Baseball announces 5-year labor deal, including HGH testing
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and players union Executive Director Michael Weiner announced a labor deal Tuesday.
November 22nd, 2011
02:56 PM ET

Baseball announces 5-year labor deal, including HGH testing

[Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET] Major League Baseball and its players' union announced Tuesday that they have reached a collective bargaining deal - which includes agreement on testing players' blood for human growth hormone - that would last through 2016.

The deal, which players and team owners still need to ratify, also would expand the playoffs from eight teams to 10 by adding an extra wild-card spot to each league, and it would restrict how and when players and coaches can use smokeless tobacco products.

The playoff changes would happen by 2013, and possibly sooner, with a March 1 deadline to decide on whether to implement them for 2012.

The agreement, which would succeed the five-year agreement that is set to expire December 11, has the potential to extend baseball’s strike- and lockout-free streak to 21 years.

"Nobody back in the '70s, '80s and early '90s ... would ever believe that we would have 21 years of labor peace. It’s really remarkable," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said at a news conference Tuesday in New York.

SI.com's Tom Verducci: Deal not without drawbacks

The deal would mandate that all players' blood be tested for human growth hormone during each spring training, and it would allow further testing for reasonable cause at all times, according to an MLB outline of the plan. MLB would be the first North American professional sports league to test players' blood for human growth hormone.

Starting with the 2012-2013 off-season, players will be subject to random off-season human growth hormone testing. MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association will study the possibility of expanding blood testing to in-season, the outline said.

Other features of the agreement, according to the outline:

- In each league, the playoffs would consist of the three division winners plus two wild cards, which would be top two teams that didn't win a division. In each league, the two wild cards would play one post-season game against each other, with the winners advancing to their league’s Division Series.

- The minimum Major League player salary will rise from $414,000 in 2011 to $480,000 in 2012, and eventually to more than $500,000. The minimum minor league salary will rise from $67,300 in 2011 to $78,250 in 2012 and eventually to more than $81,000.

- Players, managers and coaches would be banned from using smokeless tobacco during televised interviews and club appearances. Also, the same people would have to conceal tobacco products, including packages and tins, during games or any other time fans are permitted in a ballpark. When concealing, they may not carry the products in their uniforms or on their bodies. “The parties also agreed upon an extensive program of education and public outreach regarding the dangers of smokeless tobacco,” the outline says.

- The deal confirms that the Houston Astros will move from the National League to the American League in 2013. Last week, the league had said the switch would happen as soon as 2013.

- Starting in 2013, interleague games will happen throughout the season, rather than during segments of the season.

- By 2013, all Major League players will wear a new batting helmet, developed by Rawlings, designed to protect against pitches thrown at 100 mph.

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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    @They are still sh1tty:
    Yes, the Cubs are.
    Lmao!

    November 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. George Patton

    ALL baseball is BORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING Snore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      But apparently commenting on a sport you find boring is total FUN.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ivan

    Too bad. We could have used 10 years, rather 150 years, without baseball. This "sport" is unwatchable!

    November 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. George Patton

    I'm
    BORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING Snore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Please leave

      Please move to Russia.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. glenleroy100

    if baseball is boring how are they number one in attendance with 73,451,522

    November 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I love baseball, but that stat is very misleading. There are so many baseball games compared to the other sports, and with the exception of football, the venues they play in have two to three times more capacity.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hank A.

      The only thing a baseball game is good for is drinking beer.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheHammer

      Because companies/businesses purchase a large percentage of tickets. I think that tickets purchased by corporations make up at least 60%-70% of the total attendance figures in MLB.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jerry

    We don't want the damn Astros! Make Milwaukee switch back to the AL where they belong, put Kansas City in the AL West, expand by one team in each league, and abolish the asinine and abhorrent travesty of "interleague play"!

    November 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      I rather enjoy interleage play.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pmk1953

    I can guarantee I wasn't one of them.

    November 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GonzoG

    No Hormones?

    Watch a bunch of players start SHRINKING!

    November 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Craig

    Welcome news, no stoppage as in the NFL and as in the fast sinking NBA as their season is fast approaching 0. And with any luck the Multi Millionaires who put a basketball thru a hoop will have to move the CRETE and GREECE in order to play that game. Go BASEBALL!!! Always America's Sport!!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Crete is part of Greece.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I agree with GonzoG, 5:12 PM.
    Less HGH, less t e s, less fun hits and misses.
    I usually don't watch games until the end of the World Series. Otherwise, I'm bored too.
    I know: it says a lot about me.
    So what? That's JIF.

    November 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    What?
    I have to watch a baseball gave and also drink beer?

    November 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I meant baseball GAME, not gave.
    I'm still grooving on passing out some turkeys: Freudian slip.

    November 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BOMBO

    Beer goes well with most sports. But not gymnastics or figure skating. But they're not really sports anyway.

    Yes, I'm just looking for attention today. Even negative attention.

    November 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matthew

    So the wild card teams have to use their "ace" pitcher and start the division series at a disadvantage?

    November 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ BOMBO:
    Even if your posts had no content, negative or positive, you'd get attention anyway for grammar and style.

    November 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
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