Skip to content

50 game suspensions are plenty tough

Nov 8, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

melky cabrera getty Getty Images

Tom Verducci had a rundown of free agent outfielders the other day. His Melky Cabrera comments: decent gamble and, because of his suspension, you can probably get him on a one year deal. Fair enough. Then:

In the meantime, I can’t believe Cabrera has yet to truly explain himself and begin to clear the air to try to reduce the taint. He needs to be fully accountable. And the fact that he could roll the dice in his free agent walk year by juicing is a reminder that baseball and the union aren’t truly serious about getting PEDs out of the game; a 50-game suspension is baseball’s equivalent of a five-minute timeout in the corner. The penalty should be at least one year.

He’s not the only one who says this, but the idea that a 50 game suspension is not enough — that it’s “a five-minute timeout” is crazy.

Cabrera lost 30% of his salary — $1.85 million — due to his suspension. And, because he was in a free agent walk year, he probably lost as much as $40 million, maybe more, due to teams being unwilling to make a multi-year commitment to him this winter. He was also effectively shunned from his team and didn’t get to be part of it celebrating a world championship.

To suggest that those aren’t heavy penalties is ridiculous. If, against that backdrop, with those potential consequences looming, a player still wants to risk taking PEDs, he’s either dumb or is someone who is unable to balance risks and rewards.

Six major leaguer players out of thousands on major league rosters were caught using PEDs in 2012. That’s not a ton. If you believe that tons more are using and not being caught — and implicit assertion of everyone who makes arguments like Verducci is here — you should be advocating for more frequent and more stringent testing, not tougher penalties. Because they’re already extremely tough and intimidating for people who operate in a rational universe.

Latest Posts
  1. Matt Garza will rejoin the Brewers’ rotation on Wednesday

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT

    Matt Garza Matt Garza

    The Brewers will get Matt Garza back in the rotation on Wednesday, when they’ll take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

  2. Brandon Belt still 10 days away from resuming baseball activities

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    brandon belt giants getty Getty Images

    Brandon Belt will be limited to cardio for another week and a half. The first baseman has been sidelined since early August with concussion symptoms.

  3. Orioles acquire Kelly Johnson from the Red Sox

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:46 PM EDT

    Kelly Johnson Kelly Johnson

    Kelly Johnson completes his tour of the AL East as the Orioles acquired him from the Red Sox on Saturday evening.

  4. The Angels had interest in acquiring A.J. Burnett from the Phillies

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

    The Angels, searching for a rotation upgrade after losing Garrett Richards to an injury, had interest in A.J. Burnett of the Phillies, but the right-hander’s player option for 2015 was a deterrent.

  5. Orioles acquire Alejandro De Aza from the White Sox

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:29 PM EDT

    Alejandro De Aza Alejandro De Aza

    The Orioles acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the White Sox in exchange for a pair of low-level minor league pitchers on Saturday.

  6. Dustin Pedroia exits Saturday’s game with a head injury

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

    Dustin Pedroia Dustin Pedroia

    Dustin Pedroia took an elbow to the head in the second inning of Saturday’s game against the Rays, and had to leave the game.

  7. Daniel Hudson will return to the major leagues as a reliever

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    daniel hudson getty Getty Images

    It’s been more than two years, but Daniel Hudson will return to the major leagues on Tuesday or Wednesday, pitching out of the Diamodnbacks’ bullpen.

  8. Hanley Ramirez a late addition to Dodgers’ lineup Saturday

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    Hanley Ramirez worked out quickly in front of manager Don Mattingly and trainer Stan Conte, who deemed him fit to play on Saturday against the Padres.

  9. Rangers activate Derek Holland from the disabled list

    Aug 30, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

    derek holland getty Getty Images

    Derek Holland will make his 2014 debut on Tuesday against the Royals, also helping the Rangers claim a major league record.

  10. Don Mattingly on Yasiel Puig: “It’s hard to be really emotional and play 162″

    Aug 30, 2014, 5:41 PM EDT

    Yasiel Puig Getty Getty Images

    Puig has really scuffled this month, hitting .218/.306/.241 with two extra-base hits (both doubles) over 24 games.

  11. Blue Jays throw one-hitter against Yankees

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT

    94676dc1dc0beb29ee4c0171e07ca158 Getty Images

    Drew Hutchison and Aaron Sanchez shut down the Jacoby Ellsbury-less Yankees.

  12. Report: White Sox expected to target Victor Martinez this offseason

    Aug 30, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

    Victor Martinez AP AP

    The White Sox are reportedly interested in signing Victor Martinez away from a division rival.

  13. Astros claim right-hander Samuel Deduno off waivers from the Twins

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

    Samuel Deduno Getty Getty Images

    Deduno has split this season between the starting rotation and the bullpen, putting up a 4.60 ERA and 74/41 K/BB ratio in 92 innings over eight starts and 22 relief appearances.

  14. Bryce Harper is 15th player in MLB history to reach 50 career homers before age-22 season

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

    Bryce Harper hit one of six home runs for the Nationals last night in an 8-3 victory over the Mariners. In doing so, he joined some impressive company.

  15. The Dodgers took the shift to the extreme last night

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    dodgers shift

    And wouldn’t you know it, it worked.

  16. UPDATE: Hot-hitting Jacoby Ellsbury out Saturday with ankle injury

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury AP AP

    Ellsbury injured his left ankle on a slide into home plate on Friday night.

  17. UPDATE: Steve Pearce considered day-to-day after MRI shows no tears in abdominal

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:36 AM EDT

    Steve Pearce AP AP

    Pearce owns a surprising .289/.354/.532 batting line with 16 home runs and 37 RBI over 85 games this season.

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Soler (3669)
  2. Y. Molina (3270)
  3. R. Castillo (2924)
  4. B. Posey (2128)
  5. D. Murphy (2089)
  1. D. Wright (2074)
  2. B. Colon (1980)
  3. M. Wacha (1938)
  4. A. Rizzo (1880)
  5. E. O'Flaherty (1792)