How many outs are there?
Baseball has made a big deal about rooting out use of steroids and stimulants by its players, but where there's a will, there's a way, and Major League Baseball is helping its players get around the crackdown. Last year, more than 100 players were given exemptions to use medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That’s right, nearly one in every 12 major league players is using drugs we typically think of being given to schoolchildren who can’t keep their minds on their studies. What, do players lose their train of thought during that half-second that it takes for the ball to come from the pitcher’s hand to home plate? Are first basemen forgetting to cover the bag on ground balls to short. Are third basemen getting drilled by line drives because they’re thinking about puppies and kittens? Or maybe, just maybe, ballplayers who can no longer get away with taking uppers are trying to find a way to keep stimulants in their systems. Do ya think? I don’t imagine it’s too hard for a pro baseball player to find some jock-sniffing doctor to diagnose them with ADHD. Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, said the incidence of ADHD among baseball players can’t be compared with that of the general population. Said Manfred, “We are all male. We are far younger than the general population, and we have far better access to medical care than the general population. The response by Dr. Gary Wadler, chairman of the panel that puts together the banned-substances list for the World Anti-Doping Agency, was basically to laugh at Manfred. “This is incredible. This is quite spectacular. There seems to be an epidemic of ADD in major league baseball,” said Wadler. “I’ve been in private practice for a lot of years. I can count on one hand the number of individuals (I've seen) that have ADD. To say that (8 percent) of major league baseball players have attention deficit disorder is crying out for an explanation.” I’ll offer this explanation. It’s just the typical, head-in-the-sand, don’t-confront-the-players-union approach of Major League Baseball. But who knows? Maybe if the Pirates put together a roster made up totally of players on Adderall, they could avoid a 17th straight losing season. You’re right. That’s crazy. Because the Pirates’ ownership would just hire the worst (read cheapest) ADHD players they could find.