Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yanks should clean up their PED problem

It’s nice to see Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte trying to fix the mistakes they made in using performance-enhancing drugs, but I really wish the New York Yankees would finally deal with the PED problem within their organization.

ARod and Pettitte are going to attend an August fundraiser at Yankee Stadium for the Taylor Hooten Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of steroids named after a young man who used steroids and took his own life. The event will auction off items signed by ARod and Andy Pettitte, both of whom have admitted to using PEDs. It’s a good way to own up to their responsibility to young fans and try to prevent kids from suffering Taylor Hooten’s fate.

But it also serves as another reminder that the Yankees have failed to address the problem of PED use within their own ranks. Today, five more minor leaguers were suspended for violating MLB’s drug policy, including two players in the Yankee farm system. A disproportionate number of these suspended minor leaguers are Yankees, including Sergio Mitre who made it to the big league roster last year.

As much as they probably don't like to be reminded, the Yankees remain the poster team for PED abuse in baseball. The organization really needs to step up and do something about it, starting with extensive counseling on both the dangers of PED and the right ways for young players to take care of their bodies. Have ARod and Pettitte talk to the younger Yankees about staying away from these poisons. I think it’s the least they can do.

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