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The sound of silence: No Edinson Volquez outrage yet

Apr 21, 2010, 10:27 AM EDT

Edinson Volquez headshot.jpgUnless my bookmarks have all been borked and my Google-fu has suddenly evaporated, I think it’s safe to say that there aren’t any columns this morning eviscerating Edinson Volquez or Major League Baseball over his positive PED test and suspension. The only thing close to that is Jon Paul Morosi’s thing about how the whole suspensions-while-on-the-DL thing, but that’s a pretty legit criticism.

We usually get fire-breathing and hyperbole after one of these deals. Then I come in with my overly-defensive reaction/steroids apologist shtick, most of you guys tell me to quit beating the same old drum and on and on it goes.  I’m a creature of habit and I feel lost without any of that this morning, truth be told.

Could it be that we’ve finally reached a point where people more or less trust that the testing process is doing what it is designed to do in catching the cheaters? Have we finally realized that the notion of calling every instance of a positive PED test “a stain on the game” and and affront to America is overdoing it? Or is it simply that Edinson Volquez plays in the big red part of the country so no one really cares?

I’m not sure myself, but at the moment I feel like an old warrior trying to find a place in a peaceful society. And it’s truly, truly awful.

  1. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Apr 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    The problem is that the “common fan” has probably never head of Volquez.

    He doesn’t play in New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

    He’s not Albert Pujols or Joe Mauer.

    The more in-depth, die-hard fans–and obviously Reds…um…Nation?!–are well-aware of Volquez, but his name isn’t earth-shattering to the average fan.

    Is the situation, being able to serve the suspension while on the DL, complete and utter BS, yes. Yes it is.

    Problem is, just like you said, it happened in the big ole red area and that means that no one cares. I live in Boston and when I mentioned it yesterday most people thought I was making him up or that he was a minor leaguer.

    Side note: Boston fans suck just as bad as Yankees fans.

  2. Ross - Apr 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    I discount your Chicago comment on the grounds that the Cubs and Reds are in the same division and Volquez is a pretty good pitcher for them.
    .
    “cajole comment”

  3. Howie B. - Apr 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    I’m confused and a bit sad – a 23 year old who hasn’t broken any hallowed records or shattered any milestones did something stupid in an effort to either (1) have children (if you believe him), or (2) get himself back on the field quicker (if you don’t). Where’s all the juicy stuff that warrants my righteous indignation?

  4. markfd - Apr 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    This is BS, he should be suspended only when he is eligible to play, basically he will not miss any time from this so how is he or the Reds punished, that rule needs to be changed!

  5. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    If you believe the people that usually exhibit the righteous indignation the records and fame have nothing to do with it. It’s all about breaking rules and, in some cases, the law. If what you say is true and you have to have records and stuff to be angry about it, it reveals that no one cares nearly as much about those rules as they do about their childhood heroes being eclipsed and stuff like that.

  6. BC - Apr 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    It’s in the CBA as far as the suspension beginning now. Nothing anyone can do about it.
    But think about it. Let’s say he’s healthy, gets suspended, then breaks his ankle the next day. Would you stop the suspension until he was healthy again?
    The suspension isn’t to punish the team, it’s to hit the player in the wallet. I don’t know what Volquez makes, but he just lost basically 1/3 of it. Manny’s suspension last year cost him like $6 million.

  7. mattjg - Apr 21, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Someone last night mentioned that Volquez is not credited with service time for the time he’s suspended. First, do you know if this is true?
    Second, if this is true, does this positive test benefit the Reds? I don’t pretend to have the first clue about how service time affects arbitration and free agency, but is it possible this will push Volquez’s (or someone in his situation’s) free agency back a year? If so, the suspension doesn’t hurt the Reds because he’s on the DL anyway and they actually get the benefit of having a good, young, cost-controlled pitcher for another year.

  8. RobRob - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    Great map, but I believe a more accurate one would exclude Western New York as Terra Incongita.

  9. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Everything I’ve read indicates that he loses the service time and his pay, but little else. He’ll still supposedly qualify for arbitration after this year, so it shouldn’t matter much for anyone in the long run. He’ll still get credit for enough of this season to qualify and it shouldn’t monkey with this FA years either, if what I’ve read is correct.

    So other than the $100+K he loses over the next 50 games, no one really suffers or gains anything in this deal.

  10. mikeybaby - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Well if he is not getting paid then I don’t have a problem with him being suspended while on DL. I have mixed feelings on this one. You never know if an athlete is being truthful on there Excuses or not. But if this was something in a prescription that was helping him and his wife try and have a baby then its hard to be to upset with Edinson. I am going through same thing so I feel for him.
    Still he could be lying. And he should have checked with the team doctor before taking anything. But… I think this is different(if telling the truth) than other cases out there.

  11. Evan - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Craig,
    .
    This guy is BARELY a “semi-big” star. Most people have never heard of him. He didn’t break any hallowed records, win any championships and/or get up in front of congress and lie to the American people. This guy never had a chance to “stain the game” and has only stained himself. Every time he is mentioned, people will have heard of him through his cheating.
    .
    The reason that the media hasn’t seized upon this is because this guy is a nobody. The media can’t sell advertising when it reports on nobodys.
    .
    I’d like to think that the testing is working. It certainly is working better than it did a decade ago. Progress is better than nothing.
    .
    Craig, the “stain on the game” is a combination of players lying to all of our faces; players being caught with steroids and other drugs by organizations other than baseball; cheating players breaking hallowed records in back to back years that had previously stood 50 years and the vast majority of all-stars in the last 15 years being tied to PEDs.
    .
    Basically, all of these wonderful baseball moments (McGwire/Sosa HR race, Bonds passing Ruth and McGwire, Manny/Ortiz playing like Gehrig and Ruth) involved PEDs. People felt cheated; like they were taken for a ride. When that happens, emotions run high and people understandly get upset. At this point, I think most people think that baseball has clamped down on it. I think most big name players are scared to get caught and are staying away from it. If more players were getting caught, I’d be worried. For now I’m cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us.

  12. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    With all due respect, Edinson Volquez may not be a household name, but he won 17 games on a not-so-great team a couple of years ago, was in the top 10 in multiple pitching categories and made the All-Star team. I don’t expect my mom to know who he is, but he’s not a nobody. You certainly don’t need to be a Reds beat writer to know who he is.

  13. jwb - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    “The suspension isn’t to punish the team, it’s to hit the player in the wallet.”
    Well, both, really. If the policy was designed only to lighten the player’s wallet, it would have been implemented as a fine rather than a suspension. A suspension both lightens the player’s wallet and deprives the team of his services. I guess the reasoning on this policy is that the team is being punished enough already by being denied the player’s services while he is on the DL.

  14. mikeybaby - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    If you don’t know who this guy is then you are probably not really a baseball fan. I agree with you Craig.

  15. Pokey Okie - Apr 21, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    So who cares except Edinson’s wife, who is still has no baby and her bank account is much smaller than expected.
    Get over making a big deal out of PED’s. Even Roman gladiators used anything they could get. Of course their lives were on the line, but that’s only a small detail.
    When we catch someone, punish them in accordance with the rules, let the press including blogger shut up and let us go about our business.
    Strange how many of these guys come out of the Ranger organization though!

  16. Evan - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Besides his tarnished career, I think you’re all forgetting that he loses a lot of future money. Think about how difficult its going to be for his agent to negotiate a contract when he has a history of PED use? The Yankees and Red Sox wouldn’t touch this guy with a 10ft pole. When you don’t have either of those teams potentially bidding, your negotiating power drops signficantly.

  17. Pokey Okie - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Evan, get real. Yankees, Red Sox wouldn’t touch him. A-Rod, Manny, etc. If you think Babe Ruth was clean, sober and went to First Church on Sunday, your out of your mind.

  18. Ron - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    I think you hit the heart of the matter. Making heroes out of ballplayers.
    People who want to make heroes out of grown men making a living for obscene amounts of money to play a game are actually the problem just as much as the players. The need to hero-worship these guys is what drives the machine.
    Sure, the players are probably doing it for the contract, but what fuels the contract is the fan. Buying tickets, watching on televiison, or buying the merchandise, the fans are providing the financial foundation. No fans, no game, no big contracts. The better the player performs, the better the chance of the big contract.
    J.D. has a reputation of not playing hard, and moving from team to team in order to get the biggest contracts possible. Manny Ramirez got busted for something that is supposed to improve his perfromance on the field and help his team win games.
    But for some reason J.D. Drew gets a lot less heat than Manny Ramirez.
    Personally, I’d rather make a hero out of my busdriver. You know, the guy supporting a wife and 3 kids on $30,000 a year and still finds time to coach Little League and do volunteer work in the community. Problem is, no one knows his name because he doesn’t have cameras stuck in his face 24 hours a day, while he plays a game.

  19. Simon DelMonte - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    I will note that when one of those guys with the brown oval ball and all that padding is suspended, it’s news for a few minutes outside the city where the player works. Maybe we are starting to get to that point with baseball, too?
    Of course, when your sport has players being suspended for activities that go beyond just doping, everything else seems small.

  20. Matt S - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    The reason there is no outrage is that Volquez isn’t chasing any of MLB’s “hallowed” records. As long as the once sacred record book is devoid of asterisks, the crusty old sportswriters can withhold their outrage.

  21. Evan - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Pokey,
    Manny and Arod were “clean” as far as most people knew prior to joining the Yankees and Red Sox.
    .
    As for Ruth, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. From what I’ve read, everything Ruth did affected his stats negatively. Last I checked, Alcohol isn’t considered a PED.

  22. IdahoMariner - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    1) “please know that this is tongue in cheek”: brilliant, brilliant tag. Except that I am surprised it’s not on approximately 85% of your posts, given how many commenters seem to take everything you say really, really literally.
    2) As I am currently living in the land of “rednecks, yokels, hillbillies and …” but was born a “hippie” … I love that map. Excellent link.

  23. Lawrence From Plattekill - Apr 21, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Just don’t go all Tim McCarver on us. You predicted something would happen, and it didn’t. Admit it and move on. Don’t spend 7 innings of the broadcast trying to justify the prediction.

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