Players trying to keep debate in-house

Updated: March 9, 2004, 9:43 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals pitcher Brian Anderson is active in the baseball union and a firm believer in keeping family disputes in-house. He's given a lot of thought to Major League Baseball's drug testing policy and taken time to form opinions on the subject; he just doesn't care to reveal them for public consumption.

But ballplayers read newspapers and troll the Internet like everybody else, and Anderson, like many people, winced when union lawyer Gene Orza made comments during a symposium in Orange County, Calif., last week equating steroid use with cigarette smoking.

Actually, that's not quite accurate: Orza, citing the lack of information on the long-term health effects of steroid use, contends that cigarettes are worse than steroids.

Anderson lives in Cleveland and plays in Kansas City, so he knows how the comments played in the heartland. In a word: Terribly. They weren't very well-received on big-city talk radio, either.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer