MLB Anonymous Drug Testing is Pointless and Unacceptable

Joe MorganSenior Analyst IJune 17, 2009

SEATTLE - APRIL 14: Sammy Sosa #21 of the Texas Rangers celebrates after hitting a two run homer against the Seattle Mariners on April 14, 2007 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Sammy Sosa, the man who, along with Mark McGwire, “saved” baseball after the 1994 players’ strike, is just the latest slugger to leave a negative mark on the game.

Sosa and Alex Rodriguez are among the 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during anonymous MLB drug testing in 2003. As a result, without the investigative work of journalists like Selena Roberts and Michael S. Schmidt, A-Rod and Sosa’s reputations would remain untarnished in the public eye.

Frankly, the concept of MLB promoting the complete ignorance of its fans to the identities of those who cheated the game is absolutely ridiculous. Considering that the fans are the reason for baseball's long-standing success as well as the source of their revenue, they have the right to know the facts.

Withholding such crucial information from the public should be considered a crime against the integrity of the game of baseball.

Granted, the term "anonymous" implies the intention of keeping test results private, which is the problem. But the whole concept of anonymous testing does not make sense.

If MLB wanted the results of the drug tests to be kept private, then what was the point of performing the tests in the first place?

If Bud Selig and "the powers that be" want to rid baseball of its performance-enhancing drugs problem, they should publicize the names of offenders instead of protecting them.

Rule-breakers often continue to break rules if not properly punished or reprimanded for their actions and if they are let off the hook, nothing is learned and mistakes are repeated. That being said, anonymous drug testing is ultimately pointless and a terrible waste of both time and money in that it accomplishes nothing.

In theory, MLB originally planned to take the fact that 104 players blatantly cheated and promptly sweep it under a rug of obscurity. Not only should that be infuriating, but it is just plain wrong on so many different levels.

Realistically, can MLB be taken seriously anymore when they lay claim to taking a strong stand against cheaters considering their handling of the “Steroid Era” overall?

There is a grotesque sense of hypocrisy pervading the game of baseball when some players are heavily investigated and others who have been proven guilty are cut substantial slack.

The double standard that Commissioner Selig unbelievably upholds in the game is egregious and a terrible blemish on the face of the sport.

The fact that the investigation of arguably the most pressing baseball issue of the decade granted its subjects anonymity and full immunity from penalty is laughable and would be considered unacceptable in almost any other venue.

How would Americans react if the government granted anonymity and full legal immunity to Bernie Madoff for his role in the investment banking scandal on Wall Street?

While robbing individuals of their life savings is a much more serious matter than using performance-enhancing drugs to hit home runs, the fact of the matter is that MLB’s treatment of the current situation is unrealistic.Just when MLB appeared to be on the road to recovery from the rough goings-on of the “Steroid Era,” the backlash from the names they refuse to release to the public will end up crippling baseball’s progress for years to come.

The best thing MLB can do now is to release the remaining 102 names. Admittedly, these players were promised anonymity when taking the test, but it is time for them to “man up,” act like adults, and to take their deserved punishment.

If they wanted to avoid public scorn and embarrassment, these players should never have cheated in the first place.

Hopefully, the remaining 102 players, if never identified, will receive their punishment in the form of guilt and the fact they have shown the utmost disrespect to both baseball and its fans.