Thursday, February 28, 2013

Clean players sick of baseball cheaters

Mark Teixeira gave voice to the sentiments of hundreds of his fellow clean colleagues all around baseball when he expressed his disdain for and frustration with the players who still try to cheat the system.

Tex is clearly not alone in this sentiment as union boss Michael Weiner admitted that he is hearing from players who are sick of talking about the use of PEDs in baseball. It seems that the Miami clinic scandal in which New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Francisco Cervelli have been embroiled in is the final straw for many players, who are now exercising their First Amendment rights to speak up in favor of stiffer punishment. Until recently, the players’ union was dead set against such penalties, but if the vast majority of baseball players say they want tougher testing and penalties, the union’s continued resistance will be futile.

I do disagree with Tex in the sense that I think baseball definitely needs stiffer penalties. Players are clearly not deterred enough by the 50-game suspension penalty. Look at Melky Cabrera. He sat out his 50 games, gave up any right to the National League batting title (which I give him some credit for) and had to watch his team win another World Series without him. And yet he was still rewarded with a solid, two-year contract from the Toronto Blue Jays. That, to me, is a joke and perhaps the Jays would not have been so eager to sign him if he was still under suspension.

I’d like to see players forced to sit out, without pay of course, half a season for a first offense, a full year for the second offense and keep the lifetime ban if they get caught a third time. Tex is right that cheaters will always try to figure out a way to game the system, no matter what changes are made. But there has to be a greater financial incentive to try to keep them honest. 

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