The other day we heard that the league will attempt to seek the option to discipline players involved in off-the-field cases — like DUI — when labor contract talks begin after this season. Now the Associated Press is reporting that those conversations have already started:
Major League Baseball and its players’ association are considering a formal plan for dealing with alcohol-related incidents in the next collective bargaining agreement. Two baseball officials confirmed the negotiations to The Associated Press on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are considered confidential.
The framework is there, what with the current CBA already providing for penalties involving drugs of abuse as opposed to just PEDs. Obviously it’s not the same situation in that no one is suggesting that players can’t drink, so the violation part of any alcohol offense would not determined by MLB like it is with other drugs. Things they’d have to talk about would include offenses like DUI and drunken disorderlies and stuff and where it all fits in with the justice system.
Another way to go is to simply sidestep alcohol and deal with criminal activity in general. That would have its own issues too in terms of what kind of behavior would warrant discipline. Drunk driving is one thing. Cheating on taxes is something else. And given the way pleas go, you can’t really just say felonies lead penalties, misdemeanors don’t.
But even if it isn’t easy, I’m glad they’re at least talking about it.