Sports Opinion & Analysis

How The MLB Can Stop The Juice

In MLB on August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Like a bad penny that keeps coming back, another MLB All-Star was suspended testing positive for Performing Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).

Continuing the fine legacy of Barry Bonds.

Like Ryan Braun and the Brewers last year (who is still guilty until he explains his results), and Manny Ramirez when he joined the Dodgers, Melky Cabrera has led his team to a first place standing in his division, and did so by cheating.

Cabrera isn’t even disputing the case; he admitted his actions. 

Cabrera will now be suspended 50 games, but his Giants may very well still win the division. Meanwhile, teams like the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, who are only a few games behind the Giants, may have their season cut short because their team played by the rules.

If the league really wants to curb steroid abuse amongst its players, and prevent teams from prospering from illegal actions, they would do more than just suspend the offending player. Instead, they would force the player’s team to forfeit every game during the season which the offending player made an appearance.

“Now we look like bigger fools!”

Remember when you played high school sports and screwed up? Remember how your coach didn’t punish you, but punished everyone else? Remember how you made sure never to make that mistake again? Or never make the mistake your teammate made?

The league should take a similar approach when punishing players for PED’s, otherwise this behavior will forever and always continue. Otherwise baseball will continue having asterisks on records and achievements. Just ask every player who spent a few days in Kansas City this summer. Just ask the American League team that happens to make it to the World Series.

“Okay, so I’ll leave this right here, in case the league wants to swing by and pick it up.”

While it would be nice to go back a few years and pretend steroids never infested baseball, we can’t change what already happened. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bond all broke Roger Maris’s record. Roger Clemens did what he did, just like all every other player did what they did. As unfortunate as it is, that was an era when anabolic steroids and HGH fueled players like hotdogs and beer fueled Babe Ruth. It was accepted at the time, and to go back retroactively and punish players and teams wouldn’t make any sense. What happened happened.

But now the league is supposed to be in a “Post Steroid Era.” Now, it doesn’t accept that behavior from its players. Now, measures need to be taken to ensure the anti-PED direction the league wants to go can get there. Punishments need to be more punishing. Players who continue hedging their bets need to realize the consequences of their choices. Until then, it’s only a matter of when, not if, our heroes will disappoint us.

  1. Look, I know you hate the Giants, but would you be making the same comments if the player were on the Diamondbacks?

    Also, saying that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks have played by the rules is a pretty big assumption, isn’t it? It is well known that many more people use steroids than are actually caught.

    • We’re supposed to be in the “Post Steroid Era,” so yeah, I would say if the same thing about the Dbacks if one of their players today got caught. Also, saying “a lot of players do steroids” is also a big assumption, isn’t it? I can’t assume who is and who isn’t using steroids, but I do know if a player 1) gets caught using PEDs and 2) admits he knowingly used PED’s, then a 50 game ban isn’t enough, especially if your team is in a playoff hunt. It taints the whole thing. If I would have started this blog when Braun or Ramirez were busted, I would have said the same thing then. Cheating is cheating.

  2. Touche on the assumptions. And, I agree; cheating is cheating. Also, I completely agree with you on Braun and how his suspension was overturned with absolutely no explanation.

    Being a Giants fan I in no way condone what Melky did, but I may also be a little sensitive on the subject and how it was handled with Bonds. I don’t deny that he almost certainly used roids, but I found it a little troubling that he was demonized while most other players got passes, i.e., Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Giambi.

    • I also updated the article to include the “Post Steroid Era” argument. Thanks for contributing to the discussion. I don’t like Bonds, but I agree with you that he took a brunt of criticism while other players got off free. It was like people were alright if you win a series with juice, but heaven forbid you break the home run record!

  3. The only way to get past PEDs is to take away wins, like you said, or 1 and done. Just because it’s baseball doesn’t mean you should always get 3 chances. If the MLB truly wants to eradicate steroid use then they need to show the players they are serious.

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