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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Melky Cabrera seeks instructions from Giants

I am lost
So I am cruel
But I’d be love and sweetness
If I had you

The club is not commenting on [Melky] Cabrera’s situation, but all indications are that upper management has zero interest in the All-Star Game MVP playing another game in orange and black…

The Giants had 45 games remaining when Cabrera was suspended; if the Giants were to advance beyond five games in postseason play, he would be eligible to participate…

Cabrera could not participate in any formal team activities on a rehab basis until he has served 40 games of his suspension. The only way the Giants could have Cabrera see live pitching is to send him to compete with their top prospects in instructional league. But he couldn’t participate until Sept. 29 at the earliest, I’m told.

For now, Cabrera is not in Arizona. Nor do the Giants have any current plans to ask him to travel there…

the Giants must meet soon to vote on playoff shares—and determine an appropriate amount for a player who deceived them, yet did plenty to put them in position to contend. It should make for an interesting debate within the clubhouse walls, although they could get around any disagreement by just voting Cabrera a prorated share based on games played.

Cabrera already has forfeited roughly $1.6 million in salary and tens of millions more in free agency this winter.

The District Attorney Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:40 AM | 87 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, melky cabrera, ped

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   1. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 15, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4236607)
Very nice intro.
   2. Guapo Posted: September 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4236625)
"Don't do drugs"
   3. tshipman Posted: September 15, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4236657)
This doesn't make any sense to me. Guillermo Mota is still on the team (and being used too much). Was it something about how Cabrera handled the situation? Strange.
   4. bobm Posted: September 15, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4236660)
[3] Forget Mota. How about Bonds?
   5. tshipman Posted: September 15, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4236663)
[3] Forget Mota. How about Bonds?


Bonds never tested positive. Mota has (twice). To me, that's a much better comparison.
   6. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4236671)
I'd think the payday Melky was (is?) looking for this off-season is probably the biggest factor for the Giants' having little interest in bringing him back. Unless he's willing to sign a really team-friendly contract, it'd be a pretty big risk to commit big money to a guy who might return to pumpkin form once he's off the magic juice.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: September 15, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4236674)
I'd think the payday Melky was (is?) looking for this off-season is probably the biggest factor for the Giants' having little interest in bringing him back. Unless he's willing to sign a really team-friendly contract, it'd be a pretty big risk to commit big money to a guy who might return to pumpkin form once he's off the magic juice.
But how does that explain not playing him in the postseason?

I find this extremely weird.
   8.     Hey Gurl Posted: September 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4236677)
Nobody cares about using steroids. They do care if you get yourself suspended and they lose you for a third of the season.

Also, Melky was a recent free agent signing. If he was a homegrown star like Braun it'd be different.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4236680)
Nobody cares about using steroids. They do care if you get yourself suspended and they lose you for a third of the season.


Not true.

Before signing you to a long-term deal, they sure as hell want to know if you're on steroids. Because if you are, there's a damn good chance you're going to stop once you cash in, and won't be as good as expected.
   10.     Hey Gurl Posted: September 15, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4236681)
Before signing you to a long-term deal, they sure as hell want to know if you're on steroids. Because if you are, there's a damn good chance you're going to stop once you cash in, and won't be as good as expected.

I doubt it.
   11. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 15, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4236688)
I think there's an argument to be made that Cabrera made two important changes, one perfectly legitimate and one not.

His taking of a banned substance coincided, unsurprisingly, with a re-dedication to his fitness levels that everyone said was lacking his last few years in New York. Since one goes hand in hand with the other, I'm not sure how easy it is to separate the effects of one with the other.

I've said it before, but I'd love to get to a spot where the league can find a happy zone where player safety can be balanced with a drug regimen that exploits the benefits of modern strength and flexibility training for athletes. That such a regimen would improve performance shouldn't justify in itself banning it. It's the potential dangers of the regimen that needs to be an issue. Cut those down to an acceptable level (which considering the current dangers are pretty modest shouldn't be too hard), and I think "PEDs for all who want them" would be a reasonable course of action.

Unfortunately that does not look like the course folks want to take.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4236708)

Melky did have a reputation of being a bit "soft."

[wild speculation warning laert]

You do wonder if Melky looked into magic juice, then found out that they only work well in coordination with a strenuous training regimen. I wouldn't be shocked if he was more focused on the juice, and did the conditioning as a broccoli-type necessity - he wasn't crazy about it, but he needed it to make his body work best.

And there probably are players who mainly got into conditioning to stay ahead of the field, only to have a teammate say, "Dude, if you're willing to work that hard, I can recommend some stuff that will make you even better!"

   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4236717)
I've said it before, but I'd love to get to a spot where the league can find a happy zone where player safety can be balanced with a drug regimen that exploits the benefits of modern strength and flexibility training for athletes. That such a regimen would improve performance shouldn't justify in itself banning it. It's the potential dangers of the regimen that needs to be an issue. Cut those down to an acceptable level (which considering the current dangers are pretty modest shouldn't be too hard), and I think "PEDs for all who want them" would be a reasonable course of action.

I don't see why a player should have to expose himself to any risk from drugs to play in the league. Fan seeing the absolutely highest possible level of performance just isn't important at all. If one player out of 10,000 was to have a negative health consequence it wouldn't be worth it.

How would you feel if your employer wanted you to take amphetamines so you would concentrate more at work and work longer hours?

   14. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4236736)
I don't see why a player should have to expose himself to any risk from drugs to play in the league. Fan seeing the absolutely highest possible level of performance just isn't important at all. If one player out of 10,000 was to have a negative health consequence it wouldn't be worth it.

How would you feel if your employer wanted you to take amphetamines so you would concentrate more at work and work longer hours?


This is the most important argument against ped's. It forces players who don't want to take these substances to choose between taking them in order to compete with the users or not taking them and potentially lowering their ceiling (and earning potential) relative to those who do.
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4236737)
I don't see why a player should have to expose himself to any risk from drugs to play in the league.


That's it -- no more cortisone shots, dammit!
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4236741)
That's it -- no more cortisone shots, dammit!

Players can refuse cortisone shots.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4236754)
This is the most important argument against ped's.


In my mind it's the only half way intelligent argument. The other arguments against is silly self righteousness bs.

I don't think it's a good argument, but it's the only argument that doesn't make you look like a ####### moron.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4236758)
I don't see why a player should have to expose himself to any risk from drugs to play in the league. Fan seeing the absolutely highest possible level of performance just isn't important at all. If one player out of 10,000 was to have a negative health consequence it wouldn't be worth it.


They don't have to. Allowing safe drug use doesn't force a player to do the drugs. Just like other players working out (without drugs) doesn't force other players to work out.
   19. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4236762)

Before signing you to a long-term deal, they sure as hell want to know if you're on steroids. Because if you are, there's a damn good chance you're going to stop once you cash in, and won't be as good as expected.


I doubt it.


According to the Mitchell Report, the front offices of the Dodgers and the Red Sox were having "he's off steroids, should we trade him/trade for him" discussions. The Dodgers apparently thought Paul Lo Duca was off steroids and should be traded before his value cratered, but that he'd start using again out of spite once he was traded. A scout for the Sox was saying that Gagné was washed up because he wasn't using steroids and his durability was shot.

I'd be surprised if teams weren't still having these conversations when discussing free agents with sudden spikes in performance. I don't know how heavily that kind of thing would be weighed (the Sox traded for Gagné even after that scout's report), but I'm sure it comes up.
   20. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4236775)
I don't see why a player should have to expose himself to any risk from drugs to play in the league.

_Any_ risk? The same could be said to crowding the plate or playing in at third to cut off bunts, or to dive for balls in the outfield (or crashing into the wall to make a catch), or lifting weights, or gaining body mass or whatever. All of these expose the player to _some_ level of risk, and many players do them because they provide benefits on the field.

Why the hell should PEDs suddenly fall outside this dynamic if the risk level is similar or less (which it already is in the case of crowding the plate or crashing into walls)? Being a professional athlete comes with it risks associated with the profession. We use a wide variety of drugs in every day life to achieve a wide variety of results and very few of those drugs are completely without any risk. I fail to understand the thinking behind a complete abandonment of this concept when it comes to professional sports, particularly when you think of the extreme amount of physical effort goes into playing the sport at such a level.

No players should have to take the drugs, but (as said above) no players have to lift weights or crowd the plate or crash into outfield walls trying to make a catch. But his performance may suffer accordingly. The approach for all of those is to try and minimize the associated risks with doing those things, except when it comes to PEDs.
   21. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4236780)
How would you feel if your employer wanted you to take amphetamines so you would concentrate more at work and work longer hours?

I'd either quit, do it, or not do it and see what happens (assuming there were no legal ramifications).

Nobody has a right to be a professional baseball player as-is. If you either improve your physical conditioning or have to find another line of work, you don't get to ban everyone else from working out just to level the playing field. You don't get to set the dietary guidelines for the rest of the league or whether they get corrective surgery on their eyes, arms or knees. Should a prospect be able to ban other prospects from going to Winter League ball because he doesn't want to assume the risks and responsibilities of doing so himself? Where does it end? And if it ends at PEDs, why exactly?
   22. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4236782)
A problem is that we can't trust athletes to make what we would perceive as rational decisions, there is the Goldman dilemma. Bob Goldman conducted a survey biannually that asked athletes if they would take an early death (in five years, no, not five years shorter life, really just five years left) in exchange for gold. Half of them answered yes. The general population doesn't agree, so it may be hard to accept for muggles like us just what sacrifices these guys are willing to make to get to the top.
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4236786)
PEDs haven't been allowed in more serious sports like the Olympics for decades. The way they handle things there is best for competition, which is all people should care about. Banning them has salutary affects on health as well.

   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4236789)
Nobody has a right to be a professional baseball player as-is. If you either improve your physical conditioning or have to find another line of work, you don't get to ban everyone else from working out just to level the playing field. You don't get to set the dietary guidelines for the rest of the league or whether they get corrective surgery on their eyes, arms or knees. Should a prospect be able to ban other prospects from going to Winter League ball because he doesn't want to assume the risks and responsibilities of doing so himself? Where does it end? And if it ends at PEDs, why exactly?

Because they're completely unnecessary, and expose the players to health risks. If corrective eye surgery had a significant risk of blindness, or working out caused a significant number of heart attacks, I'd favor banning them too.

This is a prisoners' dilemma situation. Players as a whole are better off if they are banned, but of course there's a big incentive to cheat. By making them completely illegal, with draconian punishment, you increase the well being of players, with no down side.

What's the upside of PEDs that players should take any incremental risk to allow them?
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4236791)
PEDs haven't been allowed in more serious sports like the Olympics for decades. The way they handle things there is best for competition, which is all people should care about. Banning them has salutary affects on health as well.


And there's literally zero downside to banning them.
   26. Bhaakon Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4236799)
I've said it before, but I'd love to get to a spot where the league can find a happy zone where player safety can be balanced with a drug regimen that exploits the benefits of modern strength and flexibility training for athletes. That such a regimen would improve performance shouldn't justify in itself banning it. It's the potential dangers of the regimen that needs to be an issue. Cut those down to an acceptable level (which considering the current dangers are pretty modest shouldn't be too hard), and I think "PEDs for all who want them" would be a reasonable course of action.


I'm not going to present myself as an expert or anything, but I have read a little bit on the subject, and the problem with this, as I see it, is that users need to take massive doses to see a noticeable effect, many times more than typical clinical doses for those substances. This makes studying athletic PED use an a clinical setting particularly problematic, above and beyond the ethical minefield of human testing in general.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4236813)
And there's literally zero downside to banning them.

Except for that whole invasion of privacy thing.

Would I take a job where I was required to take steroids? No. But nobody's talking about a rule requiring steroid use.

Would I take a job where I was required to piss in a cup and face penalties? No.

If corrective eye surgery had a significant risk of blindness, or working out caused a significant number of heart attacks, I'd favor banning them too.

And this was your stance during the 50+ years of amphetamine use by ballplayers? This is your stance about painkillers? #### steroids, Clemens was on Vioxx so he could take the mound every 5th day.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4236816)
But how does that explain not playing him in the postseason?

Well, y'know, you can't just shut a guy down then just start him back up. Plus Melky was closing in on his 160 innings limit.

Nobody cares about using steroids. They do care if you get yourself suspended and they lose you for a third of the season.

No, that's the point about Mota (also not a homegrown star). He lost 2/3 of the season to his suspension yet he is now back pitching for the Giants with no gnashing of teeth.

   29. shoewizard Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4236817)
According to the Mitchell Report, the front offices of the Dodgers and the Red Sox were having "he's off steroids, should we trade him/trade for him" discussions. The Dodgers apparently thought Paul Lo Duca was off steroids and should be traded before his value cratered, but that he'd start using again out of spite once he was traded. A scout for the Sox was saying that Gagné was washed up because he wasn't using steroids and his durability was shot.

I'd be surprised if teams weren't still having these conversations when discussing free agents with sudden spikes in performance. I don't know how heavily that kind of thing would be weighed (the Sox traded for Gagné even after that scout's report), but I'm sure it comes up


My favorite comment heard when suggesting a possible free agent was "I don't like his personal chemistry"
   30. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4236836)
Players can refuse cortisone shots.


Just as they can refuse to take amphetamines or steroids. Besides, when was the last time you heard that a player did refuse a cortisone shot? More often, it's the player demanding that they shoot him up so he can play, and the team doctors saying, "no, sorry, you can't have six cortisone shots in three weeks." The point is that even drugs which are legal (both in sport and in general) have risks associated with them. The risks with legal drugs are much better understood, but not necessarily less significant. And the prisoners dilemma is every bit as real for the legal drugs as for the illegal ones.
   31. JJ1986 Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4236846)
serious sports like the Olympics


What now?
   32. Chip Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4236847)
I have read a little bit on the subject, and the problem with this, as I see it, is that users need to take massive doses to see a noticeable effect, many times more than typical clinical doses for those substances.


Everything I've read contradicts what you've read.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4236917)
Would I take a job where I was required to piss in a cup and face penalties? No.


You've never had to take a drug test for a job?

I don't use illegal drugs, why would I care if my employer wants to test me?
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4236926)
Ahhh, let's just follow the BTF Strasburg model and let everyone but the Giants decide. We can ask Dibble and Canseco just to kick off the discussion. This should be fun.

BTW I don't care one way or the other if Melky plays in the postseason. Once he's served his "time", AFAIC it's totally up to the Giants to decide whether to use him, and for whatever reasons good or bad they may have. It's not my team.
   35. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4236931)
I don't use illegal drugs, why would I care if my employer wants to test me?

What do you know about the reliability of the tests, and the professionalism of the provider? Maybe they bought them from W. Reich Orgone Detection Labs Inc.

What do you know of the contents of pharmaceuticals you're using? What does that cough medicine really contain?

It's easier and far less humiliating to draw a line where the state of my mind and body is none of their business. It's not wrong to put a high price on my dignity even though I have little to hide, at least as long as they can't read my thoughts.
   36. bunyon Posted: September 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4236963)
Drugs aside, it seems to me like the real issues are, in decreasing order of importance:

1) Melky hasn't been playing and can't, legally, workout with the team until pretty much the start of the playoffs. It'll essentially be spring training for him. Given his history, how good a shape should we assume he'll be in?

2) The Giants have been doing pretty well without him.

3) Playing him will be a PR disaster at a time when they should be looking good.

If I'm the Giants I bring him in and kick the tires but wouldn't use him unless he shows up in great shape, ripping the ball and I have need of him on the roster.
   37. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 15, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4236997)
Let's say the Giants win the LDS in less than five games. Doesn't that mean Melky wouldn't even be eligible until the WS? You can't change your roster during a series unless there's an injury. I suppose they could play a man short for the first game or two of the LCS, but that doesn't sound like a particularly great idea.
   38. zachtoma Posted: September 16, 2012 at 03:14 AM (#4237074)
Thie is probably a dynamic situation. It's easy to say they don't want him now but if they hit a skid and their bats go cold before the playoffs start, he's going to start looking a little better to them.
   39. Gotham Dave Posted: September 16, 2012 at 03:42 AM (#4237076)
You're dealing with a guy who has had major consistency issues in his career and who's been on ice for nearly two months. He could play like absolute garbage because of rust alone. I'm sure if he was eligible with a week or two left in the regular season and the Giants could check him out in some non-crucial games, they'd enthusiastically do so. But I don't think it's something you want to try with the season on the line. Hell, I'm pretty nervous about Pettitte only getting one or two starts before prime time; I sure as hell wouldn't want to just throw him up there in the LCS.
Would I take a job where I was required to piss in a cup and face penalties? No.
I hope you realize how lucky you are to be able to make that decision for yourself. Most people have pretty much no choice.
   40.     Hey Gurl Posted: September 16, 2012 at 04:00 AM (#4237078)

I don't use illegal drugs, why would I care if my employer wants to test me?


False positives, belief in human rights, etc.
   41. Walt Davis Posted: September 16, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4237101)
I hope you realize how lucky you are to be able to make that decision for yourself. Most people have pretty much no choice.

Of course they have a choice, turn down the job. (There are a handful of occupations where drug tests are legally required.)

But that's not the point.

The points are (a) Snapper's lame argument that players who didn't want to use steroids would be forced to use steroids. They would certainly be less forced to take steroids (i.e. they could continue to play ML baseball if they're good enough) but they have no choice but to have their privacy violated if they want to play professional baseball; (b) Snapper's lamer argument that there's no harm in a ban. OK, the harm is not in the ban itself, it's in the enforcement. It is an invasion of privacy, there's no way to argue around that. An invasion of privacy is a harm, there's no way to argue around that.*

*You can argue that the benefit outweighs the harm but you can't argue that there is no harm.
   42. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 16, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4237107)
You have to invade privacy to maintain the integrity of competition.
   43. S.F. Giangst Posted: September 16, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4237113)
How would you feel if your employer wanted you to take amphetamines so you would concentrate more at work and work longer hours?


For $10M a year? Administered in a clinical setting with union oversight of the program? Hell yes. You can inject the #### into my urethra with a turkey baster if you want. Pay me.
   44. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: September 16, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4237120)
If one player out of 10,000 was to have a negative health consequence it wouldn't be worth it.

In the early days of Tommy John surgery, about 20% of patients suffered complications in the form of ulnar nerve problems, and at least some percentage of these ended up with permanent numbness or hand weakness. (My understanding is that the stats have improved over time, but that the risk of lasting complications is still > zero). Yet pitchers who blow out their UCL face tremendous pressure to undergo the surgery since without it they can't pitch. So should we ban it as well?

I do think the athlete health argument against PEDs is valid up to a point. But I suspect many anti-PED zealots (not you, snapper) invoke it even though their real justification is a not-very-well-thought-through moral outrage against "unnatural" performance enhancements that is hard to square with the simultaneous acceptance of medical treatments.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4237132)

For $10M a year? Administered in a clinical setting with union oversight of the program? Hell yes. You can inject the #### into my urethra with a turkey baster if you want. Pay me.


How about for $15K a year in the minors?
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4237134)
What do you know about the reliability of the tests, and the professionalism of the provider? Maybe they bought them from W. Reich Orgone Detection Labs Inc.

What do you know of the contents of pharmaceuticals you're using? What does that cough medicine really contain?

It's easier and far less humiliating to draw a line where the state of my mind and body is none of their business. It's not wrong to put a high price on my dignity even though I have little to hide, at least as long as they can't read my thoughts.


You realize they do ask you to write down all the medications you are taking when you take the test. Hell they even ask about poppy seeds. They know about theses issues. I have heard of literally zero cases where a person was unjustly tagged by a pre-employment drug test. If it were happening, you'd think it would get some press.

I also don't see where it's humiliating to pee in a cup in a private bathroom. Hell, you have to do that every time you go to the Dr.

Quite frankly, I think you guys are making up rights to "privacy" that don't exist. Your right to privacy does not include the right to use illegal drugs.
   47. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4237161)
How would you feel if your employer wanted you to take amphetamines so you would concentrate more at work and work longer hours?


As long as I don't have to pay for the amphetamines out of pocket, I'd be OK with that.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4237162)
Quite frankly, I think you guys are making up rights to "privacy" that don't exist. Your right to privacy does not include the right to use illegal drugs.


No, but it does include the right to keep your bodily fluids to yourself. Do you give a glass full of blood/urine to everybody who asks you for one, as a matter of routine?

Edit: And if so, can you please mail me a pint of each? Thanks!
   49. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4237163)
I have heard of literally zero cases where a person was unjustly tagged by a pre-employment drug test. If it were happening, you'd think it would get some press.


Oh, look! Here it is, getting some press.

5-10% false positive, 10-15% false negative.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4237164)
No, but it does include the right to keep your bodily fluids to yourself. Do you give a glass full of blood/urine to everybody who asks you for one, as a matter of routine?

Of course not. But, I've never though twice about a pre-employment drug test.

Quite frankly, it's among the least worrying invasions of privacy I can think of. I'm far more annoyed by Google earth posting pictures of my house, or speed traps.
   51. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4237167)
Before signing you to a long-term deal, they sure as hell want to know if you're on steroids. Because if you are, there's a damn good chance you're going to stop once you cash in, and won't be as good as expected.


Well, that's obviously not true as Alex Rodriguez signed the biggest deal in the history of baseball (at the time) and then (started/continued using) PEDs and put up two massive seasons for the Rangers.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4237168)
Oh, look! Here it is, getting some press.

5-10% false positive, 10-15% false negative.


All that talks about is the well-known effects of things like poppy seed, and other drugs causing false positives. It doesn't mention people actually being denied employment, b/c the testers know these flaws, and have you fill out a questionnaire, so they can watch for false positives.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4237169)
Well, that's obviously not true as Alex Rodriguez signed the biggest deal in the history of baseball (at the time) and then (started/continued using) PEDs and put up two massive seasons for the Rangers.

Yeah, I'm sure he only started in Texas :-)
   54. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4237171)
I have heard of literally zero cases where a person was unjustly tagged by a pre-employment drug test. If it were happening, you'd think it would get some press.


Elaine Benes would disagree.
   55. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4237172)
Do you give a glass full of blood/urine to everybody who asks you for one, as a matter of routine?


I have, without exception, handed over my urine to every person who ever asked for it. Do you have a lot of strangers routinely asking for your piss? Because 9 out of 10 physicians suggest that's a telltale warning sign that you need to move.
   56. PerroX Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4237176)
Not to side up with snapper, but the arguments for PEDs are more idiotic than anti-PED zealotry. The WOD is stupid, but we don't live in some Platonic sphere. But go ahead, get Rand Paul right on it to distract him getting involved in more serious pursuits.
   57. Swedish Chef Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4237177)
I also don't see where it's humiliating to pee in a cup in a private bathroom. Hell, you have to do that every time you go to the Dr.

The humiliating part is the act of submission, not the lack of privacy. Though you should probably know that athlete's urine samples are produced under monitoring, hence the whizzinator, an unmonitored ample is extremely easy to cheat on.
   58. PerroX Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4237179)
You should donate blood, especially if you are type O.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4237183)
The humiliating part is the act of submission, not the lack of privacy. Though you should probably know that athlete's urine samples are produced under monitoring, hence the whizzinator, an unmonitored ample is extremely easy to cheat on.

Act of submission? I think you need to lighten up a bit.

The IRS gets to monitor every penny I make, or invest. My town gets to veto anything I want to build on my property. NYC decides what I can or can't eat in a restaurant. My tax monies are used to support activities I find morally reprehensible. Peeing in a cup is chicken feed.

How many of the anti-drug testing folks are in favor of turning our whole healthcare insurance system over to the gov't?
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 16, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4237186)
I have, without exception, handed over my urine to every person who ever asked for it. Do you have a lot of strangers routinely asking for your piss? Because 9 out of 10 physicians suggest that's a telltale warning sign that you need to move.

Of course if you look like Elvis or the Virgin Mary those strangers might just be thinking of ebay.
   61. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4237190)
The WOD is stupid, but we don't live in some Platonic sphere.


And with that kind of attitude, we never will!
   62. PerroX Posted: September 16, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4237196)
I could see myself floating through space like Hugh Jackman in The Fountain.
   63. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: September 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4237209)
Would I take a job where I was required to piss in a cup and face penalties? No.

If you had the talent to earn millions of dollars playing baseball, you would take the job, you would drop your pants, you would urinate in the cup upon command, and you would probably even say "here's my urine sample sir" while handing it to the tester. You know it, I know it, and everyone here knows it. Don't even insult my intelligence by trying to act like you wouldn't.
   64. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4237241)
Don't even insult my intelligence by trying to act like you wouldn't.


Do you even have one of those for us to insult?
   65. dr. scott Posted: September 16, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4237258)
Count me as someone who finds employee drug tests extremely problematic. I don't actually take illegal drugs and I'm not worried about false positives, but why should my employer care? If I start taking drugs that affect my performance at work then fire me, but I take lots of legal drugs (well one drug, but lots of it... Hmmm beer) and even though it's perfectly legal if I show up drunk to work I will pay the consequences. Why are they monitoring ahead of time? Basically to say they have checked a box in case an employee does use drugs in a way that causes someone to get injured in the future. This is much more likely with alcohol than weed but we have a cultural bias against weed that has led to stiffer laws and penalties.

Someone said rights do not translate to taking illegal drugs, and I agree but rights should keep an employer from monitoring if you are doing illegal things. Will we let an employer put a speed governor in our car, or a BAC ignition if we have a desk job? Someone mentioned they find speed traps more annoying than drug tests. I'm guessing that is because speeding is an illegal activity you are more likely to do than weed?

To me the main problem is the screenings are not logical. Why would my company not hire a brilliant scientist with all the right qualifications because they toked a joint last weekend? There are much more dangerous legal things that the employee can do that they don't test for.

I know for a fact that one employee at our company was denied a job because of a drug screen. The hiring manager then raised hell bringing up many of my arguments (which i gave her unsolicited) and now he's a perfectly functioning engineer making valuable contributions, but only because she was smart enough and willing to buck the system.
   66. dr. scott Posted: September 16, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4237260)
Oh and I do see where certain jobs it may make sense for either public relations (althletics checking for PEDs) or places where extreme safety is required..... but desk jobs, which most of us have, should not come with a piss test.
   67. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4237262)
speed traps


I don't much care for speed traps myself, but how are they an invasion of privacy? You're driving on a public road, after all.
   68. PerroX Posted: September 16, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4237340)
Oh and I do see where certain jobs it may make sense for either public relations (althletics checking for PEDs) or places where extreme safety is required..... but desk jobs, which most of us have, should not come with a piss test.


I don't want my drones on drugs. They might get ideas...
   69. BFFB Posted: September 16, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4237363)
Count me as someone who finds employee drug tests extremely problematic. I don't actually take illegal drugs and I'm not worried about false positives, but why should my employer care? If I start taking drugs that affect my performance at work then fire me, but I take lots of legal drugs (well one drug, but lots of it... Hmmm beer) and even though it's perfectly legal if I show up drunk to work I will pay the consequences. Why are they monitoring ahead of time? Basically to say they have checked a box in case an employee does use drugs in a way that causes someone to get injured in the future. This is much more likely with alcohol than weed but we have a cultural bias against weed that has led to stiffer laws and penalties.


Insurance. There are also lots of jobs where working while stoned will not resort in a ###### up marketing report but a refinery going *boom*.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4237404)
I don't much care for speed traps myself, but how are they an invasion of privacy? You're driving on a public road, after all.

Why is the gov't electronically monitoring my speed? Any traffic tickets should be for reckless driving. A ticket for going 65 on a open, dry, interstate in daylight is utter horseshit.
   71. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 16, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4237449)
I don't dispute that 65 in a 55 is horseshit, but one certainly could argue that at a certain point speed itself constitutes reckless driving and therefore monitoring speed is a reasonable way to deter such behavior. More importantly, I'm still not seeing how your privacy is invaded simply by the fact of electronic monitoring. You don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy on a public thoroughfare, and it's not like they're monitoring your ipod selections.
   72. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: September 16, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4237457)
How would you feel if your employer wanted you to take amphetamines so you would concentrate more at work and work longer hours?


The US military does it all the time. Forces you actually.
   73. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: September 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4237462)
I don't much care for speed traps myself, but how are they an invasion of privacy? You're driving on a public road, after all.

Why is the gov't electronically monitoring my speed? Any traffic tickets should be for reckless driving. A ticket for going 65 on a open, dry, interstate in daylight is utter horseshit.


I can't make up my mind about speed limits. They are both necessary and bullshit. I have a friend who got a ticket for doing 23 in a 20 school zone, and yet I don't want someone doing 55 in front of my house, or anyone's house for that matter.
   74. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4237466)
23 in a 20? Sure, it's just a traffic violation, but I don't see how you can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.
   75. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: September 16, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4237467)
23 in a 20? Sure, it's just a traffic violation, but I don't see how you can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.


He went to court and paid it. he might have gotten off if he hired a lawyer, but it would have cost more.
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4237511)

I can't make up my mind about speed limits. They are both necessary and ########. I have a friend who got a ticket for doing 23 in a 20 school zone, and yet I don't want someone doing 55 in front of my house, or anyone's house for that matter.


That's why the only tickets should be for reckless driving. 55 on a residential street is reckless. 85 on a dry interstate in broad daylight is perfectly acceptable.
   77. Topher Posted: September 16, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4237521)
What bothers me most about drug testing is that there is a lot more you can test for than just for if a person has used an illegal drug in the recent past.

My understanding (I don't pay too much attention to it, I'm not claiming to be an expert) is that there are still "safeguards" in place to prevent results that may indicate medical conditions and/or use of legal drugs (for example, anti-anxiety meds) from being disclosed to an employer or other third party (such as an insurance company). What is stated on a disclosure statement about medications is to be kept private. But safeguards aren't 100% safe and I'd be shocked if there aren't instances of this information being shared.

Ignoring safeguards, it sure seems like we're on a path that is going to make all this information about all the chemicals and chemical reactions taking place in our bodies as something that will "need" to be shared with our employers and "necessary" third parties. I'm not sure if that is 1 year away, 10 years away, or 100 years ... but it sure seems like we are heading down that path. There is a case to be made for this type of progress -- employers can avoid hiring a mentally unstable person that can hide the symptoms in an interview, insurance companies can charge a proper premium based on risk -- but it is also a type of progress that scares me quite a bit in terms of how this information can assign winners and losers.

I have nothing to hide with a drug test in terms of illegal drugs. (If only I had friends that were willing to offer me some....) But I'm not too keen for my urine/blood to be analyzed simply because there is so much more than can be done with the sample.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 16, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4237523)
Why is the gov't electronically monitoring my speed? Any traffic tickets should be for reckless driving. A ticket for going 65 on a open, dry, interstate in daylight is utter horseshit.

The problem you're referring to stems from the fact that on many interstates, the speed limit is just set too low. In the rural parts of the country, 75 or even 80 or 85 on straightaway roads is perfectly within reason.

-------------------------------------------------------------

23 in a 20? Sure, it's just a traffic violation, but I don't see how you can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the DC area there are speed cameras everywhere, but they only kick in if you're going 12 or more MPH over the posted limit. Except for a stretch on I-295 in DC where the limit is absurdly low, it's not really all that bad a compromise. Plus you don't get points against your record if you're caught by the camera.
   79. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 16, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4237529)
Plus you don't get points against your record if you're caught by the camera.


So it's purely about generating revenue, and they don't even pretend otherwise. Nice.
   80. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: September 16, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4237554)
You realize they do ask you to write down all the medications you are taking when you take the test. Hell they even ask about poppy seeds. They know about theses issues. I have heard of literally zero cases where a person was unjustly tagged by a pre-employment drug test. If it were happening, you'd think it would get some press.

This is the stupidest argument in this entire thread. I've been denied employment dozens of times in my life. I've also taken pre-employment drug tests. I have heard of literally zero cases where an employer told me specifically why I was denied employment. And I'm 100% sure I've failed at least one pre-employment drug screening.

So it's purely about generating revenue, and they don't even pretend otherwise. Nice.

I imagine your 'Nice' is sarcastic, but my agreement isn't. You don't want to pay these fees, don't speed or don't get caught. Parking tickets are exactly the same. The entire structure of parking regulations is designed to generate revenue. You don't want to pay these fees, don't park illegally or don't get caught. Vehicle registration - explicitly designed to generate revenue. I've personally contributed literally thousands of dollars to my municipalities via parking and registration violations, to say nothing of the few hundred dollars they've gotten from me lifetime for legal/routine registration fees.
   81. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4237570)
The entire structure of parking regulations is designed to generate revenue.


Of course it is. Enforcement of moving violations, OTOH, is supposed to be about public safety.
   82. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 16, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4237599)
85 on a dry interstate in broad daylight is perfectly acceptable.

Well yes...assuming the driver is competent and the vehicle is well maintained. I see many arseholes speeding like gangbusters whilst texting or behind the wheel of a vehicle that is so poorly maintained it should not be doing over 70mph.

I happen to ride a sportsbike and spend a fair amount of time at the track and would feel quite comfortable doing 130mph under the conditions you described.

As for peeing in a cup, I'm self employed, have quite a few staff and quite frankly if they perform the work I hire them to do, I don't really give two shakes what they get up to on their own time.
   83. base ball chick Posted: September 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4237622)
snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4237134)
What do you know about the reliability of the tests, and the professionalism of the provider? Maybe they bought them from W. Reich Orgone Detection Labs Inc.

I have heard of literally zero cases where a person was unjustly tagged by a pre-employment drug test. If it were happening, you'd think it would get some press.


- get real
they don't even tell the person applying for the job that they flunked the drug test
so this is gonna get press HOW???

and i personally know of 2 people who had positive drug tests who don't do drugs who weren't hired because of it

nobody cares about nobody people who don't get hired at stop n go/ kroger/ walmart
   84. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 06:29 AM (#4237690)
nobody cares about nobody people who don't get hired at stop n go/ kroger/ walmart


Yeah, it's kind of charmingly naive that he thinks a poor person getting unfairly screwed would be front-page news.
   85. Ron J2 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4237752)
I don't use illegal drugs, why would I care if my employer wants to test me?


Can't speak for Walt, but I find the implication that they can't trust me offensive.
   86. Hack Wilson Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4237759)
Sort of funny now but it was in '89 that I got a job offer but the HR person said "pending a drug test." I was baffled, I actually had never heard of that being a precondition to employment, and said "steroids?" Which I thought absurd. The HR person responded with a smile and said "no we are not testing for steroids, what are you taking?" At the time I had never met, well knowingly, anyone taking any kind of "illegal" drug including steroids.

My God I was naive.

And I later learned by looking at a friend's son that yes steroids does increase head size.
   87. dr. scott Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4237847)
I don't use illegal drugs, why would I care if my employer wants to test me?


Can't speak for Walt, but I find the implication that they can't trust me offensive.


I'm not sure it's the trust issue that bothers me as a new employer has basically no experience to base any trust on. It's that this employer somehow thinks that taking certain illegal drugs in the past 30 days has any correlation with job success at my employment level. It seriously makes me think they are stupid.

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