MLB CBA: HGH Testing, Expanded Playoffs, Smokeless Tobacco Ban
MLB, Rumors, MLB CBA

MLB CBA Highlights: Drug Testing, Expanded Playoffs and Tobacco

11/23/11 in MLB   |   Dan_B   |   1066 respect

Unlike its counterparts, the NFL and the NBA, there will be no lockout in Major League Baseball this year. Yesterday the players and the league agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will last through Dec. 1 2016, and there are some fairly controversial aspects to it--in addition to major changes to draft-related spending, the arbitration process and draft pick compensation.

The jury is still out on whether these are good changes--what do you think?

1. The Houston Astros are moving to the American League West in 2013. That means there will be 15 teams in each league and interleague play throughout the season.

2. A second wild card team will be added to each league beginning no later than 2013 (and maybe 2012). The two wild cards teams will play a one-game playoff to determine which team moves onto the Divisional Series.

3. Team personnel will be prohibited from using smokeless tobacco during club appearances and TV interviews. Personnel will also be banned from carrying tobacco products in their uniforms and must conceal tobacco packages when fans are present. 

4. Blood testing for the use of human growth hormone will begin during Spring Training 2012 (incidentally, this does not necessarily give current users enough time to get it out of their systems). Beginning in the 2012-13 offseason players will be subject to random hGH testing.

5. Players that are voted to the all-star teams will be required to attend the game unless the player is injured or excused by the commissioner. 

These are some incredibly bold moves. The MLB is now the first professional sport to use blood testing for hGH--the tarnish of the steroid era clearly still exists. The partial tobacco ban is also controversial, as players will still be able to dip or chew on the field.

Thoughts? 
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11/23/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

It's too late for a blog now this week given the holiday, but remind me to write something on Monday on the economic changes, because I find those much more fascinating.

11/23/11   |   Joe_L   |   12371 respect

Sounds like Bud Selig is channeling his inner Adolf Goodell. The players have the right to use smokeless tobacco if they want, no one should have the right to take that from them.

11/23/11   |   Jess   |   32813 respect

YankeeFan wrote:
I agree about the All-Star game.  I thought it was awful how many people opted out of playing last year after being voted in by the fans.  Do you know if people can withdraw their names from the ballot if they really don't want to play?

The tobacco thing seems like it will be hard to enforce, but it's an interesting gesture.

Not loving the wild card changes, nor the thought of having the Astros move to the AL.

I'm not sure if they can withdraw their name from the ballot either - I was just looking for that. Agree about the tobacco thing being an interesting gesture. It'll be difficult to enforce, and I can even see why it might be controversial, but I totally get what they're trying to do.

11/23/11   |   YankeeFan   |   98 respect

Jess wrote:
The tobacco thing is bizarre, but I do like the hGH change. And this may seem silly, but as a fan, I really like the mandatory All-Star appearance change.

Good to see the MLB not follow suit with the NFL and NBA, regardless of how crazy or controversial some of the changes are. 

I agree about the All-Star game.  I thought it was awful how many people opted out of playing last year after being voted in by the fans.  Do you know if people can withdraw their names from the ballot if they really don't want to play?

The tobacco thing seems like it will be hard to enforce, but it's an interesting gesture.

Not loving the wild card changes, nor the thought of having the Astros move to the AL.

11/23/11   |   Jess   |   32813 respect

The tobacco thing is bizarre, but I do like the hGH change. And this may seem silly, but as a fan, I really like the mandatory All-Star appearance change.

Good to see the MLB not follow suit with the NFL and NBA, regardless of how crazy or controversial some of the changes are. 

11/23/11   |   Dan_B   |   1066 respect

(Edited by Dan_B)

 I should have mentioned replay in the article. Replay is being extended to fair/foul and "trapped" balls. 

11/23/11   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

Only thing they missed is replay for Fair-Foul, plays at the base and Homeruns...

By the way... MLB's persecusion of 'Steroids' era players make them look like Winona Rider in "The Crucible", it's a f*cking joke!!