What will come of the other 103 names?
In the past few days, much has been said about the A-Rod steroid drama. First came the news that he tested positive in 2003, followed by him admitting, last evening on ESPN, that he is guilty of taking banned substances for the three years he was in Texas. Whether you believe his admission or not, that is an entirely different story — one that I could analyze and write about for days.
What really troubled me was the way this information came to light. In 2003, 104 players were tested for steroids with the understanding that the results would remain private — and ultimately, expunged. Alex Rodriguez was one of those 104 players. I don’t know how someone discovered A-Rod’s failed test, but they did — and subsequently, leaked the information to the media. As a result, it has left most of the sports world crying out for the other 103 names.
However, disclosing the other 103 names is not so simple. Michael McCann, an SI legal analyst and professor at Vermont Law School, wrote a great piece weighing out all the possibilities of revealing those other names while addressing the pros and cons in terms of its general effects and legal ramifications on the different parties involved. I highly suggest you read it.
Perhaps the most important excerpt of that article, came at the very end.
One party not mentioned above may be the one with the greatest interest in the 103 names: Bud Selig, the commissioner of MLB. As commissioner, Selig possesses the “best interests of the game” authority, a purposefully vague concept, found in baseball’s constitution (the Major League Agreement, originally drafted in 1921) and one that has been interpreted in various ways over the years by different commissioners. Selig might conclude that the 103 unknown names will hang over baseball like a black cloud, damaging the game and endangering its credibility with fans, many of whom, due to the economy, may already be inclined to attend fewer games and buy less merchandise. Although it would likely lead to legal objection by the MLBPA, Selig could release the 103 names (if he is aware of them) or demand that the MLBPA does so. Such moves would likely trigger a dramatic showdown between the league and the players, a provocative, though ultimately sad situation that could only exist in this Steroid Era of baseball.
What will Selig think is best for the game? Will it be releasing the 103 names that tested positive in 2003; or erasing them completely, letting A-Rod take the lone fall from those specific tests, and attempting to move on? Ultimately, it will come down to what actions it will take to remove, or at least push aside, the steroid era cloud that hovers over the MLB.
Take a long look at McCann’s piece and weigh in on your thoughts.