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Phlebotomists, Apply Here
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Nailing down a cheater is tricky business - just ask Nancy Drew and those crafty Hardy Boys. There are plenty of ways to cheat in sports (just ask Gaylord Perry and his industrial-sized tub of Vaseline), but steroids and PED's as a whole generally seem to be looked upon as the cheaty-est form of cheating. It's obviously a huge issue at the moment, but with all the advances in modern medicine (call today for your free trial of Enzyte!), the problem is going to get a lot bigger (thanks in part to that Enzyte) as the drugs get even trickier to test for. Some PED's can be identified during the super-effective random drug tests administered by the ever-vigilant MLB, but for juice like HGH, the only way to prove that someone has used them seems to be to either find some canceled checks (way to cover your tracks, Lo Duca) or have your trainer out you to a crazed ex-Senator that may very well be on some sort of drug himself. Unlike other drugs, HGH will not cause your urine to sound steroid sirens when tested; to identify whether a person has been using HGH, hormone levels in the blood must be measured against the person's "normal" hormone levels.*

To curb the use - or at least strike some fear into a few potential user's hearts - of PED's, the idea of requiring every player to provide a blood sample to be frozen has come up. With every player's blood on ice, the MLB would have the ability not only to thaw it out and test it whenever they damn well pleased but to test for more drugs than they currently can. Awesome mental picture of a meat locker filled with vials of baseball blood aside, this sounds like a very wise idea - easy and convenient testing, blood at the ready for advanced tests as they are developed, and, like I said, a neat photo op.

There are problems, though. No one seems to agree on whether the frozen blood would hold up very well and thus provide reliable results from the drug testing, and more importantly, the players union doesn't like the idea one bit. There are questions as to whether it would violate civil liberties, and it would have to be voted in for the next bargaining agreement. The MLB is all for it, especially given the current cloud of cheater-ness hanging over baseball's good name, but the union will have the final word on this.

The word will be no.

Can someone Photoshop me a meat locker full of baseball blood anyway?

EDIT 01/17/08: Billy from Seraphim7.com sketched out a great pic of my aforementioned blood-filled meat locker dream! Check it out here and share my dream: http://uberuser.seraphim7.com/2008/01/where-baseballs-secrets-go-to-die.html

*I am not a chemist by trade (or by anything else... sorry Dr. E [YC's high school chemistry teacher]), so I'm sure this explanation is beyond weak. Look it up, Googlers.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, January 16, 2008  
  • At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think this is a very good idea, and it seems like a lot of players even agree. What would it take for the union to agree to something like this?

  • At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Steriods ROCK!!

  • At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Jim said…

    I'm no chemist either, but why would the blood "deteriorate" enough to not make the testing reliable? We're always hearing about old blood samples etc being used in court cases, and that is OLD, un-frozen blood.

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