Readers: Congress Should Butt Out Of Baseball; Focus On Government

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By on March 29, 2005 in Current Events with 0 Comments

Ever since the House Government Reform Committee held hearings to discuss the use of steroids in major league baseball there have been questions about what the government’s role should be, or if it should even have a role, concerning professional baseball and steroid abuse.

FedSmith.com readers have made it pretty clear where they stand, however. And the consensus among them is for Congress to stick to matters related to running the government and to let major league baseball police itself. In fact, many of the readers wondered why the House Government Reform Committee didn’t have something more important to do than to worry about the current state of affairs of professional baseball.

In a recent FedSmith.com survey, readers were asked if they thought the House Government Reform Committee should be spending its time and effort on hearings regarding the use of steroids in professional baseball. 83% said no, compared to 16% who said yes and 1% that said they were not sure.

When asked to choose among several options on what they think is the more relevant topic for the House Government Reform Committee to be considering, 33% said the Committee should be worrying about the changing the fundamental structure of the civil service. 23% indicated the Committee should worry about pay for performance issues, another 33% voted for “other” compared to 6% who said they weren’t sure and 5% who actually said they should be worrying about baseball.

Lastly, when asked to choose what was the worst offense of the choices provided, 37% said breaking records in baseball while on steroids was the worst, compared to 29% who chose betting on your team if you are a professional baseball player. 27% selected “other” and 6% said their team losing in their NCAA basketball tournament office pool was the worst.

While some of the questions and the answers were obviously not meant to be serious, many of the comments received were very serious.

A program manager with the Department of Defense in Fayetteville Tennessee said “National Defense should be the ONLY topic the Congress should be involved in!”

A manager at USDA in New York wrote:

“Come on now, does anyone really care if these guys want to destroy their bodies and their lives using steroids? I think MLB and [the Major League Baseball Players Association] want to clean up baseball, but it is hard to do that when baseball parks around the league are selling out to see someone like Barry Bond break the homerun record, even though we all know he has taken steroids.”

Another DOD worker, this one a manager in Fort Worth, Texas, commented:

“Congress needs to keep its collective nose out of a lot of non-government issues, such as steroids and the right to die.”

A USDA manager from Florida wrote what was among the consensus opinions of survey-takers:

“The country has a lot more problems than steroids in baseball. As steroids are illegal, baseball can test and solve this problem. Congress is not needed to solve this.”

Perhaps the funniest comment was received from a federal worker in California, who wrote:

“The distraction will keep Congress from doing serious harm to the country.”

A human resources specialist with the Department of the Navy in Philadelphia commented “Baseball is baseball; it has absolutely nothing to do with government reform. Let the baseball commission take care of baseball and the Government Reform Committee take care of government reform! Let’s face it; the committee has enough to do with pay for performance and changing personnel systems among other changes coming down road.”

One reader, a supervisor with the Veterans Affairs in California, said while it may seem like a waste of time, the Committee was correct to address the issue:

“While the congressional hearings would seem to be a waste of time the under lying premise is that too much emphasis is placed on professional sports and sports personalities should not be above the law. If America wants its young to get the proper perspective on professional sports the players need to be held the same drug laws as everyone else.”

An HR specialist with the Department of the Interior in Washington D.C. opined:

“Good Grief! With so much other more pressing issues, I can’t believe they are wasting tax payer dollars (which are dwindling as I type) on this!”

Another reader wrote:

“Let’s have some hearings conducted by the public on use of Congressional positions for personal gain!”

A manager with the FAA in Kansas City had another perspective:

“Congress should be more concerned about multi-million dollar companies fleecing the American public.”

And finally, a contracting officer with the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, MD wrote:

“With the important issues facing our nation, and our Government infrastructure, I’m very disappointed on the lack of focus on real issues.”

Thanks to all of our readers who took the time to send in their opinions and comments.

© 2017 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47

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