I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but if this report from Jon Heyman is correct, Gene Orza should resign or be fired first thing in the morning, and the whole of union leadership should rethink everything they’ve said and done with respect to PEDs over the past seven years:
That list would have been long gone if not for the union, several baseball people say. Players union COO Gene Orza worked long and hard to try to pare down the list. Orza’s mission, according to baseball people, was to find enough false positives on the list to drive the number of failures so far down that real testing wouldn’t be needed in 2004 or ever.
Orza wanted to get the list down below the five percent threshold for testing to go away entirely. But try as he might, he could not drive it down quite that far. After months of trying, Orza couldn’t do it, and baseball announced that a curiously amorphous 5-7 percent of players failed the 2003 survey test, enough to ramp up the testing in 2004, much to the union’s dismay.
According to multiple baseball sources, Orza spent way too much time studying the results in hopes of lowering the number. And while Orza was playing with the paperwork, BALCO struck, foiling his grand scheme.
And when BALCO investigators asked for the results of the players linked to that scandal, Orza did what came naturally to him, which was to fight. He had a history of winning his fights, so that gave him confidence that he could win this fight.
But this time he didn’t win. The feds subpoenaed all the records instead of just the BALCO boys.
All 104 players who tested positive were now at risk.
No, this doesn’t wash the hands of anyone else — not the person who wrongfully leaked this information or Alex Rodriguez for using in the first place — but Orza’s actions and motivations, if Heyman is accurately describing them, constitute negligence and hubris of the highest order. No one charged with representing the interests of others as Orza is should ever be in a position to do as much damage as he appears to have done.
(thanks again to The Common Man for staying the hell on top of this story as I lounge my weekend away)