Bud Selig must be sick and tired of baseballers using the wonders of medical science to rejuvenate their tired old bodies after various ouchies. First, players lost old-fashioned steroids like stanzolol. Then they lost their precious greenies. Now, say good-bye to the product of recombinant DNA technology, the wonderful and magical HGH, because Selig ordered testing to begin in the minor leagues.
Effective last night, the doctors and nurses contracted out by MLB will be jamming their needles into the arms of random minor league players during surprise HGH tests.
And you know, it's really time baseball tightened the screws on these drug-addled players. Because if you believe the loudmouth arm of the mass media, baseball is seemingly the only professional sport in America that has a steroid crisis. Yeah, there are no steroids in football. Meanwhile baseball players have run rampant with all the illegal drugs they're using. I heard Jerry Hairston, Jr. is mainlining crocodile semen into his endocrine system thrice daily so he can play six different positions. These violations must end!
But alack and alas, this will not affect your favorite big league players...yet. Because the minor league folks are not members of the players union, Herr Selig did not need to get the a-ok from the MLBPA. He could make this decision unilaterally, like he did earlier in the day when he ordered his pastrami on rye extra lean with only a schmear of mustard. We'll have to wait and see when the cabal of owners can lean on the MLBPA just hard enough to force them to agree to this waste of perfectly good needles.
Think about this for a second: to test for HGH with current technology, testers need blood, not urine like in other 'roid tests. Taking a whiz is something baseball players do every day so it's no big whoop to donate some of their lemonade to the higher-ups. But what of blood? Some folks (read: me) pass out and get woozy when they have blood drawn from their arms; I can't imagine a player who makes his living with his two (or one) arms is going to be very happy having a needle jammed into his money-maker once or twice a year.
And these tests haven't even shown that they work properly yet! Experts in their white lab coats claim that the test can produce false positives, meaning that an innocent athlete could get punished for not taking something that probably isn't even such a bad thing. Bizarre.
So, perhaps this test will need to be improved before we ever see it in the bigs. Hopefully, Selig and his multi-millionaire cronies in ownership will focus on other important things first, like expanding instant replay or banning Kevin Millar from television.