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. Bryce Harper declines invitation to participate in Home Run Derby

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTVlNzk0MDkwYTBlNDI2NDRlMDBkMTM0NjZhZjgxMGVm Getty Images

    It’s a bummer that Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will have to miss the 2015 Home Run Derby due to a broken hamate bone, but now we can also scratch Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper off the list of participants.

  2. “Final Vote” balloting opens for 2015 MLB All-Star Game

    Jul 6, 2015, 8:27 PM EDT

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium on July 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Getty Images

    And once again, there’s no A-Rod to be found.

  3. Pitchers and reserves for 2015 MLB All-Star Game announced

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    All-Star Logo

    The starters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game were announced on Sunday, so now it’s time to learn the pitchers and reserves who have been selected to represent the American League and National League at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14…

  4. Jacoby Ellsbury to be activated from disabled list Wednesday

    Jul 6, 2015, 6:13 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTdlNTkxMTllYmY4MjA1NTk2MDdkMWY3Y2VjYWEyYTBh Getty Images

    Jacoby Ellsbury has been out since May 19 with a sprained right knee.

  5. Sports Illustrated recreated shots from some famous baseball cards

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:26 PM EDT

    Image (2) OscarGamble1976.jpg for post 4350

    Note: without the ‘fro, Gamble is just sort of blankly staring at you. We know this now.

  6. Josh Harrison out six weeks with torn thumb ligaments

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:10 PM EDT

    Josh Harrison AP

    Harrison has struggled to duplicate his breakout 2014 performance.

  7. Matt Garza goes on Brewers’ disabled list with shoulder injury

    Jul 6, 2015, 2:51 PM EDT

    Matt Garza AP

    Garza signed a four-year, $50 million deal with Milwaukee last offseason .

  8. The Braves traded for a reliever from the Astros’ system

    Jul 6, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

    braves logo large

    Mitchell Lambson is a lefty reliever who has split time at Double-A and Triple-A so far this year.

  9. Robinson Cano has been battling a stomach ailment for nearly a year

    Jul 6, 2015, 1:44 PM EDT

    Robinson Cano Getty Images

    His inexplicably bad 2015 is now somewhat exsplicable.

  10. The Braves may shop Cameron Maybin

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT

    Cameron Maybin Getty Images

    Maybin is hitting .294/.363.416 with seven homers, 39 RBI and 15 steals.

  11. Billy Heywood from “Little Big League” was on “True Detective”

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT

    Billy Heywood

    A Bill Heywood must be allowed to speak his mind.

  12. Video: Max Scherzer got messed with during his in-game interview

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.44.46 AM

    In-game interviews are usually dumb. But last night one was at least funny.

  13. Jayson Werth “is well on the road to recovery” from fractured wrist

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Jayson Werth AP

    Werth has been out with a fractured wrist since being hit by pitch on May 15.

  14. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:03 AM EDT

    Justin Verlander Getty Images

    Justin Verlander, doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3752)
  2. J. Ellsbury (3734)
  3. M. Sano (3451)
  4. P. Corbin (3114)
  5. B. Harper (3094)
  1. S. Gray (2945)
  2. C. Gomez (2934)
  3. M. Cabrera (2902)
  4. M. Moore (2894)
  5. J. Soler (2834)