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. Braves lose Freddie Freeman to another injury

    Aug 4, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

    Freddie Freeman AP

    In between the DL stints Freeman played just 10 games.

  2. Believe the hype: Carlos Correa is already a superstar

    Aug 4, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    150804-Carlos-Correa Getty Images

    Incredible numbers for a 20-year-old shortstop.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gomez (5599)
  2. Y. Cespedes (4849)
  3. C. Hamels (4322)
  4. D. Price (3852)
  5. B. Revere (3550)
  1. G. Parra (3439)
  2. H. Olivera (3330)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (3280)
  4. M. Latos (3224)
  5. J. Soria (3206)