Two things to take away from this report about Congress making noises about getting involved in the NFL being slow to adopt HGH testing:
1. It’s somewhat satisfying to see football begin to get a fraction of the scrutiny baseball has gotten over PEDs for the past decade; but
2. Congress has absolutely no business in this whatsoever.
The last time Congress called athletes and the league before it for PEDs was when Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee were hauled in after the Mitchell Report was released. The result: a circus of a public hearing (which I liveblogged here and here) in which the very congressman quoted in today’s story — Elijah Cummings — stood out as one of the more clueless and grandstanding members of the committee. The larger result: a prosecution of Roger Clemens that spanned years and millions and resulted in nothing.
So, yes, while I may get some selfish satisfaction of the NFL has to dance the way MLB has had to dance all of these years, I do hope this doesn’t come to pass. Because it’s a total waste designed to do nothing more than allow congressmen to grandstand.
Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.
This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:
“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline. Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.