Archive - November 2016
- Column: New MLB CBA Will Look Like The Last OneNovember 24, 2016
How times have changed in Major League Baseball (MLB). No, we don’t mean the game on the field, although recent rule changes have sparked fan debate and lit up social media. The big change, one that has fattened the bottom line for everyone involved in the game - owners, players, media outlets and everyone else who generates revenue from the sport – is labor peace. Between 1972 – six years after the formation of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) - and 1994 there were eight work stoppages in the sport, five strikes by the players and three lockouts by the owners. However, since 1995 MLB has had labor peace and not coincidentally, the sport has flourished. In the past 21 years, the parties have successfully negotiated five Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) without an interruption in play. During the same period, the other three Major League team sports – the NFL, NBA and NHL – have shut down a total of five times.
- Column: WADA Needs Watchdog of Its OwnNovember 17, 2016
Looks like the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the agency charged with assuring clean competition at the world’s most important sports competitions, could use a watchdog of its own. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims that it’s “responsible for delivering an anti-doping program for the Olympic Games that produces accurate and reliable testing outcomes, and that effectively deters cheating or detects any cheating that nevertheless occurs.” To accomplish this end, the IOC contracts with WADA which in turn employs Independent Observers (IO) to chaperone athletes and collect samples during the Games.
- Column: Harvard Punishes Wrong IndividualsNovember 10, 2016
Harvard University recently suspended the men’s soccer team for the remainder of the season after it was revealed that the 2012 men’s soccer team published a “scouting report” on their counterparts on the women’s team. The nine-page report had nothing to do with the women’s soccer ability; it was based on their sexual attractiveness and perceived sexual interests. In an email announcing the suspension to Harvard student-athletes, athletic director Robert L. Scalise said, “We strongly believe that this immediate and significant action is absolutely necessary if we are to create an environment of mutual support, respect, and trust among our students and our teams.” While the goal of his message is certainly important, the action designed to accomplish it - suspending the team - was wrong on a number of levels.
- Column: MLB's Instant Replay Doesn't Please EveryoneNovember 3, 2016
Baseball may be the sport most rooted in its traditions. Therefore, it should surprise no one that MLB was the last major sport to adopt instant replay. And not surprisingly, not everyone believes the current system improves the game. Instant replay was first introduced in Major League Baseball in 2008. Initially, it was limited to reviewing home runs. But since an expanded version of instant replay was adopted in 2014, managers can ask umpires to review plays on the bases, trapped balls and virtually everything else with the exception of balls and strikes. Those who believe that the most important thing is to get every call right are even clamoring for “robot umps” behind the plate.