With the recent “leakage” of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and former slugger Manny Ramirez having tested positive for steroids in 2003, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) has finally asked the federal court system to investigate who is responsible for the leaks.
If you are not familiar with the situation, here is a brief recap. In 2003 MLB was starting to get a lot of outside pressure to do something about the rampant steroid use in the game. In an agreement with the players association, all players on active rosters would submit to steroid tests to see exactly how many big league players were using.
The promise MLB made to the player’s association was that the names of those tested would never be released and quite possible would be destroyed. Either 103 or 104 players tested positive and their names were placed on a list. Assuming that all 25 players on each 30 MLB team’s rosters were tested, that means 750 total players were tested.
The MLBPA held onto the list of names and the federal government seized the list of names as a part of its BALCO investigation. The MLBPA sued, and three separate district court justices ruled the seizure of the names was illegal under the Fourth Amendment, however, those rulings were set aside by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, located in San Francisco. The ninth circuit heard the case in December 2008 and is expected to issue a ruling sometime this fall.
Since all this has happened, SI.com found out from four separate sources that Alex Rodriguez’ name was on the list. Subsequently, the NY Times cited lawyers close to legal proceedings when it reported that Sammy Sosa, Ortiz and Ramirez were also on the list.
Now that brings us back to today.
Finally, the MLBPA is taking the right steps to get this leaks plugged. The list was ordered sealed and all lawyers attached to this case are required to keep the information sealed, yet 4 names have been released and more would likely come in the future had the MLBPA elected not to do anything.
The MLBPA’s head guy, Donald Fehr issued this statement: “The leaking of information under a court seal is a crime. The active pursuit of information that may not lawfully be disclosed because it is under court seal is a crime. That its informants, according to the Times, are lawyers is both shocking and sad. That the Times is pursuing and publishing what it openly declares to be information which may not be legally disclosed is equally sad. We intend to take the appropriate legal steps to see that the court orders are enforced.”
Many players simply want this to end. Mark Teixeira, the Yankees first baseman who is also an executive member of the PA said, “Names are going to keep coming out, so just put it all out. Let everyone deal with it at the same time, because names coming out every two months isn’t good for the game. I don’t pass judgment on anybody. At the same time, as a guy that’s clean and has done things the right way his entire career, I don’t want any little kid looking at me and saying, ‘Did you do something? Were you on a list?'”
I’m just excited to see the player’s association finally threatening legal action against those responsible for the leaks. At this point, the steroid scandel is old news and for it to keep being rehashed every 2-3 months is just obnoxious. The list shoould be released all at once, much like the Mitchell Report and get it over and done with.