Major league has at least made an effort in recent years to stop turning a blind eye to what was going on right in front of them.
Steroids and performance enhancing drugs are now being tested for under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, and players are now paying a very steep price for any transgressions.
While many will say the new policy was too late, MLB at least took the steps suggested by the Mitchell Report. Several suspensions have been handed out, and MLB continues to work with the Players’ Union in order to inform and educate players on the dangers and consequences of taking PEDs.
However, the MLB and the MLBPA has completely turned a blind eye on one of the most public of causes and concerns: drunk driving.
Just in the last week alone, two high-profile players were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and yet they were both on the field contributing for their teams without any threat of punishment whatsoever, at least not from Major League Baseball.
There have also been at least four other incidents of players who were arrested for DUI within the last several months as well.
There have been other transgressions, most recently the allegation that Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell made homophobic comments and crude sexual gestures toward fans and threatened a fan with a bat prior to a game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
MLB at least suspended McDowell for two weeks. While we can certainly argue the harshness or leniency of the punishment based on his absolutely appalling actions, at least the Braves were in a position to at least do something.
Because of the collective bargaining agreement between the MLB and MLBPA, major league executives and teams have their hands tied with respect to punishing any player who makes the supremely stupid decision to get behind the wheel of a car when drunk.
The issue will not be addressed until MLB and the Players’ Union negotiate their next collective bargaining agreement, so until then, we will count the days until another high profile baseball player decides that they are above the law.
Here is a list of major league players who have violated the law, the public’s trust, and who clearly just don’t get it.
For the purposes of keeping this list from taking a month out of my time, it is restricted to just alcohol-related offenses.
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* Author's note: I am a recovering alcoholic, and have been sober for 22 years, and was arrested four times for driving under the influence of alcohol.