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. Believe the hype: Carlos Correa is already a superstar

    Aug 4, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    carlos correa getty Getty Images

    Incredible numbers for a 20-year-old shortstop.

  2. The Tigers may be calling up Matt Boyd

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Matt Boyd Getty Images

    He’s pitcher number two they received in the David Price deal.

  3. An English soccer club effectively bars media. Get used to this, U.S. sports fans.

    Aug 4, 2015, 9:48 AM EDT

    press hat

    Not having access to athletes and coaches would be a bummer at first, but over time the press would do just fine with it.

  4. Video: Mike Hessman’s record-breaking homer

    Aug 4, 2015, 8:44 AM EDT

    Mike Hessman

    Congratulations to Mike Hessman. The greatest minor league lifer of them all.

  5. And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 4, 2015, 7:22 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 7.21.25 AM AP

    A few weeks ago I had no idea what an Adonis Garcia even was.

  6. Adrian Beltre needs just five innings for the third cycle of his career

    Aug 3, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    San Francisco at Texas San Francisco at Texas

    Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle tonight against the Astros. And he needed just five innings to do it.

  7. Mets blow out Marlins, move past Nationals for first place in NL East

    Aug 3, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Yoenis Cespedes, J.T. Realmuto Yoenis Cespedes, J.T. Realmuto

    It’s August 3 and the Mets are all alone in first place in the National League East.

  8. Mike Hessman sets all-time minor league home run record

    Aug 3, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT

    Mike Hessman AP

    Mike Hessman is the new minor league home run king.

  9. Stephen Strasburg strikes out 11 batters in latest rehab start

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:36 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg AP

    Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg has been sidelined since July 4 with a left oblique strain, but it sounds like he’s rounding into form for the stretch run.

  10. Freddie Freeman exits game with right oblique injury

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:13 PM EDT

    ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 11: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves knocks in a run with a first inning double against the San Diego Padres at Turner Field on June 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Braves are calling him day-to-day, but these type of injuries are notoriously tricky.

  11. Cubs designate Clayton Richard for assignment

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 08: Clayton Richard #33 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning on July 8, 2015 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Clayton Richard tossed six innings of one-run ball in a win over the Padres on Sunday, but he was designated for assignment by the Cubs today for the second time in the past two weeks.

  12. Steven Matz has resumed throwing

    Aug 3, 2015, 8:19 PM EDT

    NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 10, 2015 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Matz was placed on the 15 day disabled list. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Matz impressed over his first two starts in the majors before going down with a partial tear of his lat muscle, but he’s starting to ramp things up in preparation for his return.

  13. Kris Bryant in lineup after leaving Sunday’s game with dizziness

    Aug 3, 2015, 6:58 PM EDT

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 25:  on July 25, 2015 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Getty Images

    Cubs rookie third baseman Kris Bryant was forced to exit Sunday’s game against the Brewers after feeling dizzy on a hard slide into second base, but he’s back in the starting lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Pirates.

  14. Carter Capps lands on disabled list with elbow strain

    Aug 3, 2015, 6:01 PM EDT

    MIAMI, FL - JULY 12: Carter Capps #22 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 12, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Capps has quietly been one of the game’s most dominant relievers this season.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gomez (5556)
  2. Y. Cespedes (4759)
  3. C. Hamels (4283)
  4. D. Price (3795)
  5. B. Revere (3510)
  1. G. Parra (3406)
  2. H. Olivera (3279)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (3244)
  4. M. Latos (3194)
  5. J. Soria (3166)