Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Vampires Are Coming

As pointless as it may be, just a short post about major league baseball’s recently announced program to start testing minor leaguers for human growth hormone (HGH).

Why just for minor league ballplayers? All or none, seems to me.

I guess that in the end the reason it’s only for minor leaguers is pretty simple — because they can with minor leaguers and they can’t with major leaguers. “They” being the folks who own the players.

As the Bulls' own Chris Richard and Elliot Johnson would agree, it isn’t as if the problem is pervasive. Baseball isn’t bicycling. They aren’t hanging bags of blood in the back of the bus — at least I hope they aren’t. And yet, even two professionals with a lot of time in the minor leagues can disagree on the approach being taken, as can fans.

First, having a lifelong phobia regarding hypodermic needles, the idea of a random blood test creeps me out. Peeing in a cup, OK. Been there, done that, welcome to the 21st Century workplace. But watching even a drop of blood leak out of my arm ...
Blood samples will be collected from the non-dominant arms of randomly selected players after games, and the samples will be shipped to the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City for analysis.
Second, if there’s a problem it is surely much, much more important to clean things up from top to bottom, not bottom to top.

1 comment:

  1. My understanding is that minor league players that are on the 40-man roster for major league teams cannot be tested. It will be interesting to see if there is much practical impact of this. The story of the British rugby player who was suspended for HGH is interesting. Apparently they testing based on some tip that there were hundreds of players in the league using HGH. One tested positive. Hard to know if that means anything or not.

    This upcoming year I will have to submit to saliva testing at my work, as a part of our insurance. The following year they will test all of our BMI. Strange days indeed.