MLBPA's Michael Weiner Addresses Expanded Drug Testing, Loss Of Marvin Miller
MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner said that the union and MLB are negotiating to expand baseball's drug-testing program once again. The focus of the current talks is based around more frequent testing schedules, including the advent of in-season testing for human growth hormone, as opposed to longer suspensions. Weiner yesterday following MLBPA's annual meetings in N.Y. said, "We've had discussions with MLB about some ways to make the deterrent stronger. I would expect that you'll see, before too long, some announcements in that area." He said the eight total positive tests this year, the most since '07, "have caught the attention of both sides and we are trying to address it." Testosterone is a particular focus as several high-profile suspensions have been announced this year, including Blue Jays LF Melky Cabrera, Padres C Yasmani Grandal, and A's P Bartolo Colon. Weiner: "Testosterone appears to be a problem, or the use of testosterone by some players, and there are some things we've talked about to make sure the deterrent on testosterone is as strong as it can be."
MILLER'S LEGACY: Weiner addressed several other topics during his 35-minute session with the press. He said the death this week of initial MLBPA Exec Dir Marvin Miller will likely accelerate to-date-unsuccessful efforts to induct him into the Baseball HOF. Weiner called Miller's exclusion, for years a hotly debated topic, "a travesty." He said, "Marvin adhered to the view that the Hall of Fame didn't matter to him, but it really did. ... But next time, I think they'll figure out a way to get him in. You can't really talk about the history of sports, the business of sports over the last 50 years without talking about the influence of Marvin." Meanwhile, Weiner was bullish on the initial player market, buttressed in part by the historic tide of new national and regional TV money pouring into the game and tweaks to various filing deadlines aimed at defining the talent landscape sooner. "It's early, but we're pretty pleased so far," he said. "So far, so good."
FIGHTING THROUGH IT: Weiner is fighting an inoperable brain tumor and has undergone several rounds of cancer treatment. He has maintained a nearly full work schedule and traveled heavily during the postseason. "I'm doing OK, I'm doing well," he said. "I haven't had any major side effects and for that I'm very grateful."