Ok, so I got the fans all excited. I said it was going to be better, and I took a shot or two at Bud Selig along the way. What more can a fan want? How about an explanation on how I think the owners and PA could react to assist the game. Now let’s start with The Owners and a project they are already working on.
Our sense of outrage as fans of baseball is well documented. Unfortunately the steroid issue is like dating a gorgeous girl that just keeps cheating on you.
Now maybe some of you would tell her too bad. But I am going to be honest, maybe it’s a distorted view of the world, maybe it’s low self esteem, but if my girlfriend was a 10 all day, and with make up a 12, I’d listen to every reason, excuse and lie she could come up with to stay together.
That’s the way I feel about sports, and more specifically baseball right now. But that being said, A-Rod is the equivalent of her cheating with my best friend. If I can forgive her for that, there is nothing else she can do to me.
That being said, what good can come of this? Well we’ve seen baseball trying to push for participation in the Olympics. As much as the Olympics talks about still being committed to Amateur players, you better believe they are talking with Bug Selig today about how to get Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Brandon Philips, and Dice K involved.
From Bud and the owner’s perspective this is a great opportunity to expand the game globally. The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is an event you have to prepare and promote yourself. The marketing machine that is the Olympics is a completely different animal all together.
Can you imagine the good will of Dice K carrying the Japanese flag into the Olympic stadium? And from MLB’s end all they have to do is get them there. They don’t have to push millions of dollars in branding and advertising materials on an event that players may or may not want to play in, in the WBC.
All of this a tremendous way to try to start to improve your image and make things right with your fan base by entering into the Olympics you’ll be subjected to the best testing system any athletic organization has to offer.
You know, the one that makes Major League baseballs look like a Meth Addict with a chemistry set by comparison? Considering you’re going to be sending you’re A-Rod’s and Peavy’s it is the best way for you to show they are clean.
So follow with me here. Baseball’s image is right now akin to Pro Bodybuilding and the WWE when it comes to credibility. We heard talk during the 2008 Olympics that bringing major league player's into the games was a priority for the MLB. Later confirmed again by Barry M. Bloom on November 14, 2008, when he wrote on MLB.com,
“Baseball officials gave members of the International Olympic Committee assurances on Friday that an effort will be made to send some of the game's best professional players if it is reinstated for the 2016 Summer Olympics as a gold medal sport."
Accordingly, a statement from Commissioner Bud Selig was read into the record at the meeting of the IOC's program committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"The 2016 Olympics will have the best representation of professional players in Olympic history," said Selig, whose current contract as Commissioner ends in 2012, when he's 78 years old.
Officials from Major League Baseball and the International Baseball Federation in attendance said that everyone would pull together to make it happen. No decision about baseball's status was determined at the session and won't be until a vote on Oct. 2, 2009, at the IOC Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.
I think we can agree with the owners that the exposure generated by the Olympics would be huge for Major League Baseball.
But any good will and excitement generated by acceptance into the games would be not only being undone, but the shame magnified if so much as one player were to test positive for performance enhancing drugs.
So if the Owners want to clean up the image of baseball, and I would think their push for the Olympics would be a huge step in doing just that. They can use this positive test by A-Rod as leverage to up the testing policy in the Major Leagues.
Also by guaranteeing the Olympics the best ball players in the world, it means that the testing will run through the top ranks of Major League Baseball. No more random testing and hoping.
You will be required to test all of your stars going forward so that when they dawn that American, Canadian, Italian or Japanese jersey they are not a liability to put yet another black eye on the game or there Country.
A mark at that level may be a knock out punch. The owners understand that, and when the PA says no to testing, the owners can point to the fact that the greatest players of a generation were dirty.
The Owners can point, to the fact that the Home Run King, and what looks to be The Future Home Run King stink of controversy.
Players like Jeter, and Ortiz will be forced into Olympic testing programs anyways, it will mean the owners will get their program, or the Players Association will further be the bad guy, not just to the fans, but to its members as well for denying them the opportunity to play on such a Grand Scale for their country.
Since we know the Olympics are going to be very leery about allowing in the MLB and its players because of the now drug riddled history. A-Rod, the biggest start has put the owners in position to ask a lot of the players, simply to meet the Olympic guidelines.
No longer can we say that the testing in place is sufficient. No longer can the PA fight the MLB as they’ll have to comply with the Olympics testing policies anyway.
When all is said and done, the owners now have seen the largest domino topple, it’s time to ask for real honest to goodness testing in baseball.