Originally posted on Backyard Sports Blog  |  Last updated 11/23/11
Baseball players and owners recently signed a new collective bargaining agreement that will start the testing of HGH and expand the playoffs to 10 teams.  Major League Baseball will now be the only North American professional sport to be blood testing on human growth hormones.

An initial positive test for HGH would result in a 50-game suspension, the same as a first positive urine test for a performance-enhancing substance.

Random testing for HGH will take place during spring training and the off-season, but there is no word yet on random testing during the season. There can be testing at any time with proper cause.

"It’s a great day for the sport. Our fans can look forward now to five more years uninterrupted and concentrate on the game.” said commissioner Bud Selig.

The new playoff system will include 10 of the 30 teams in the league.  The two wild cards in each league will meet in a one-game playoff, and the winners will move on to the Division Series.  The agreement says the Houston Astros will switch from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013, leaving each league with three five-team divisions.

"It’s really been so wonderful and 10 out of the 30 is the right number. I don’t feel we have really hurt anything here. I think it sets up for tremendous scenarios. I would have liked two out of three [series] more often, but all the managers on my committee – [Joe] Torre and [Mike] Scioscia and [Tony] La Russa and Jimmy Leyland all liked one [game series], which surprised me."

Other highlights of the deal include players being required to play in the All-Star game with injuries being the only exception, and instant replay will be expanded to include decisions on foul lines and traps, subject to an agreement with umpires.

Quotes by Sports Radio


PLAYERS: Bud Selig
TEAMS: Houston Astros
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