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Opinion

Rant, Rave

By PETE YOUNG
Published November 23, 2003

Baseball's steroid rules carry no weight

Major League Baseball has decided it wants to continue to be regarded as a league filled with players using performance-enhancing drugs.

Last season MLB players were tested for illegal steroids for the first time. About 7 percent tested positive. Since the total was more than 5 percent, testing would become routine and a punishment system was established.

Of course, this works only if the testing and punishment have teeth, but neither even has gums. Among those drugs MLB did not test for are human growth hormone.

The testing will not occur in the offseason, leaving several free months to bulk up on steroids. Players are tested twice a year, an unannounced test and a follow-up five to seven days later. If it comes up clean, steroid use is free to commence without fear of detection until the start of spring training.

If caught, the penalties are tepid.

First offenses are private and "punished" with a treatment program.

A second offense gets a 15-day suspension and small fine.

It takes a fourth offense to risk missing 25 percent of the season. A player could try to get busted and need years to reach a fourth offense.

MLB's drug policy is pathetic and leaves the public no choice but to be suspicious.

Keyshawn overstepped, overrated and overstayed

Keyshawn Johnson accomplished much under Jon Gruden.

For example, he dropped the most passes on the team. He almost never made a tackler miss/broke a tackle/gained yards after the catch. According to ESPN, he has the lowest TDs-per-catch ratio in the NFL in the past three seasons. He also accrued an inordinate number of penalties. He had two last week, and he had a critical false start in overtime against the Panthers in Week 2. (The one where Johnson dropped the potential winning score in the final minute.) He became skilled at making routine catches look hard.

He also complained the most. He let his agent cause a stink about not getting the ball enough. He ranted in Gruden's face on the sideline. He declared his ex-coach the best he ever played for, an overt knock at Gruden. He told Gruden, GM Rich McKay and others he would not play for the Bucs next season. He wrote an embarrassing ego-run-amok diary on ESPN.com during Super Bowl week.

Johnson can take a hit, he's durable and he blocks well. He played superbly in 2001. Otherwise, on the field, the return on the massive investment was awful. Off the field it was worse.

Kudos to Gruden and McKay for exorcising this ego-raging, talent-diminishing problem child.

[Last modified November 23, 2003, 01:46:45]


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  • Williams gets ovation, then victory in UNC debut

  • College football
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  • B-CC downs FAMU with late touchdown
  • USF rally falls short
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  • TE Everett makes big gains
  • A great way to go out (maybe)
  • Big second half gives Cal Big win
  • Coaches call for series to live
  • Auburn gets a late lift to rocky season
  • Michigan's mission fulfilled
  • Tigers show support for Bowden with rout
  • USC rout moves it closer to title game
  • Defeat puts damper on seniors' legacy
  • USF Game balls
  • USF honors productive class of seniors

  • Conferences
  • ACC: Rally helps Maryland clinch second place
  • Big East: BC gives Hokies a rude farewell
  • Pac-10: Washington outlasts Washington State
  • Big Ten: Healed star worth Bucket to Purdue
  • Big XII: K-State seals North title
  • Nation-State: RedHawks notch 10th in a row
  • C-USA: Cards roll up win, yards
  • SEC: LSU hangs on to title hopes

  • Golf
  • Internationals sweep U.S. team

  • In brief
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  • Raptors get best of Kidd-less Nets

  • NFL
  • Bottomline
  • Fallen dynasty hopefuls a delight
  • NFL Picks
  • Things that make you go hmmm
  • Coach: Shockey to be a game-time decision

  • NHL
  • Ice hockey, with an emphasis on ice
  • Slapshots

  • Opinion
  • Rant, Rave

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Ga. angler wins title with 2 giant kingfish

  • Preps
  • A tough act to follow

  • Soccer
  • UF edges Vols on late penalty kick
  • Police search home of slain player's ex-girlfriend
  • Letters to the Editor: Column on radio host hit all the right points
  • Rays
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  • Bucs
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  • Who's running things at One Buc?
  • Oh, Brother
  • Letters to the Editor: Keyshawn receives what he deserved
  • Lightning
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