Column: Players have too much power

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, December 8, 2004

By Staff
Baseball couldn't be in any worse shape if it allowed the players to rule the roost.
Oh, wait, they already do rule the roost.
Never in the history of baseball has a commissioner had less power than Bud Selig.
He is without a doubt the worst commissioner baseball has ever had.
One of the biggest problems is that he is a former owner whose family still owns the Milwaukee Brewers.
Under his watch, Selig has allowed the player's union to become the most powerful union in world.
If Don Fehr says his players are not going to do something, then you can bet they are not going to do it.
A perfect example is random drug testing.
Baseball is running rampant with illegal drug use, especially steriods, and the player's union has all but blocked real testing.
It took until 2000 for baseball to even ban steriods.
Testing began just this past season, with a each player being tested once between the start of spring training and the end of the season.
If a player tests positive the first time, council is called for.
I bet the players are shaking in their shoes!
The second positive test is a 15-game suspension. It takes five positive tests to get a year's suspension.
Not exactly the drug police are they?
The threats of Sen. John McCain to take action where baseball hasn't has been welcomed by Selig.
Nothing like someone else doing your dirty work for you.
Selig professes to want stronger punishment and more frequent testing.
Yet he hasn't reached a deal with the union despite meeting several times since May to discuss the situation.
The current deal with the player's association is already two years old.
Fehr promises that talks will resume following a week-long meeting of the union's executive board.
Let's face it, Selig is powerless against the player's union. And, unless the players somehow grow a conscience in the near future, nothing will be done.
Congress should have better things to do. They have taken on professional baseball before and come up empty.
What makes them think that they can do something this time?
Baseball is a game that seems set on self-destruction.
Recent strikes and the arogance of the players has driven fans from the game.
I would love to see the players step up to the plate and make some real changes, but I won't hold my breath.