Baseball's new steroid rules lack muscle

Published: Saturday, January 15, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 10:28 p.m.
So baseball is implementing a new and tougher policy to combat the use of steroids and restore the faith of its fans.
My reaction?
This should have been done 10 years ago, but owners and players turned a blind eye to the problem. The owners didn't want to do anything because all of the home runs were helping fill up ball parks and the players didn't want to do anything because they never want to do anything.
Instead, we have home run records that are obscene and Barry Bonds heading for the Hammer. I'm sorry, but I'll always consider the home run record Henry Aaron's no matter how many Bonds hits for two reasons.
The cream and the clear.
Baseball has stiffened its penalties and is patting itself on the back, but we all know that nothing would have been done if grand jury testimony had not been leaked.
And even though the penalties are tougher, they still aren't tough enough.
A baseball player who tests positive for steroids misses 10 games - or roughly 1 weeks of a grueling season - without pay. Of course, the home runs he hits because of chemically enhanced muscles will allow him to more than make up for the lost revenue in his next contract.
On the other hand, if an athlete at the University of Florida tests positive for steroids, that athlete loses 50 percent of the season. A second positive test means you're gone. If you test positive at an NCAA event like the basketball tournament or the College World Series, you are out for a year and it counts against your eligibility.
Those are tough steroid penalties. What baseball has done is discourage players from using the juice, but I doubt if it will put any juice back into the game.
  • DOERING DOESN'T: This was supposed to be the year that former Florida receiver Chris Doering finally suited up for his first NFL playoff game. He had been on two playoff teams - Indianapolis and Denver - during his pro career but wasn't active for either of the wild-card losses.
    Unfortunately for the P.K. Yonge grad, he was cut one week before the season ended. The Steelers called up quarterback Brian St. Pierre.
    "They told me they were going to re-sign me Monday, but it didn't happen," Doering said Thursday. "There is still a chance they could bring me back for the playoffs if they advance. I hope so. I know they're going to Jacksonville."
    Even if he is not re-signed, Doering will be rooting hard for his former teammates to win the Super Bowl. He will receive a check for every round of the playoffs and the total bonus could be close to $100,000 if Pittsburgh wins it all.
    "I guess that's a little consolation," Doering said. "I was a little bit hurt by the whole deal. But now, it's like I've got a bet on every game they play except that I can't lose anything."
    Doering will receive $18,000 if the Steelers win this week.
  • PEYTON'S CURSE: In college it was Florida. In the NFL, it has been the New England Patriots for Peyton Manning.
    Manning may be the best quarterback in the game right now, but he heads to Foxboro having lost six straight games there and has thrown 19 interceptions to six touchdowns.
    Manning's Tennessee statistics were a little better against the Gators, but his teams never beat UF in four tries.
    In those four games, the first in a mop-up role, Manning threw for 1,198 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. In the last two games against Florida, he attempted 116 passes.
    But I think this is the week and this is the year for Manning. I'll take the Colts to beat the Patriots despite the muddy field because Mike Vanderjagt make have made his teammates angry but he was right.
    The Patriots are ripe for the picking.
    I also like the Falcons to beat the Rams, the Vikings to slip past the rusty Eagles and the Steelers over the Jets. Super Bowl? Colts and Falcons.
  • REPLAY BOARD: The SEC coaches have endorsed instant replay for next season, but it's up to the athletic directors to make it happen.
    The 12 AD's will vote on the proposal in March during meetings at the SEC women's basketball tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn.
    One athletic director expected to give a "yea" vote is Florida's Jeremy Foley.
    "I like the idea of instant replay as long as it's equitable," he said. "That's what I want to see. Is it the same number of cameras, same angles for every game?"
  • SEEING YELLOW: I find it interesting that Oklahoma State was willing to pay former UF line coach Joe Wickline $200,000 a year with a roll-over deal for three years.
    You could say the offensive line played well this year. Didn't Florida lead the SEC in offense?
    But I look at this - 49 penalties on the offensive line. Even more so, I look at this - 29 of those penalties came after Ron Zook and his staff were fired.
  • PAT-POURRI: Now that Syracuse has hired Greg Robinson, it means that 22 Div. 1-A head football coaching jobs opened up and one went to a minority - Ty Willingham at Washington. Nice progress ... David Letterman on Carlos Beltran's $119 million contract with the New York Mets: "Plus, with the Mets, he gets October off." ... Congrats to my good friend Jill Andreu, who delivered a very precious Madeline Parker Andreu into the world Friday. You can't wipe the smile off her old man's face ... Which is a better example of the NCAA's hypocrisy - pushing for a 12th game yet saying a playoff would put to much strain on the athletes, or moving the baseball season deeper into the summer while complaining about financial issues? ... I mean, where do they think those baseball players are going to live in late June? ... Raul Mondesi? ... I watch a lot of college football and it still amazes me how many players I have never heard of declare for the NFL Draft ... Let's see, we have Noah Brindise, Larry Fedora, Mike Locksley and Steve Spurrier all calling ball plays. Should be an interesting season ... Be safe.
    You can reach sports columnist Pat Dooley by e-mail at or by calling 374-5053. You can hear The Pat Dooley Hour each weekday from 11 a.m. to noon on The Star 99.5-FM.
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