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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

MLB in talks to implement opioid testing as early as 2020

In the wake of the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs from a mixture of oxycodone, fentanyl, and alcohol in June, Major League Baseball is in talks with the Major League Baseball Players Association to start testing MLB ballplayers for opioids as early as the 2020 season.

“We have been in active discussions with the Players Association about changes to our joint drug program to address opioid use, and I am cautiously optimistic that we will find common ground on this very important issue,” deputy commissioner Dan Halem told The Athletic on Monday.

According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, both parties have come to the table and are receptive to the change, a major departure from the past when MLB and the MLBPA butted heads on expanded testing for performance-enhancing drugs. There is currently no testing for opioids under the Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA, though opioids are a banned substance.

Skaggs’ death, which devastated the Angels and all of MLB, is the impetus for this possible change. The cause of death was unknown until the end of August, when the Tarrant County (Texas) Medical Examiner announced that Skaggs had choked on his own vomit after ingesting a combination of two opioids (oxycodone and fentanyl) and alcohol. In mid-October, ESPN reported that an Angels employee, himself addicted to opioids, had sold Skaggs and several other Angels players opioids. It was also reported that several Angels employees knew about Skaggs’ addiction to opioids for months or even years, and did nothing to help him receive treatment.

As always, my apologies- the source article is behind a paywall for me.

 

QLE Posted: October 16, 2019 at 12:40 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, opioids, testing

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Rags to riches: MLB to open NYC retail store at new offices

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s new office will have a rags-to-riches component.

The commissioner’s office said Monday it will open its first permanent retail location in the U.S., the MLB Flagship Store, next summer.

MLB is moving its offices in January to the west side of midtown Manhattan, near Rockefeller Center, in the tower above the retail store. The sport has been in its current offices, near Grand Central Terminal, since 1999. The new location will also house Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which has been farther downtown in Chelsea.

Is it just me, or does this feel like a peculiar combination of operations to want to have in the same building to any of you?

 

QLE Posted: October 15, 2019 at 12:46 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, mlb, retail

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Major League Baseball has an opioid problem. Now what?

Jumping ahead to materials not being discussed in other threads:

But there’s a broader problem here: is it not starting to look like Major League Baseball has a major, major problem with opioid addiction?

One player is dead. A team employee — also an addict — was involved in the player’s drug acquisition and use. And not just some rogue outside trainer or a guy who wears a mascot costume. It was a long-standing and high-ranking front office employee. And that’s before you get to the part where, if he is to be believed, a full 20% of the Angels’ big league roster abuses opioids as well.

Which is to say that Major League Baseball, in all likelihood, does have a major, major problem with opioid addiction. It seems logical that it would extend beyond the Angels, at least. From gambling and throwing games in the early days of the game to alcohol addiction during its alleged “Golden Age” to cocaine in the 1970s and 80s and on to PEDs in the 90s and early 2000s, vice and/or addiction in Major League Baseball always — always — extends to more than one club. Players on other teams are rivals but they’re also friends, interact and socialize both during and after the season. They all face the same pressures and temptations and are thus all subject to the same addictions. And that’s before you acknowledge — which we must — that the opioid epidemic our nation has seen over the past decade respects few if any social, cultural, or economic boundaries. If five guys on a team are using, you can bet there are many more on other teams as well.

So what does Major League Baseball do about it?

Some thoughts on a broader issue in the sport, by a longtime site associate.

 

QLE Posted: October 13, 2019 at 12:18 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, opioids

Thursday, August 15, 2019

MLB Should Threaten Tanking Teams With Relegation

Jumping ahead to the key part of the argument:

How do you fix that, though? Simple: You make losing as painful as possible, and in that vein, there’s no better way to stop tanking in baseball than to borrow a page from the Premier League’s book and institute relegation. At the end of the season, the six worst teams in the majors—three from each league—are sent down to Triple A. If the Orioles aren’t capable of contending at the major league level, then they shouldn’t be here. Nor should the Tigers or the Marlins or the half-dozen other teams seemingly content to waste everyone’s time.

I think this would be entertaining- but, then again, my hometown probably would end up with an MLB team if this rule were applied this season, and we aren’t likely to ever get one any other way.

 

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:04 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, relegation, tanking

MLB can appeal to a younger audience by embracing what’s behind the curtain

NEW YORK — They’re selling T-shirts that read “Savages in the Box,’’ a slightly-sanitized version of Aaron Boone’s now famous three-week-old tirade, in the Yankee Stadium souvenir shops.

The shirts are $40 a pop and the lady behind the counter told me she can hardly keep them on the shelves.

The players are wearing them in the clubhouse, too, and there is even a sportswriter version, reading “Savages in the Press Box,’’ which goes for a mere $25.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball would like to pretend, at least publicly, that baseball players and managers don’t really talk like that.

I know that this is a losing battle (and that, for various reasons, this site’s a bad place for it even more than many others), but is the debasing of civil society and the devolution into sociopathy really something we should be celebrating? When you’re using a wrestling promoter whose career can be summarized quite adequately as “low-life” as a positive, isn’t it a sign that your argument is terrible? In a world where “passion” sums up every jerk with a Twitter account, is it really something we need more of?

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 04:11 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron boone, decorum, mlb

 

 

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