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Carlos Gomez speaks out on drug testing

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#1 gunnarthor

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 12:23 PM

http://www.espn.com/...ed-drug-testing

 

Interesting article. Gomez says he's been "randomly" picked 7 or 8 times early in the season for testing. He thinks testing is done to target Dominican and older players. Obviously, he has no evidence but Dominican players have been caught more than US players - which could be testing or could be better masking agents or just random luck.

 

In any event, I suspect his views are shared by many other players in the game.

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#2 Respy

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 01:00 PM

Small sample size.Can't really say anything about it unless there's more data on the players tested.I'd presume he's just an outlier because there are ~1000 players and there will be outliers.

 

According to MLB:

 

"Our Joint Drug Program, which is negotiated with the Players Association, is independently administered and has random testing procedures in place with no regard for a player's birthplace, age, or any other factor. Every aspect of the test selection process is randomized and de-identified, and every player is included each time random selection is conducted.

This results in some players being tested more often than others, but, as a whole, MLB players are tested more frequently than any athletes in professional sports."

 

Source: http://www.tbo.com/b...cess-is-random/

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#3 USAFChief

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 01:14 PM

http://www.espn.com/...ed-drug-testing
 
Interesting article. Gomez says he's been "randomly" picked 7 or 8 times early in the season for testing. He thinks testing is done to target Dominican and older players. Obviously, he has no evidence but Dominican players have been caught more than US players - which could be testing or could be better masking agents or just random luck.
 
In any event, I suspect his views are shared by many other players in the game.


There’s at least one more possible explanation...
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#4 Carole Keller

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 01:43 PM

Maybe it shouldn’t be so random. Maybe everyone should get tested throughout the season. Make when the test happens random, not who is tested. It’s like friends of mine who regularly get called for jury duty and I’ve gotten 3 notices in the past 18 years which resulted in me reporting once. It’s a system to only randomly catch users, not a system to catch users. It’s a sieve with a gaping hole in it.
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#5 KirbyDome89

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 02:01 PM

 

Maybe it shouldn’t be so random. Maybe everyone should get tested throughout the season. Make when the test happens random, not who is tested. It’s like friends of mine who regularly get called for jury duty and I’ve gotten 3 notices in the past 18 years which resulted in me reporting once. It’s a system to only randomly catch users, not a system to catch users. It’s a sieve with a gaping hole in it.

Doesn't that leave the system open to even more abuse though? If you're only tested X amount of times per season and you happen to hit a handful of tests early like Gomez, the chances of your name coming up again are slim, which makes it easier to get use illegal substances. The current system certainly isn't perfect, but since everybody reenters the "lottery," before each test, they all have the same chance of being tested on the same date, which at the very least eliminates the possibility that some will have an advantage over others in terms of a window to use. 

 

I agree, there likely are a good number of players who aren't caught simply by dumb luck, but apart from weekly, or in some cases almost daily testing of all players I'm not sure what more MLB can do to catch users. It's hands down one of, if not the most stringent testing programs in all of sports. There are always going to some who slip through the cracks. 

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#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 02:34 PM

I really can't see MLB manipulating the testing. The benefit of doing something underhanded is minimal compared to the disaster that would happen should they get caught doing it. How hypocritical would they look if they were "cheating" to stop cheating?

 

But image aside, all it would take is one leak or slip up and they'd be open to all kinds of lawsuits, any bargaining power with the MLBPA for the next negotiations and of course an insurmountable PR crisis involving human rights and racial profiling that would cost them advertisers, broadcasting partners and viewers from all over the world.  

 

 

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#7 Sconnie

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 02:39 PM

 

Doesn't that leave the system open to even more abuse though? If you're only tested X amount of times per season and you happen to hit a handful of tests early like Gomez, the chances of your name coming up again are slim, which makes it easier to get use illegal substances. The current system certainly isn't perfect, but since everybody reenters the "lottery," before each test, they all have the same chance of being tested on the same date, which at the very least eliminates the possibility that some will have an advantage over others in terms of a window to use. 

 

I agree, there likely are a good number of players who aren't caught simply by dumb luck, but apart from weekly, or in some cases almost daily testing of all players I'm not sure what more MLB can do to catch users. It's hands down one of, if not the most stringent testing programs in all of sports. There are always going to some who slip through the cracks. 

several of my employers have had two drug testing programs. one random screening program, one program that was systematic, everyone got tested at least once per year, and everyone involved in a work place incident got tested. Some people were only tested once, some people were tested several times per year.


#8 gunnarthor

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 03:27 PM

 

I really can't see MLB manipulating the testing. The benefit of doing something underhanded is minimal compared to the disaster that would happen should they get caught doing it. How hypocritical would they look if they were "cheating" to stop cheating?

 

But image aside, all it would take is one leak or slip up and they'd be open to all kinds of lawsuits, any bargaining power with the MLBPA for the next negotiations and of course an insurmountable PR crisis involving human rights and racial profiling that would cost them advertisers, broadcasting partners and viewers from all over the world.  

Well, if you believe the reporting, that's already happened. ARod and other stars were warned ahead of time about upcoming tests but the owners didn't push on it when they could have and there were a lot of rumors (sparked by Skip Bayless, IIRC) that Jeter failed a test and mlb covered it up. 

 

I don't think it's that crazy to think that mlb has said that some players/teams might be out of bounds. We know that the Yankees and Red Sox were among the most roided up teams and they likely still are but mlb testing hasn't caught any of them since Matt Lawton in 2005. (They did catch a minor leaguer). MLB testing has caught more Twins than Red Sox and Yankee players combined. I'm not sure if that's a conspiracy or just not representative enough b/c of the very few players that actually get caught is enough to make a usable sample size. But it is odd.


#9 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 05:53 PM

I really can't see MLB manipulating the testing. The benefit of doing something underhanded is minimal compared to the disaster that would happen should they get caught doing it. How hypocritical would they look if they were "cheating" to stop cheating?

But image aside, all it would take is one leak or slip up and they'd be open to all kinds of lawsuits, any bargaining power with the MLBPA for the next negotiations and of course an insurmountable PR crisis involving human rights and racial profiling that would cost them advertisers, broadcasting partners and viewers from all over the world.


Well the same argument can be made about cops planting evidence, yet we have seen them do it on camera. Several similar examples, from politicians to people running ponzi schemes- despite the fact its not mathematically possible for one to continue for very long.

Most humans, almost always incorrectly, think they are smart enough to get away with it. So they often don't weigh the pros/cons as logically as you just did.

I very much doubt that anything humans do that is supposed to be random, is actually random. Whether that's drug testing, security checks, DUI checkpoints, etc.

#10 Carole Keller

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:13 PM

Doesn't that leave the system open to even more abuse though? If you're only tested X amount of times per season and you happen to hit a handful of tests early like Gomez, the chances of your name coming up again are slim, which makes it easier to get use illegal substances. The current system certainly isn't perfect, but since everybody reenters the "lottery," before each test, they all have the same chance of being tested on the same date, which at the very least eliminates the possibility that some will have an advantage over others in terms of a window to use. 
 
I agree, there likely are a good number of players who aren't caught simply by dumb luck, but apart from weekly, or in some cases almost daily testing of all players I'm not sure what more MLB can do to catch users. It's hands down one of, if not the most stringent testing programs in all of sports. There are always going to some who slip through the cracks.


You make it so everyone is tested the sameness number of times during the season, but randomize the test dates so no one knows when they’ll be tested only that they will be.
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Nevertheless, she persisted. Time’s up.

#11 Nine of twelve

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:29 PM

You make it so everyone is tested the sameness number of times during the season, but randomize the test dates so no one knows when they’ll be tested only that they will be.

The thing about that is that if a particular player happens to have all his tests randomly occur early in the season he has carte blanche to cheat for several months. There should be a minimum number of tests but no maximum and the timing should be totally random.
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#12 TheLeviathan

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:35 PM

I think something more than "totally random" is probably a good idea."Totally random" lends itself to this sort of controversy by perception bias.I don't know what the perfect system is, but something along the lines of everyone being tested once a month, at a random time, seems like a good idea to me.

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#13 Nine of twelve

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:36 PM

Maybe there should be system similar to what the IRS uses for determining who gets audited. Identify red flags that are signs a player is juicing, for example a sharp increase in slugging percentage or a sharp increase in K/9 relative to the player's trend over the previous couple years.

#14 Carole Keller

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:40 PM

The thing about that is that if a particular player happens to have all his tests randomly occur early in the season he has carte blanche to cheat for several months. There should be a minimum number of tests but no maximum and the timing should be totally random.


There are ways to work that out so that doesn’t happen. The thing is it’s not working if some are being tested often while others not. It’s not fair nor does it really catch what you need to. If you test so randomly where you aren’t testing everyone, it’s really a gaping policy. You could work it so each team gets tested during a home stand in the 1st two months of the season, the 2nd two months and the final two months. You don’t say which home stand and keep that part of it random, unannounced. The point is I think there are solutions that make it so testing is fair and actually does what it’s supposed to do.
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#15 KirbyDome89

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:43 PM

 

You make it so everyone is tested the sameness number of times during the season, but randomize the test dates so no one knows when they’ll be tested only that they will be.

And if a player randomly hits that number of tests early in the season as was the case with Gomez, you could potentially have a huge window where that player can use substances because he doesn't have to worry about another test in the near future. By eliminating a quota and drawing from the same pool every time each player has an equal chance every test cycle. If nothing else it eliminates a scenario where players can use with confidence.  

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#16 Carole Keller

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:46 PM

And if a player randomly hits that number of tests early in the season as was the case with Gomez, you could potentially have a huge window where that player can use substances because he doesn't have to worry about another test in the near future. By eliminating a quota and drawing from the same pool every time each player has an equal chance every test cycle. If nothing else it eliminates a scenario where players can use with confidence.


See my subsequent reply when 9 of 12 said the same thing. The over all point is i think there are ways to do this so the policy is actually fair and effective. Levi said it well above.
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#17 jkcarew

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:57 PM

http://www.espn.com/...ed-drug-testing
 
Interesting article. Gomez says he's been "randomly" picked 7 or 8 times early in the season for testing. He thinks testing is done to target Dominican and older players. Obviously, he has no evidence but Dominican players have been caught more than US players - which could be testing or could be better masking agents or just random luck.
 
In any event, I suspect his views are shared by many other players in the game.


Aren’t the agents paid to prevent their clients from making fools of themselves in this manner?
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#18 ashburyjohn

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 06:58 PM

You make it so everyone is tested the sameness number of times during the season, but randomize the test dates so no one knows when they’ll be tested only that they will be.

This is related to a mathematical/philosophical problem.

 

Unexpected hanging paradox

 

Say Gomez is told he will be tested 3 times. Suppose he reaches the 3rd to last day of the season with no tests as yet. It's a certainty that he'll be tested that day (and the next two). But no - it's supposed to be a surprise! Therefore, it can't be that day. So roll the logic back to the day before that. It can't be that day either, for the same reason. The chain of logic continues, and eventually he can't be tested on any day.

 

Of course, the Wikipedia page goes on to point out just how very surprised Gomez will be, when he gets tested on some random day anyway, despite his airtight logic! :)

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#19 Carole Keller

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 07:02 PM

This is actually related to a mathematical/philosophical problem.
 
Unexpected hanging paradox
 
Say Gomez is told he will be tested 3 times. Suppose he reaches the 3rd to last day of the season. It's a certainty that he'll be tested that day (and the next two). But no - it's supposed to be a surprise! Therefore, it can't be that day. So roll the logic back to the day before that. It can't be that day either, for the same reason. The chain of logic continues, and eventually he can't be tested on any day.
 
Of course, the Wikipedia page goes on to point out just how very surprised Gomez will be, when he gets tested on some random day anyway, despite his airtight logic! :)


Keep reading. You make it so everyone is tested within each two month period. And you are missing the point.
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#20 KirbyDome89

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 07:07 PM

 

See my subsequent reply when 9 of 12 said the same thing. The over all point is i think there are ways to do this so the policy is actually fair and effective. Levi said it well above.

You clamored for a quota and truly randomized dates. I guess you've changed your mind. The point I made still holds, if somebody hits their test early, even in a 2 month window, they now have a large chunk of time in which they can use. The whole point of resetting the pool and using randomized testing is that there isn't a time where a player is certain to not be tested. 

 

BTW MLB is pushing 10K tests a year so this idea of a "gaping policy," just isn't true. 

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