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View Full Version : MLB Vows to Fight Congressional Subpoenas on Steroids Issue


Amnorix
03-10-2005, 06:47 AM
Seriously, why the hell does baseball continue to enjoy it's antitrust exemption? Never has a privileged status been so horribly mismanaged. Yank it, let MLB sink or swim on their own, and oh by the way -- enforce the subpoenas and have anyone who refuses to testify thrown in jail (including Curt Schilling). MLB's dirty laundry needs to be cleaned as soon as possible.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/baseball/mlb/03/09/bc.bbo.steroids/index.html?cnn=yes

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Major League Baseball representatives said Wednesday they will fight subpoenas issued by a House committee to some of the biggest names in baseball -- including Sammy Sosa (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/4344) and Curt Schilling (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/4267) but not Barry Bonds (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/3918) -- as they investigate suspected use of steroids by players.

"It is absolutely beyond the legal pale," MLB attorney Stan Brand told reporters Wednesday afternoon. "It is an excessive and unprecedented use of congressional power."

In a letter sent Tuesday to committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., and ranking House member Henry Waxman, R-Calif., Brand said current and former players -- except former Oakland slugger Jose Canseco -- will respectfully decline the invitations to testify.

Eleven subpoenas were issued Wednesday afternoon to players for next week's hearing. Tuesday, MLB was subpoenaed for documents related to its handling of the issue, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., said. Several baseball executives, including Commissioner Bud Selig and the head of the players union, Donald Fehr, also are asked to testify.

Brand said lawmakers "have torn loose from their legislative moorings" by issuing the subpoenas.

Rob Manfred, basball's executive vice president of labor relations, said he and Brand have offered to appear before the committee in lieu of players. But Manfred indicated that the information they provide will be limited to the application of MLB's new drug testing policy.

In January, players and owners agreed to a stricter testing program for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that provides for penalties, instead of just treatment, for first-time offenders.

According to Brand's letter, both the MLB and basball's Players Association accuse the committee of lacking jurisdiction in the steroid issue, because neither group is a government entity subject to committee oversight.

In addition, the MLB and the players' union possess "legitimate privacy interests. Highly private and sensitive information has been gathered and shared in the course of the development of their new drug testing program."

Committee efforts to obtain drug testing results raise constitutional and privacy issues, Brand said, some of which are addressed by the players' collective bargaining agreement.

"We are concerned about records created and maintained by MLB as part of the bargaining agreement," Brand said. "The committee has subpoened those records and we feel bound to raise those objections."
He said the committee is considering the MLB objections.

Brand said if the MLB objections can't be resolved by the committee, the issues would go to the full House and eventually to U.S. District Court for resolution, Brand said.

Subpoenas will be issued to all the witnesses, Davis said, "to make sure they're here." But committee aides were quick to point out that some of the witnesses had already agreed to testify while others resisted.

Ballplayers balking at a voluntary appearance before the committee include former St. Louis Cardinals star Mark McGwire, the former St. Louis Cardinals star who broke the single-season home run record in 1998; Baltimore Orioles (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/teams/orioles) first baseman Rafael Palmeiro (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/3897); and New York Yankees (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/teams/yankees) first baseman Jason Giambi (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/5386), the source said.

Sammy Sosa, the former Chicago Cubs (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/teams/cubs) outfielder who was McGwire's main rival in the 1998 home-run chase, "respectfully" declined the committee's invitation, his agent, Adam Katz, told CNN. Sosa, now with the Baltimore Orioles, will "take a second look and make the right choice," Katz said.

Those who agreed to testify include Canseco, who just published a tell-all book on steroid abuse in the majors; Boston Red Sox (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/teams/red_sox) pitcher Curt Schilling; and Chicago White Sox (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/teams/white_sox) designated hitter Frank Thomas (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/4527).
Davis said he thought some of the witnesses would cite their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, but said he hoped most would testify.

In December, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Giambi told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he had used steroids. Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/teams/giants) told the grand jury he used a substance that prosecutors believe contained steroids, the paper said.

Bob Dole
03-10-2005, 07:00 AM
Bob Dole missed it...

Why are tax dollars being spent on a steroid investigation of MLB?

KCFalcon59
03-10-2005, 07:02 AM
Why didn't Bonds get a subpeona?

KCWolfman
03-10-2005, 07:05 AM
Bob Dole missed it...

Why are tax dollars being spent on a steroid investigation of MLB?
That was my first thought as well.

GoTrav
03-10-2005, 07:36 AM
THIS JUST IN!!!






baseball still sucks

HC_Chief
03-10-2005, 07:38 AM
Bob Dole missed it...

Why are tax dollars being spent on a steroid investigation of MLB?

Nothing better to do?

Oh wait... there's fixing Social Security, doing something about our unprotected borders, hunting down arabic shitbags.... nah, MLB is much more important tahn those issues

:grr:

Amnorix
03-10-2005, 07:39 AM
Bob Dole missed it...

Why are tax dollars being spent on a steroid investigation of MLB?

I don't have an issue with it. The public certainly has an interest in fair professional competitions free from athletes who use prescription drugs, which are dangerous if misused, to enhance their performance on the field.

Basically, MLB is a multi-billion dollar industry, and if you added the other sports in there, we're really talking about some big business. I think it's fair to say that if Congress wants to get involved in ensuring an even playing field, most Americans would support that.

Amnorix
03-10-2005, 07:42 AM
Nothing better to do?

Oh wait... there's fixing Social Security, doing something about our unprotected borders, hunting down arabic shitbags.... nah, MLB is much more important tahn those issues

:grr:

Actually, hunting down terrorists isn't exactly something Congress ACTIVELY does, is it? I mean, the Patriot Act was passed. Now it's over to the executive branch.

Not to say there isn't alot ELSE for them to do, but that particular example isn't one.

HC_Chief
03-10-2005, 07:43 AM
I don't have an issue with it. The public certainly has an interest in fair professional competitions free from athletes who use prescription drugs, which are dangerous if misused, to enhance their performance on the field.

Basically, MLB is a multi-billion dollar industry, and if you added the other sports in there, we're really talking about some big business. I think it's fair to say that if Congress wants to get involved in ensuring an even playing field, most Americans would support that.

:spock:
You really are a liberal - try to solve everything through government regulation.

It is assinine.
And, if they REALLY want to "level the playing field", they'll institute a salary cap and revenue sharing.

Amnorix
03-10-2005, 07:47 AM
:spock:
You really are a liberal - try to solve everything through government regulation.

It is assinine.
And, if they REALLY want to "level the playing field", they'll institute a salary cap and revenue sharing.

No crap I'm a liberal. That was my Avatar statement my first year or so on this board...

But I'm not looking to regulate everything. Just what is solve-able by regulation. And if it doesn't work, take it off the books.

And only if MLB won't fix it themselves.

A salary cap and revenue sharing is, IMHO, way beyond what Congress is able to do. They can't regulate how a business splits its revenue/profits/costs.

They can regulate illegal substances and defrauding the sports-going public, however.

Bob Dole
03-10-2005, 07:51 AM
I think it's fair to say that if Congress wants to get involved in ensuring an even playing field, most Americans would support that.

Oh yeah...Bob Dole always loses focus and forgets the Preamble...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, and maintain an even playing field, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Bob Dole thinks it's fair to say that you and about 12 other people are the only ones who really give a shit.

HC_Chief
03-10-2005, 07:52 AM
A salary cap and revenue sharing is, IMHO, way beyond what Congress is able to do. They can't regulate how a business splits its revenue/profits/costs.

They can regulate illegal substances and defrauding the sports-going public, however.


No shit it's not something congress can do, nor is it something the SHOULD do. They SHOULD quit wasting their time and OUR money on inoccuous, braindead, empty fluff legislation like this.

Remove antitrust exemption. That should occur regardless of this waste of taxpayers' money.

Funny thing is, technically, antitrust laws would bring the hammer down on NY and Boston for attempting to monopolize the industry.

GoTrav
03-10-2005, 07:54 AM
Remove antitrust exemption. That should occur regardless of this waste of taxpayers' money.

Funny thing is, technically, antitrust laws would bring the hammer down on NY and Boston for attempting to monopolize the industry.

anyone care to explain how the antitrust laws work in baseball?

whoman69
03-10-2005, 07:55 AM
Why didn't Bonds get a subpeona?
Bonds didn't get a subpeona because he would have been the whole story. I think at a later point, Bonds will be subpoenaed but will instigate his 5th ammendment rights.

Bob Dole
03-10-2005, 07:57 AM
Bonds didn't get a subpeona because he would have been the whole story. I think at a later point, Bonds will be subpoenaed but will instigate his 5th ammendment rights.

Isn't the 5th Ammendment the one that ensures that even lazy, stupid people that reproduce like rabbits can pay less than $25 a month for rent and buy ribeye steaks with Bob Dole's tax dollars?

This is all so confusing... Damned baseball players.

Amnorix
03-10-2005, 08:19 AM
Oh yeah...Bob Dole always loses focus and forgets the Preamble...



Bob Dole thinks it's fair to say that you and about 12 other people are the only ones who really give a shit.

Amnorix thinks its fair to say that if that were true, Congress wouldn't be holding hearings. Part of the reason they're doing it, obviously, is so that the Congresspeople on the committee can get some face time with the media.

Amnorix
03-10-2005, 08:20 AM
No shit it's not something congress can do, nor is it something the SHOULD do. They SHOULD quit wasting their time and OUR money on inoccuous, braindead, empty fluff legislation like this.

Remove antitrust exemption. That should occur regardless of this waste of taxpayers' money.

Funny thing is, technically, antitrust laws would bring the hammer down on NY and Boston for attempting to monopolize the industry.

Funny thing is, I don't think you understand antitrust laws too well.

Amnorix
03-10-2005, 08:22 AM
anyone care to explain how the antitrust laws work in baseball?

You know how the NFL first had to deal with the AFL, then they merged, and then later there was the USFL. Then later the XFL? They weren't allowed to pursue anti-trust activities to crush those leagues.

Baseball can do whatever the hell it wants to crush any other group of people that tries to start a professional baseball organization.

It's not THAT big a deal, but depending on the circumstances, it could be.

HC_Chief
03-10-2005, 08:25 AM
Funny thing is, I don't think you understand antitrust laws too well.

I'm not an attourney, but I know why they exist - I know their purpose: to prevent monopolization. They purpose of this is to ensure a fair and open marketplace - to encourage competition; which ultimately affects the consumer in a positive manner.

Again, the yankees and bosox should therefore, technically, take a hammerstrike for monopolizing the MLB marketplace. Without revenue sharing, and a salary cap, they are able to generate HUGE revenues from local broadcast rights which THEY ALONE own, then spend said $ on any player they want - effectively pricing-out their competition. Sounds like a monopoly to me. And, again, that's what antitrust law is intended to prevent.

If you have another definition, please share it.

Amnorix
03-10-2005, 08:40 AM
I'm not an attourney, but I know why they exist - I know their purpose: to prevent monopolization. They purpose of this is to ensure a fair and open marketplace - to encourage competition; which ultimately affects the consumer in a positive manner.

Again, the yankees and bosox should therefore, technically, take a hammerstrike for monopolizing the MLB marketplace. Without revenue sharing, and a salary cap, they are able to generate HUGE revenues from local broadcast rights which THEY ALONE own, then spend said $ on any player they want - effectively pricing-out their competition. Sounds like a monopoly to me. And, again, that's what antitrust law is intended to prevent.

If you have another definition, please share it.

You're wrong because you're off on several basic assumptions.

Cochise
03-10-2005, 08:45 AM
I don't exactly know why Congress would be getting involved here, but I sure would like for them to have to testify under oath whether or not they were juicing during their homerun chase.

jarjar
03-10-2005, 08:45 AM
I'm not an attourney, but I know why they exist - I know their purpose: to prevent monopolization. They purpose of this is to ensure a fair and open marketplace - to encourage competition; which ultimately affects the consumer in a positive manner.


Right, but that's obvious and very vauge.


Again, the yankees and bosox should therefore, technically, take a hammerstrike for monopolizing the MLB marketplace. Without revenue sharing, and a salary cap, they are able to generate HUGE revenues from local broadcast rights which THEY ALONE own, then spend said $ on any player they want - effectively pricing-out their competition. Sounds like a monopoly to me. And, again, that's what antitrust law is intended to prevent.

If you have another definition, please share it.

Firstly, it is not illegal to be a monopoly, it's just that if you are a monopoly then special rules apply to the things you can do. Regardless of whether baseball teams are monopolies in their local marketplace or not (which I doubt), they definately are not monopolies at the national level (there are tons of teams to watch). So for example, you can't bring the anti-monopoly anti-trust laws to bear when talking about the Yankees because the Yankees are not a baseball monopoly and so they can use their superior bank account and marketshare in any way they please.

MLB has to fix their problems themselves if they want to allow a more level playing field. If they don't then the sport will just continue on the pathetic decline it's been on for the past decade.