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The Boston Globe

Sports

Dan Shaughnessy

Marvin Miller’s legacy includes steroid era

Picked-up pieces while waiting for the Patriots to defer after they win the coin toss Monday night . . .

A few million words have been spilled about Marvin Miller since the labor icon died last week at the age of 95. Certainly Miller belongs in the Hall of Fame. He retired undefeated vs. Major League Baseball owners, and stands as the game’s most influential figure since Jackie Robinson. Miller created opportunity and fortunes for big league ballplayers. Ballplayers should be forever grateful, and petty owners need to acknowledge that Miller was right. Ultimately, both sides benefitted from Miller’s brilliance. All that said, Miller’s contribution to baseball’s plague of the late 1990s (and beyond) — a.k.a. “the steroid era” — cannot be understated. Nobody fought drug testing harder than Miller. In his view, it was a violation of civil liberties. Most important, it was a bargaining chip (Miller also had some kooky Bill James-like ideas that there was nothing wrong with PEDs). Miller’s place in sports history is eternal, but he gets a big slice of the blame pie for the steroids mess.

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