This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," January 13, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUD SELIG, BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: I'm very pleased today to announce a historic agreement between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. We've agreed on a new, much tougher drug testing program that is designed to rid our game of performance-enhancing drugs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: After being slammed by steroid allegations earlier this year, Major League Baseball and the players union agreed to add steroids to the list of banned substances. They also agreed to toughen the penalties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB MANFRED, EXEC. VP LABOR RELATIONS: For the first time, we will have discipline for first-time offenders under the drug program. Such offenders will be suspended for 10 days. All the suspensions under this program are without pay. For the second offense, a 30-day suspension will be imposed. Third offense, a 60-day suspension. And fourth offense, the suspension will be for one year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: But are the new guidelines tough enough? Arizona Senator John McCain is not so sure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: I appreciate the progress that's been made. I would have liked to have seen it tougher. It's not quite as tough, at least as far as first offense or a permanent ban for a fourth or fifth offense, as minor league baseball is. And it certainly is a long way from the penalties enacted as far as Olympic athletes are concerned. But it's significant progress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us from Anaheim, California, is former Los Angeles Dodgers manager and 1997 Hall of Fame inductee Tommy LaSorda. Welcome, Tommy.
TOMMY LASORDA, FORMER MANAGER: Thank you, Greta. It's always good talking to you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nice talking to you. Tommy, what's wrong with a zero tolerance policy? Why do they get this first offense up to 10 days?
LASORDA: Well, first of all, I want to congratulate the commissioner for getting this drug rule a lot stronger than it has been in the past. Do you realize, Greta, that there are over 300,000 high school players taking steroids? Now, that is terrible. And once they see what happens to the major league players if they are taking them, then it's going to stop a lot of the youngsters from taking them because that's the thing that we got to be concerned with, with those youngsters taking it. They're putting themselves in harm's way, and they shouldn't be doing it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Here's the problem, though, Tommy. The way I see it, is that it does just almost the opposite because it says you get almost a pass if you get caught the first time. It says up to 10 days suspension. That could be one-day suspension. That could be zero-days suspension. I mean, that doesn't seem particularly tough to me.
LASORDA: Well, I thought that said that it was a 10-day suspension. If it is a 10-day suspension, then that's pretty good for the first time because you take guys making a lot of money, 10 days of pay from them is going to hurt them real bad. So I think the drug rule has finally gotten closer to what it is in the minor leagues, and that's the way it should be. The commissioner has done a great job.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So you think this one's tough enough.
LASORDA: Yes, I think it's tough enough. I think it's going to stop a lot of them, if they're taking it. It's going to stop a lot of them from taking it.
And another thing that's great, Greta, is that they can be tested at random and tested in the off-season. That is going to make a big impression.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. What about the records that may have been set in the last 10 years or so that may have been tarnished somewhat from the allegation of steroids? What do we do about those?
LASORDA: Well, I think that's a decision the commissioner is going to have to make. But it's got to be where they know for sure whether these guys are taking them or not. Right now, nobody knows for sure, except [Jason] Giambi said he was and [Ken] Caminiti said he was taking them. Once we find out that they really are taking them, and know it 100 percent, then there should be something imposed upon them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Like what? Something what?
LASORDA: Well, like putting an asterisk on their records because, actually, they're cheating. They're cheating because they're doing something that's illegal and not being able to do what the rest of the players are doing.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think this whole steroid issue really tarnished Major League Baseball? And do you think this new agreement will restore the reputation of Major League Baseball?
LASORDA: Yes. It definitely has tarnished our game. And I think the commissioner is doing everything he can to put it back where it belongs. This is the thing that's going to help us a great deal by making that drug rule a lot stronger.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why did it take until now?
LASORDA: Well, because of the union. They kept saying it was an invasion of the privacy. If pilots are told to be tested, they will be tested. Lawyers are told to be tested. Why shouldn't baseball players be tested? People are paying them a lot of money to play the game of baseball, and if an owner who paid them a lot of money thinks he should be tested, that's the way it should be, I think. But, they were never able to be tested.
VAN SUSTEREN: Does the union have too much muscle? I mean, why couldn't the owners have at least beaten them back on that one earlier?
LASORDA: Well, you saw what the rule was like before this. If it wasn't for Senator McCain and the president coming out with the statements that they're going to do something about it if we don't do something about it, that made a big difference. It made them understand it.
Hey, I got to congratulate the players, too. A lot of the players are in favor of this because they know they don't take it and they don't want someone else to take it. So I think it's going to make a big impact on the players.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you envision the off-season testing, that random testing?
LASORDA: I think it's great. I think it's great, and they're going to find out if someone's taking it in the off-season. If they don't take it during the season but they're taking it in the off-season, that's just as bad. So if they'll be tested at random, then they're not going to do it.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I mean, what are they going to do, call these players up in February from their homes in Florida or Arizona or wherever it is and say, Come get a test?
LASORDA: Absolutely. No, not they come and get a test. They're going to go get them and give them a test.
VAN SUSTEREN: So they're just going to knock on the door and say, "Hi, I'm Bud Selig. I'm here for the test."
LASORDA: That's it. That's what "at random" means.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think the players are really happy with this?
LASORDA: I think the majority of players are very, very happy with it, especially the guys that don't take drugs. But the guy who does take an enhancing drug, he doesn't like it one bit. But there's a lot of guys that don't even touch them, and they're in favor of this.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much has baseball changed since you stopped being a manager?
LASORDA: Well, it's changed a great deal, especially with steroids. That's the thing. I don't ever remember my players ever, ever taking steroids. I don't remember any players in a the big leagues, until the first time I saw a guy who had muscled up real fast, and then I was curious to say, Hey, look at this development on this guy's body. He's got to be taking something.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you think it's a relatively new phenomenon?
LASORDA: Yes, I do.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Tommy Lasorda, always nice to see you.
LASORDA: Always nice talking to you, Greta. Keep up the good work.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, sir.
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