Bunning on Empty

Crazed Kentucky Senator and undeserving Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, proving once again that he knows about baseball history almost as little as he does about pitching in the postseason, has teamed up with John "Who Else?" McCain to introduce a Senate bill forcing professional sporting leagues to monitor their employees' urine according to federal diktat. The legislation

is based on the Olympic model, calling for a two-year suspension for an athlete who fails a steroids test for the first time and a lifetime ban for a second offense. Athletes would be tested at least five times a year, three during the season and two in the offseason.

Just to complete the totalitarian vibe, there's a

provision urging leagues to erase records achieved with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.

No word on whether the government will require historical pictures of undesirable athletes to be airbrushed, but I think we can assume.

Players during Bunning's day, of course, gobbled greenies faster than stoners at an M&Ms factory. (Link via Baseball Primer.)

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    In addition to documenting "greenie" consumption in the majors, Bouton also used to tell this story about Ted Williams, how he would work himself into a lather during batting practice. Williams would shout things like "Here comes Jim *(#!)# Bunning and that little s#*! slider of his ... does he really think he can get me out with that sh*#!" between swings when he was in the batting cage.

    I keep waiting for Welch to say something witty like "Here comes Jim Bunning and that little sh*# legislation of his ... does he really think he can clean up the game with that s!)#?"

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    The Olympic model? I find it odd that a nation that prides itself on freedom would want the most restrictive and punitive model as the "gold standard".

    Why not just line offenders up and shoot them in the heads? That would send a little message to the children we all have to worry about.

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    I'm waiting for Alioto to be confirmed to the SCOTUS before proposing that one.

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    It boggles the mind that this is an issue for the Senate. Since when were baseball record books matters of national security?

    Someone needs to tell these idiots that when we've solved the war on Terror, the war in Iraq, the budget deficit, the public schools, the Gulf Coast reconstruction, Social Security, health care, and filled out the Supreme Court we can get around to worrying about pro sports.

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    I am not sure anything at all should be based on the "Olympic model," but even if we wanted to, surely the fact that the Olympics occur every 4 years while baseball games, for instance, occur virtually every day from April into November should mean that lengths of suspension should be adjusted proportionally.

    And the record books provision is just silly. Well, not JUST silly: it is also an abuse of power.

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    What I find amusing is that the Senate is accusing baseball of not doing its job when the reality is that if the Senate were actually able to enforce its drug laws, baseball wouldn't have to worry. I seriously wished that Donald Fehr or Tagliabue or Stern had pointed that out. It would have been awesome for Stern to ask McPain-in-the-ass, "Does the NBA need to take over U.S. Drug policy?"

    Geez and McCain wants to ruin boxing as well.

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    I want Senators to have to pee in a bottle before every vote and pass a breathalizer before speaking.

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    They are creating the ultimate jobs program. Imagine how many people it will take to scrutinize baseball records to determine the impact of performance enhancing drugs. They may have to exhume the bodies of old timers to see if they used drugs. Ty Cobb's consumption of Coca Cola might have given him a greater edge than his sharpened spikes. Entire seasons for entire teams may have to be expunged (e.g. the '82 Brewers went through coke like rock stars, the Gas House Gang boozed it up all the way to the World Series). And what was Yogi smoking to come up with all those wonderful malapropisms?

    What will be defined as performance enhancing? Caffiene should make the list, perhaps aspirin and ex-lax. It is no wonder that the new Washington team did not adopt the nickname "Senators". Who would want to be associated with those clueless losers????

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    ...is based on the Olympic model,

    So does this mean that players who take a Sudafil will be suspended?

    And if this passes, how long would it be until Congress extends this regimen to high-school athletes?

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    Just a minute here, Welch!

    Jim Bunning was a great pitcher. As I kid I watched him pitch a no-hitter at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers came so close to beating out those damned Yankees in 1961, the whole Maris/Mantle thing notwithstanding. Back then the World Series WAS the post-season.

    Otherwise, you are totally right. Keep your comments to politics. And comment often!

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    Which fucking article of the constitution gives oversight of sporting records to the US Senate? Which one guys? Huh? There's a real world out there, stop your goddamned grandstanding and worry about things like dictators who call for the total destruction of their neighbors building nukes. Considering the state of the world, any polictician involving himself in frivolous media-whoring like this should be ashamed of himself. I try to like John McCain, but I have zero respect for this shit.

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    Can we maybe make a compromise and allow for the statistical records revision in exchange for a resolution mandating the Baseball hall of fame purge all starting pitchers with less than 225 wins and a 55% win %?

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    Again we are back to the horrors of steroid use in pro sports and our nanny pols doing something to protect us all.

    Did I miss all the other major Congressional accomplishments between this time and the last? I must have since they have time to address this non-issue again. To hear them say someone else is not doing their job says it all. When the people saying that do nothing in their job but worrying about things they have no business or official obligation to even ponder. The arrogance of politicians is becoming more and more obvious at the same time their inability to lead or do anything of true benefit for the people (like leaving them alone) shines brighter and brighter.

    This is just another case of the government forcing business to enforce their laws since they are unable to themselves. Just like the HR woman here at work saying drugs are illegal when you ask why your being shock down for your urine. Yet when I asked why the company didn't go out of its way to enforce all the other laws on the books she had no answer. Is sodomy still illegal in any states? Think the government would allow random anal swabs to make sure no one was breaking the law? Their is a common bond between the HR woman and the politicians policy. The policy is only applied to everyone else and not to themselves. Of course the people who never have to piss see no problem with invading your privacy.

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    In effect, this is turning professional sports leagues into police by proxy, which is just insane. If this is implemented and successful it really is only a matter of time before they begin forcing every business to investigate all kinds of illegal activities.

    Hey, it's a great way to cut down on law enforcement spending and all it requires is a complete violation of rights! That way all the money for Homeland Security can go where it's most needed...like Alaska.

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    Think the government would allow random anal swabs to make sure no one was breaking the law?

    I'm waiting for Alioto to be confirmed to the SCOTUS before proposing that one.

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    Sodomy usually includes oral sex and bestiality as well, so y'all better get ready to spit in a plastic cup and bring your pets in for examination.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    My understanding is that drug use in baseball was a legally "fair" target for the Senate, because baseball enjoys antitrust exemption, and the Senate could make compliance with Drug War a condition of that exemption.

    But what authorizes the Senate to propose similar measures for other sports that are not exempt from Antitrust? The fact that they play "away" games in other states and/or host out of state teams in "home" games? Does that involve them in interstate commerce to the point that Congress can dictate to the owners how to run their individual teams?


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