Minneapolis • Major League Baseball players say they may consider whether to discuss a possible ban on chewing tobacco when they negotiate their next labor contract in two years.
For now, they hope individuals decide on their own to stop dipping.
Players’ union head Tony Clark said Monday that several of his members have quit cold turkey following the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn on June 16 from oral cancer.
While the use of smokeless tobacco was banned for players with minor league contacts in 1993, it is permitted for players with major league deals. The labor agreement covering 2012-16 says players may not carry tobacco packages and tins in their back pockets when fans are permitted in ballparks, and they may not use tobacco during pregame and postgame interviews and at team functions.
"I think what we have been doing thus far has been a positive, and although I’m not going to offer you a bargaining proposal today on chewing tobacco, we could have that conversation," Clark said Tuesday before the All-Star game.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who plans to retire in January, promised "it will be a subject that they’ll discuss at the next collective bargaining" but acknowledged "I understand that individuals have the right to make their own decisions."
Selig: MLB didn’t know A-Rod had drug exemption
Selig maintains Major League Baseball had no idea Alex Rodriguez received a medical exemption from the sport’s drug administrator to use a testosterone-boosting substance in 2007.
Rodriguez received a therapeutic use exemption for the otherwise-banned substance clomid, according to the book "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era," which was published last week.
Clomid is prescribed for ovulation induction and has been used by men to restore the production of testosterone following a steroids cycle.
Montreal bid to return to majors?
Selig said he can envision Montreal making a bid to return to the major leagues.
The Expos joined the National League for the 1969 season and remained in the big leagues through 2004 before moving to Washington and becoming the Nationals.
While the Expos failed to draw 1 million spectators to Olympic Stadium in any of their final seven seasons, a total of 96,350 fans attended a pair of exhibition games there in March between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.
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