Skip to content

Great Moments in incoherence: The drug testing program is working, so it must be scrapped!

Aug 21, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Only in baseball does a system that catches and punishes a guy trying to cheat the system get assailed. Like this article from Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, who believes that the fact that the union defends members who fail drug tests — like every union on the planet in every industry — means that the system is somehow broken:

What Cabrera did was expose everything that is faulty with the system: The penalties don’t serve as enough of a deterrent, the players and owners bring differing agendas to a “joint” program, and the loopholes are big enough to allow fans to question the reputation of ballplayers as whole.

This is silly. There are 750 ballplayers on active rosters at any given time. A couple test positive a year. How on Earth is that evidence of a broken system. And are we really going to use Melky Freaking Cabrera’s failure to be deterred by a 50 game suspension against the system? We learned on Sunday that Melky Cabrera is dumber than dog crap. The system is designed to address the vast majority of players who aren’t total morons and have the capacity to reason, so Melky’s example is not one on which to rest your claim that it’s broken.

Of course you don’t have to read far down the article to find the name Gary Wadler pop up. The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency is always around to argue that independent testing is required in sports leagues.  It’s merely a coincidence that his agency also happens to be the one who administers independent testing programs for leagues. Programs which pay Mr. Wadler’s salary. Go back and Google the name of any athlete who has ever been given a drug suspension with “Gary Wadler.”  He hits the media in the wake of such things like clockwork, giving writers talking points which pump up his organization.  There’s a lot I don’t like about how Major League Baseball handles drug testing, but I applaud them for not caving in to Wadler’s cynical, self-serving public relations machine.

And speaking of salary: Melky Cabrera‘s 50-game suspension is costing him nearly $2 million in present salary. Can you find any other instance when someone is fined $2 million for anything? It is also likely costing him a long-term contract worth upwards of $40 million.  Yet we’re supposed to buy the notion that the penalties aren’t enough? That this sort of thing does not deter others?

Due process when one’s money and livelihood are on the line is not evidence of a failed system. The fact that a star player on a playoff-bound team is suspended is certainly not evidence of a failed system.  In fact, they’re quite the opposite. They are evidence of the system’s health, and suggesting otherwise is the second dumbest thing I’ve heard today.

The dumbest thing? Well, that also has to do with Melky Cabrera. It comes from Rick Sutcliffe — noted immigration scholar — who says that Melky Cabrera should be deported. Never mind that he has neither been charged with nor has he been convicted of any crime or otherwise deportable offense.

This is all madness. Just imagine what people would be saying if we knew Melky was taking drugs and he wasn’t caught and punished.

Latest Posts
  1. Dodgers promote Sergio Santos, DFA Xavier Cedeno

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT

    Sergio Santos Sergio Santos

    The Dodgers made a couple of moves to make room for reliever Sergio Santos, called up on Friday.

  2. Mariners place Hisashi Iwakuma on the disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    Hisashi+Iwakuma+Samurai+Japan+v+MLB+Stars+eDKaXCk7Myql Getty Images

    Hisashi Iwakuma is dealing with a strained right lat muscle.

  3. Mets lose to Yankees, winning streak halted at 11 games

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Jacob deGrom Jacob deGrom

    The Mets have lost for the first time since April 11.

  4. Blue Jays expected to activate Michael Saunders on Saturday

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    michael saunders getty Getty Images

    Michael Saunders should be activated from the disabled list by the Blue Jays on Saturday.

  5. Wandy Rodriguez is starting for the Rangers tonight

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Wandy Rodriguez Wandy Rodriguez

    Wandy Rodriguez is starting on Friday night against the Angels.

  6. Josh Hamilton heads back where he belongs

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:27 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    Hamilton’s return to Texas is the best-case scenario

  7. Mets shut Bobby Parnell down for a week due to forearm tightness

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Bobby Parnell Bobby Parnell

    Mets reliever Bobby Parnell won’t throw for a week as he experienced forearm tightness during his Tommy John rehab.

  8. Report: Angels, Rangers agree on Josh Hamilton trade

    Apr 24, 2015, 5:55 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    The Angels and Josh Hamilton are reportedly parting ways.

  9. Jose Fernandez becomes a U.S. citizen

    Apr 24, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez Jose Fernandez

    Bonus of Tommy John rehab: more time to study for your naturalization test.

  10. Rob Manfred was asked again about the leaks in the Josh Hamilton case. His answers weren’t much better.

    Apr 24, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    manfred getty Getty Images

    Two weeks ago he said there would be no investigation. No he says the league has “tried mightily” to figure out the leaks. Really?

  11. Back injury sends Christian Yelich to the disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    yelich getty Getty Images

    Yelich, who agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract this spring, was off to a slow start by hitting .200 with zero homers and a .488 OPS through 11 games.

  12. Must-Click Link: Alex Rodriguzez: the slugger with a thousand faces

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

    A-Rod’s habit of destroying narratives explains an awful lot about why reporters have developed a habit of destroying A-Rod.

  13. Orioles running out of infielders, put Ryan Flaherty on DL

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:49 PM EDT

    ryan flaherty getty Getty Images

    That leaves Everth Cabrera and Jimmy Paredes as the Orioles’ double-play duo.

  14. Kris Bryant is still mulling a grievance against the Cubs

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT

    Kris Bryant Getty Images

    But even if it’s successful, it may not do what he wants it to do.

  15. Rays get James Loney, Drew Smyly back from disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    smyly rays getty Getty Images

    Allen Dykstra, who filled in for Loney at first base, is headed back to Triple-A.

  16. Jarrod Parker makes first rehab start since Tommy John surgery

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jarrod Parker AP AP

    Parker has been aiming at an early June return to the A’s.

  17. Someone sure as heck didn’t like the Barry Bonds decision

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds AP

    “That guy I despise got the benefit of the legal process! What a bunch of bull!”

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Travis (3971)
  2. J. Hamilton (3676)
  3. A. Russell (3630)
  4. D. Smyly (3400)
  5. D. Mesoraco (3225)
  1. T. d'Arnaud (3190)
  2. C. Rodon (3050)
  3. B. Zobrist (3010)
  4. K. Bryant (3001)
  5. J. Nathan (2974)