Sunday, March 17, 2013

Are ARod and Braun on baseball’s hit list?

Major League Baseball has its sights set on punishing Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun for their connections to a Miami clinic being investigated for distributing performance-enhancing drugs, according to a short Tweet from TJ Quinn of ESPN.  

It’s much easier to go after minor leaguers who don’t have the protection of baseball’s strong players union, but it seems that this first suspension related to the Miami scandal is a warning shot that MLB is completely committed to gathering the evidence needed to go after these alleged PED cheats.

A lot of news is broken on social media these days, but given that this is a Tweet limited to 140 characters, it is pretty short on specifics. We do not know how close Major League Baseball is to having enough evidence to punish ARod, an admitted steroid cheat, and Braun, who disrupted baseball’s entire testing system in an attempt to prove his innocence.

But I hope they have enough evidence to suspend both of them for a long time. Braun angered even fellow baseball players by his selfish attempt to bring down the whole system to get off the hook. ARod has pissed off many people inside and outside the New York Yankees organization with his unending drama, rapidly deteriorating health and onerous contract. I think the Yankees would be thrilled if ARod was suspended for baseball, even if it’s just for 50 games and not enough to void that contract, because it would get him out of their hair for a while. Notice how we have barely heard a peep out of ARod, who is not even rehabilitating with the team, and how that has limited much of the off-the-field drama for the Yankees. If it weren’t for all the injuries, the Yankees would be quite boring these days.  

Both ARod and Braun have the money and manpower to fight potential suspensions and we all know Braun will go to any lengths to avoid punishment. But if I was Braun, I wouldn’t count on getting off on a technicality this time. Major League Baseball will build an airtight case before it goes after either one of them. I really hope baseball officials can get there.

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