid users cheat the game. After three offenses, they have no place in it."
Under the rules that began this season, a first offense gets a 10-day suspension, with the penalty increasing to 30 days for a second positive test, 60 days for a third and one year for a fourth. For a fifth positive, the penalty is at the commissioner's discretion.
Baseball currently has no penalties for amphetamine use by players on 40-man major-league rosters. Amphetamines are banned for players under minor-league contracts.
"Last winter, we reopened our agreement to deal with steroids," Selig wrote in the April 25 letter, a copy of which was obtained Saturday by The Associated Press. "I am asking you now to demonstrate once again to America that our relationship has improved to the point that we can act quickly and effectively deal with matters affecting the integrity of our great sport."
Reached Saturday, Fehr said the union was not yet prepared to discuss Selig's proposal.
"We'll respond in due course," Fehr said, adding he anticipated replying early next week.
Yeah they were asking some players on TV about it and Chipper Jones was saying he did not agree with it. It would be wrong to take someone''s pay away, etc.
I got 3 words for you Chipper ''Follow the Rules''! Oh, and how about ''Drugs are bad and illegal, m''kay?''
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You know what? Good for Bud and the MLB. If this is actually enfored then it could only help the MLB.
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They should cram it down the players throats whetrher they like it or not. Some things don''t have to be subject to collective bargaining.
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I can''t believe my ears. Butt Selig actually doing something that might he ...hel... help (I can''t even say the words) baseball?
It sure would take away from the temptation of players to use steroids because they feel it is the only way to compete since ""everyone esle"" is taking them.
And those that are caught ... that will be interesting to watch them squirm for a footing in both the courts of law and public opinion.
3 offenses equals a lifetime ban.
Which means, on the Steve Howe scale of rules enforcement, 24 offenses will finally get you kicked out of the game.
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Steve Howe. HAHAHAHAHAHA. That always makes me laugh.
Talk is cheap.
Well, this is the time for MLB to get this pushed through. In any other year, the Players'' Union would fight this tooth and nail. Won''t they look the fool if they do this time.
The player''s union SHOULD fight this tooth and nail. The union''s job is to best represent the interest of the players. If Baseball wants to impose this on the players so bad, the union should get something in return. Giving out free concessions is directly opposed to the union''s reason for existing. As soon as you do it once, you open the door like Fehr did earlier this year with allowing the 10 day thing to come in without bargaining and now it''s open season on off-cycle no-concession CBA changes, and not in the player''s favor.
I think this is just a shot accross the bow of Don Fehr and the union. It''s pretty much a win-win for Bud. He gets to look like he want to get tough on ''roids. When the union fights it, they look bad in the arena of public opinion.
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I believe he (Selig) can invoke a ""best interest of baseball"" rule to force a change in the CBA in re: to tougher drug policy.
I could be wrong but it was something they were discussing this morning on talk radio.
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