Congress Created This Monster And They Need To Rein It In Pronto

By Gregory Moore
Updated: March 12, 2005
Major league baseball has to ascend Capitol Hill once again over steroids. Will this Congressional hearing finally be the silver bullet to stop “Frankenstein” and his madness?

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Representative Tom Davis is getting ready to have Congressional hearings on Major League Baseball and the use of steroids by players in past years. Now I have even e-mailed Congressman Davis and gave him links to various stories that I have done on the topic LONG before Congress ever really decided to do anything about this situation. I have been a long opponent of steroids and even wrote stories on the fact that it is the middle school, high school and college kids who are looking up to these professional athletes and getting the idea to use performance enhancement products that are both legal and illegal to use. However I wrote a piece not to long ago entitled “Congress’ Dirty Little Secret…How They Have Allowed Illegal Drugs In This Country” and in the story I wrote how the U.S. Congress has allowed Bud Selig and Major League Baseball do whatever they wanted with no explanation or justification for anything that is done when it comes to actually following the law and ban the use of steroids in the game. I have blamed the Congress for the situation the American public finds itself in now with baseball and the steroids issue because they have created a monster of Frankenstein proportions all the way back in 1922 and now that monster has basically shrugged off any known forms of rationale. As this piece states it is time for Congress to not only rein this monster in but maybe also defang it in the process.

THE MLB BELIEVES IT IS UNTOUCHABLE If the average citizen is appalled by the actions of Selig, the players’ union and the players in not wanting to show up for Congressional hearings, they really shouldn’t be. When baseball was granted their anti-trust exemption in 1922, which was the beginning of the monster we have before us today. When you hear or read players like Curt Schilling say that these hearings are nothing but a witch hunt, you should realize that the players and the entity that they play for has lost rationale and a connection with reality. When you hear Barry Bonds proclaim that major league ball players are entertainers and not athletes, you should realize that the system we know as America’s pastime has become corrupted. When major league players are determined to snub their collective noses at a Congressional hearing that involves them, their game and their health, you should get worried that any semblance of an era from your childhood has dissipated along with your thoughts and dreams of what true sports heroism was like. You, the American baseball fan, should realize that all of the aforementioned has happened because the MLB, its representatives and its employees (the players) now believe they are untouchable and that no law entity, including Congress, can change their stance on this issue.

For several years I have always believed that major league baseball needed to have their anti-trust exemption stripped from them. The trust is an antiquated piece of paper now. Not only has it this exemption become outdated, because of the economic viability of the franchises now, baseball has been given an unfair advantage over the other professional sports leagues in this country. If you look at the four professional leagues, baseball is the only one that is protected from anti-trust litigation. However baseball happens to be one of the more successful sports entities in the country because of the minor league system that it employs. Yet it also is one of the poorest ran as far as financial responsibility because of the fact that payrolls are extremely high.

Baseball purists may think that this non-baseball fan is knit picking the game itself and the fact that Congress may be grandstanding. Well maybe Congress is grandstanding a little but then again somebody needs to do something. As for me picking at a scab on a sore, I have no intentions of picking at an old wound. What Schilling and others are failing to realize is that they have disrespected the game by allowing steroid users proliferate the sport and inflate the record books. Those are the facts but what is troublesome is the fact that players like Schilling and individuals like Selig fail to see that they are now overstepping the bounds given to their forefathers so many years ago.

IF FRANKENSTEIN DOESN’T WANT TO COME IN…BREAK HIM DOWN So what can Congress do to insure that major league baseball, the union and the players realize that the steroids issue is a major problem in this country? How can this body of individuals force a monopoly to realize that they are affecting the youth of this country more than what they realize and that their selfish practices need to stop? Well there’s always one solution and it is what I have proposed time and time again in this space; strip major league baseball of its anti-trust exemption from being a monopoly.

Again baseball purists are going to say I’m piling on but let’s face the facts of 2005. Major league baseball doesn’t need this right any longer. When you have players signing big contracts and ballparks being built left and right, the exemption isn’t needed. When you have players setting all kinds of hitting records and the crowd attendances keep going up and setting new marks, the exemption is a moot piece of antiquated legislation. However it will need to be a combined effort from both the House and the Senate to make something like this a reality. It will take a bi-partisan committee to not only be willing to strip baseball of what they perceive as their ‘indelible’ right but all 535 members of both chambers must be willing to send the monster it has allowed to grow and ‘fester’ back into the dungeon in which it came from. If a great majority of the elected officials cannot see common ground on this matter, baseball will continue to abuse the American public with it’s lies. If Congress really wanted to make sure that the steroids issue becomes history, it may have to revisit some very old history and find a new fix for a system that has long since been broken.

There are no easy answers to this steroid issue in baseball. I could write a bazillion words on the topic and nothing may ever get done. I could volunteer to speak at the Congressional hearings on St. Patrick’s Day but what good would it do? I could shout from the tallest part of Qualcomm Stadium but would my voice be heard? Probably not but then again this isn’t for my self-promoting career and me. I want these Congressional hearings to be more substance than fodder because it is time this country takes back a game that was once so innocent, so pure that movies were made of it. These hearings must have some merit and bite in their findings to where the business dealings of the league as a whole are discarded and a more fiscally responsible enterprise takes form.

All of these things must be done in order for Congress to rein the monster back into the village of sports. For far too long Frankenstein has been running amuck and now the villagers are tired of fighting against it. Congress is the key to solving this matter and it is time they do something now and not pontificate as to what could be said or done later on in life.