Yanks pay now, worry later

Originally Published: November 16, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Just a few scribblings of an offseason scribe …

  • Drug testing generally doesn't work, because the rewards outweigh the risks. As anybody who knows about this stuff will tell you, "The users will always be ahead of the testers." Testing does not work -- with rare exceptions -- in the NFL or in the Olympics or in professional velocipeding for one simple reason: If you don't cheat you can't win, so you've got very little to lose by cheating. If you're an offensive tackle and you can't gain 30 pounds of muscle without some help, then you get the help, because without the 30 pounds of muscle you're selling insurance with your father-in-law. If you're a sprinter and you can't run a 9.8 100 (or whatever), you're coaching high school track.

    Baseball's different, though. There's no particular number that must be achieved. You'll make more money if you hit 35 home runs than if you hit 25, but if you hit 25 you can still play. Everybody wants a starting pitcher who can throw 95 miles an hour, but there are plenty of guys in the majors who need a stiff tailwind to crack 90.