Joe Maddon has proposed an amnesty program for PED users:
Maddon suggested Wednesday that MLB implement an amnesty program for the reported 103 other players who tested positive then take strong measures to make sure there are no future violations.
“I’m just looking forward to the day that we move beyond it,” Maddon said upon arrival at the new spring training complex. “For me, it really needs to come to the point where I’d like to see like an amnesty, basically, and move forward, and then create a situation where the penalties are so severe, nobody would ever even consider doing it again.
“But to continually drag it in the muck, I don’t know what positive, useful purpose it serves. … It’s been exposed, the boil’s been lanced; let it heal. And then move forward and understand that a lot of people screwed up, not just a couple.”
Only problem — and it’s, you know, a pretty huge one — is that under the terms of the 2003 testing program, no one could have been punished for it anyway. And it’s not like MLB discipline is even a problem. The problem is that anyone caught using steroids is made an utter pariah by the professionally outraged baseball media, and there is no amnesty program short of the suspension of the First Amendment that can do anything about that.
If there was ever to be anything approaching a workable amnesty setup, it would have been a law enforcement/baseball deal associated with the Mitchell Report and the BALCO/Radomski/McNamee/Novitsky business. That would have had at least some media buy-in and could very well have prompted something at least approaching a thorough clearing of the air. Never happened though, because (a) the feds are far more interested in prosecuting the War on Drugs than they are in actually stopping drug use; and (b) baseball has never really wanted a clearing of the air. They wanted a nice phony End Point. And they got it for about a year, but now it’s gone.