MLB CBA Highlights: Drug Testing, Expanded Playoffs and Tobacco
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.