If you’re wonder what would cause me to put words into the mouth of labor pioneer Marvin Miller that sully the impeccable reputation of the late Upshaw, it was announced this weekend that Major League Baseball planned to implement testing for Human Growth Hormone, perhaps as early as next spring. Upon hearing the news relayed by veteran blogger Murray Chass, Miller wanted to know what the union had received in exchange. The answer would appear to be absolutely nothing.
“I don’t understand the rationale of this,” Miller said. “I don’t understand the rationale of a lot of things. It’s an unproven test. We don’t know the basis for this. I haven’t heard any rationale for this and there is no rationale for it.”
Trying to offer some sort of possible explanation, I mentioned to Miller that testing for HGH was something Selig wanted.
“I understand Selig wanting it,” he said. “But I don’t understand why the union would agree to it. If the players don’t get exercised about this, I’m not going to. But it’s a step to the rear. It’s not a step forward.”
Miller, a mentally robust 93 years old, has been critical of the union’s acceptance of testing for performance-enhancing drugs, and he reiterated his view by bringing up the union’s willingness to reopen the collective bargaining agreement twice to change the steroids-testing program and its penalties to placate critics.
“They didn’t get anything when they agreed to reopen testing when there was no reopening in the agreement to test,” Miller said, speaking critically of the union, which he saw as giving too much to the clubs too easily. “I can’t imagine anything appreciable to make you think twice about saying yes.”