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Before you call for stiffer drug penalties please think about what just happened

Jul 23, 2013, 8:53 AM EDT

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in New York Reuters

Within 12 hours of Ryan Braundescribed by one national columnist as a “cockroach” — getting unprecedented discipline and going down without even bothering to fight, the calls have already started for baseball to get even tougher. Just this morning I have seen multiple calls for automatic lifetime bans, contract-voiding provisions and all manner of draconian proposals. These calls are couched in the assumption that Ryan Braun somehow got off easy and that, because of that, Major League Baseball is still somehow not doing enough to stop PEDs.

This is nothing short of madness. It’s auto-piloted rage, flown in from 2006, and offered with all spleen and no thought.

Ken Rosenthal lays all of this bare in his excellent column this morning, which I implore you to read.  The short version: Baseball, in the space of a few short months, investigated and suspended a major star with the largest-ever penalty for first-time discipline. It did so without a test. It did so in such a way that union publicly implored the player not to fight and the player, in fact, did not fight.  It did so with the vocal approval of many current players who, just a few short years ago, would have said nothing and probably would have supported their union’s efforts to fight to the death.

We have experienced a complete paradigm shift with respect to performance enhancing drugs in baseball. One in which there is no truly acceptable defense to cheating and which the league is empowered by all stakeholders to root it out.

Yet, in light of that, people think the system is a joke. That the penalties need to be increased. That baseball isn’t doing enough? Jesus, people, do you see what baseball just did?

  1. bfunk1978 - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    I’m stoked to see what else is going on in the periphery, too. Players aren’t afraid to call out the cheats publicly, either. Look at what little Skippy Schumaker said (among others):

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Ryan-Braun-reaction-Fedup-players-feel-cheated-70900028

    • southofheaven81 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      How can we stare off into the sunset in the middle of a cornfield & think about how baseball personifies America with all these cheatin’ cheaters around?! We need good folks like Babe Ruth & Ty Cobb, people who were sweethearts that kids can look up to! Drunk racist assholes, but they kept it REEEEEALLLL, THEY PLAYED PUUUUURRRRE.

      Grow up.

  2. deadeyedesign23 - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    You literally just inadvertantly made the argument for stiffer penalites in another post. You said Braun should be happy with his 65 game suspension especially because next year his contract nearly doubles in worth as a result of an extension he earned with the aid of PED use.

    If the upshot is you earn a much larger contract and don’t get caught great and the downside is you do get caught well, you only lose 1/3 of a season, but potentially earned an inflate contract with your use? That’s totally worth doing.

    I’m not suggesting a lifetime ban for first time users, because there’s the chance for a false positive, but there’s a reason Pete Rose is the only big name to be caught for gambling in the last 100 years.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      “If the upshot is you earn a much larger contract and don’t get caught great and the downside is you do get caught well, you only lose 1/3 of a season, but potentially earned an inflate contract with your use? That’s totally worth doing.”

      Steroids work, kids. That’s the main lesson I’m getting from the PED era of baseball. If I was a high school baseball player, I’d definitely take performance enhancing drugs, because it’s undeniable that they work.

      Of course, I’m a 40 year old guy now, and I know drugs are bad and I’d regret taking them. But, yeah, 16/17 year old me would definitely find some shady ass supplier if I thought it would make me better.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        Yep totally agree. Which is why I don’t talk about people who cheat like they’re animals. Because I think, given that choice, I’d probably do it.

      • dontnojack - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        DRUGS ARE NOT BAD! It is the way that some people choose to use them that is bad but the drugs themselves are not inherently “bad”.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:18 PM

        The drugs I would have had access to would have been bad.

  3. royalintx - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Your continued backlash against this is flown in from 1998. You are in a very small minority and I believe you need to seriously think about how you are painting yourself into a corner. You are already known as the PED defender. Have you thought about that at all?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      Have you thought about that at all?

      It’s getting to the point that I honestly wonder whether some of you can read at all.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        Further proof of a broken edumacation system.

        ( Psst, I’ve been suggesting that since all these new people got here )

  4. cur68 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    I think over the top outrage and moralizing is what passes for rational conversation and deep thought in the media these days. I don’t expect there’ll be anything less from a good portion of the commentary section herein.

    All in all, though? A person would have to be a fool to cheat with PEDs in MLB. The League does not mess around with testing, investigates and punishes PED users, and the players are fine with that. What more could a sane rational person want? Lynchings? Well, perhaps Alex Rodriguez, baseball’s greatest monster, but not for anyone else, surely.

    • paperlions - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Absolutely Cur, people have lost their minds.

      There is an admitted (and convicted) rapist on an MLB 40-man roster. There are dozens of DUI offenders on MLB roster, and likely dozens to hundreds more than haven’t been caught, each of those offenses is a far worse crime against society than using PEDs….but people seem to not care at all about those things. Over 10,000 people are killed in the US every year in alcohol induced accidents….at least another 3000+ (number is probably far higher) die due to drivers distracted by talking on their phones. Do those things and you get suspended for zeros games. Get caught taking PEDs (which were responsible for few, if any deaths last year, and most of those were probably from amphetamines, not steroids) and people want a life-time ban?

      Moral compass = broken

      I am willing to bet that this is 100% caused by the fact that fans and media (mostly) do not take PEDs, making it easy to bring down the judgmental hammer. Where as a large portion of fans and media have DUIs or have driven with BAC over the legal limit, making them less likely to call for the book to be thrown at anyone else for doing what they too have done (or do).

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        What paper said. Priorities please.

      • cur68 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        Yeah, ‘Lions. When did cheating at sports get to be such a “Tar & Feather” offence, anyways? Back in the day when people were corking bats (Mantle, to name one) doctoring balls (all of ‘em), popping greenies (EVERYONE) and acting like the rules were only broken if you got caught, there was none of this. And THOSE things actually affected outcomes (well, not corking bats, but never mind that: its STILL as illegal as a PED…and JUST as effective as HGH, I might add).

        Nowadays? Sheeee-it. Get a girl drunk and do a bunch of vile shit and no one hardly bats an eye. Drive drunk, get caught, have the mug-shot from hell? Tsk. You naughty boy. Beat your wife? Meh. A minor contretemps. Nothing to see here. BUT, use PEDs? PEDs!!!? HANG ‘EM!!!

        Jeez

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        doctoring balls (all of ‘em)

        If you ever get a chance to watch a Yankees game with Cone announcing, it’ll be brought up at least once how he hated when a catcher threw away a ball that was in the dirt. He wanted it scuffed up. He openly talks about how it was an art form to throw a baseball that’s been scuffed, and how pitchers today have lost that art.

      • dluxxx - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        I think there are a few factors contributing to the outrage. One is obviously the bile being spewed by a lot of the media, many of which are the same folks who are part of the BBWA who won’t vote players who are even suspected of PED use into the HOF. This accounts for quite a bit of the vitriol that is out there.

        Another factor – I feel – is a simple emotion called jealousy. Many of the fans are angry that so-and-so big millionaire is cheating to get more money. Part of them already begrudges these guys for the salary they make, and if they’re cheating to increase their salary? Well, then that’s all the more reason to hate them for it.

        The third factor is the anger at a “fallen hero.” Some guys get so built up, and are fan favorites. Braun was one of these guys. Every Brewers fan loved him, and would defend him to the end. Look at Aaron Rodger’s tweet about giving up his salary and how Braun was vindicated when his suspension was overturned. Some people look to these players as role models, heroes and generally people to look up to. When they tarnish their reputation, the fans feel cheated and turn against their favorite player. That passion for them turns into passion against them.

        Are any of these reasons a good reason to get upset? Not really. But human emotions aren’t always rational. Especially when folks get so emotionally invested in a game.

        I love baseball, but I’m not so irrationally in love with it that I forget that the players are human and make human mistakes.

      • paperlions - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        All good points.

        As an aside (or maybe not), the current theory for why other primates have been slow to develop culture compared to humans is that they are very emotionally compulsive (at least, compared to humans), which makes creating a setting in which learning and shared information happens more difficult. Primates that are less emotionally compulsive have more developed cultural aspects to their societies.

  5. oldskimmy26 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Actually, recent history has shown us that there IS an acceptable defense for performance enhancing drugs.

    Just get Shyam Das as your arbitrator and claim that there was a problem with the handling of the sample.
    Sorry Calcaterra, but the fact that Braun wasn’t suspended for this the first time means that the system needs changes. We knew he did it, and we the system didn’t suspend him. That’s a problem.

    Also, I wonder how different things would be if Braun had just accepted the first suspension instead of appealing.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      You know these cases are handled in front of 3 arbiters right? And that the MLBPA agreed with Das that the protocol was not followed? No of course not, it’s all Das’s fault…

    • Francisco (FC) - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      And in any case, following Braun’s appeal, MLB tightened up the protocol to make sure that wouldn’t happen again. So MLB (along with the MLBPA) has in effect introduced changes to avoid the problem in the future.

  6. heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Bart and Lisa: Are we there yet?
    Homer: Just a little further.
    Bart and Lisa: Are we there yet?
    Homer: Just a little further.
    Bart and Lisa: Are we there yet?
    Homer: Just a little further.
    Bart and Lisa: Are we there yet?
    Homer: (Yells) Just a little further!
    Marge: Bart, Lisa, if you don’t behave, we’ll turn this car right around and go home.
    Homer: But, Marge, I want to see my brother.
    Marge: Oh, for God’s sakes, Homer, it’s an empty threat.
    Homer: Oh.

  7. jayscarpa - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    What does Passan have against cockroaches?

  8. yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Just a shame it took Bud this long to locate his shrunken little raisins. Too bad MLB wasn’t ferreting out guys like Canseco back in the 80’s, instead of tacitly encouraging the usage of PEDs throughout the 90’s. If they had, we wouldn’t have had to watch a bunch of goons piss all over the record books and people wouldn’t have to cry like deprived orphans during every HOF vote.

    • smoothaswilkes - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      “we wouldn’t have had to watch a bunch of goons piss all over the record books and people wouldn’t have to cry like deprived orphans during every HOF vote.”

      Worst argument ever. You realize cheating has been going on since baseball started, right? All those hallowed records you mention were already tainted with bygone era cheats.

      • yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        Dry your tears, little one, and keep rationalizing. Your stupidity and gullibility is amusing.

  9. danaking - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    The penalties are clearly working, as the mind set among everyone involved has shifted. I don’t know where Americans’ desire for draconian punishment comes from, in all walks of life. Let’s find the bad guys and punish them, sure, but let’s not let good guys get caught up in the net, and we should always leave room for someone to reform.

    Braun’s acceptance of over 50 games as a “first offender” smells like a plea bargain. He thumbed his nose at the system before, and got away with it. MLB was going to have to make an example of him. He made the best deal he could for him an his team, while also allowing MLB to establish a precedent that “first” offenses can, in fact, be longer than 50 games if special circumstances exist.

    I did not think so before this, but A-Rod may be through.

    • jayscarpa - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      ARod will get anywhere from 150 games to life. Not only did he use & abuse, he obstructed the investigation buy at least trying to buy the Biogenesis documents. He’s screwed.

      • jayscarpa - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        *by*

  10. myhawks1976 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Craig,

    I agree with you to a point and then vehemently disagree with you on another. baseball should be commended for its efforts against PEDs. I believe it has kind of led the push and there is praise baseball deserves .

    on the flip side….. I agree with a lot of people that are outraged. the 3.34 million Braun will lose from his overall contract for these 65 games equates to a little over 2% of his contract which is GUARANTEED. the brewers organization, coaches, players and fans are now albatrossed with having to answer questions and deal with the added distractions that this “cockroach” just caused.

    I have two problems with this:

    A. what message are we sending. look at Melky Cabreras contract. and he signed that after the initial suspension. look at brauns contract. what are we telling high schoolers and minor leaguers? you can battle your butt off, cleanly, to see a possible 2 to 3 million dollar a year contract if your one of the lucky ones, or roll the dice with the juice and see a possible 8, 10, 12, 15 million dollar a year contract that you might lose a couple million from. I’m not concerned about the “cockroach”. he’s a classless, useless, lying, cheat. he made friends, like Aaron Rodgers, look like idiots. he lied to our faces. he tried to disgrace an innocent man that was just doing his job. he berated US for doubting him. he deserves this and so much worse. my concern is the next generation and what is the message we are sending. USADA bans for life for doping, why don’t the big 4?

    b. which brings me to my second point. I, unlike a vast majority of sports fans, took economics classes. I have no issue with player salaries, as the marketplace supports them. but what on earth could you have against a clause that voids contracts of cheaters. how, could that be a bad thing?

    baseball will never regain the stature it once held in this country until baseball regains its credibility.

    The all time hits leader? banned for life.
    The single season HR leader? tarnished by Balco
    The lifetime HR leader? tarnished by Balco.
    The second highest single season HR total? admitted steroid user.
    Greatest SS, offensively to ever play the game? admitted user, about to be nailed again.

    the greatest players of the last generation will never see Cooperstown. they were cheats. the American public will never allow baseball to regain its place on the pedestal as America’s pastime until there is some level of reality and believability to the feats of our hero’s.

    the suspension handed down last night and the forthcoming biogenesis suspensions are a step in the right direction. but they are only the first in a march that NEEDS to continur.

    • paperlions - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      There may not be a single player in cooperstown who’s career occurred after WWII who didn’t use PEDs. PED use has been rampant in sports since that time (as documented in a SI series of cover stories in the 60s). The difference is that people just did not care if pro athletes took PEDs in the 60s, or 70s, or 80s, or 90s. Hell, players made jokes about steroids in the media during the 90s and NO BODY CARED. The guy that outed McGwire’s use of andro was loudly shouted down by the MEDIA (“how dare he question the greatness of Mac during the HR chase?”).

      While I agree that it is revisionist to judge our predecessors by today’s standards, it is also revisionist to act as if our predecessors didn’t do those things. There are plenty of “baseball heroes” that have did far worse in their lives than take PEDs (in addition to taking PEDs). Moralizing about baseball related activities while ignoring the morality of life seems a wee bit myopic.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      you can battle your butt off, cleanly, to see a possible 2 to 3 million dollar a year contract if your one of the lucky ones, or roll the dice with the juice and see a possible 8, 10, 12, 15 million dollar a year contract that you might lose a couple million from.

      Yes you can do that, and most likely you’ll get caught. In which case your name will be dragged through the mud, you’ll be a media pariah and might even have articles calling you baseball’s biggest dipwad even though a convicted rapist is currently playing. Is all that money* worth that aggravation?

      but what on earth could you have against a clause that voids contracts of cheaters. how, could that be a bad thing?

      He probably has nothing against it, as long as it’s negotiated within the terms of the next CBA. This is what’s so difficult for the many “Craig is a PED Apologist” crowd to understand. There’s an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA. If you don’t like the agreement, it can be changed at the next labor negotiation. It can’t be changed because a bunch of people are professing faux outrage over someone’s use of PEDs.

      baseball will never regain the stature it once held in this country until baseball regains its credibility.

      There’s been cheating in baseball going back to the 50s and 60s. How is this so difficult to understand? What credibility did a sport have that had a major cheating scandal at it’s pinnacle series (Black Sox), that took so long to integrate (and has owners who waited years to integrate in the HoF btw), widespread greenie use in the 60s and 70s, the cocaine scandals, being dragged in front of Congress for PEDs, multiple collusion hearings.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        Shoot forgot the asterisk. Don’t forget that many players have been caught using PEDs that aren’t sitting on 9 figure contracts. Something like 90%+ of the players caught since ’06 are MiLB players (not including the drugs of abuse ones). Braun/Arod/Manny are the outliers, not the norm.

      • myhawks1976 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        Church,

        Thank you, your making my point for me…. But let me digress for a minute. ..

        If you polled 1000 Americans and asked them whether they would be willing to have the media and fans berate them for an extra 100 million dollars guaranteed, I guarantee you that in a moment of honesty, atleast 980 of them would take the 100 million. To say that public shame ooverrides the Monet is counter intelligent to your own words…. Why do you think it IS 90% of MiLB players getting busted? They WANT that contract Braun has.

        I am more than aware of what a CBA is. I didn’t call for an immediate ban by noon today. What I did say, was this was a good first step. PS, if the union and MLB both agree, CBAs in all major sports can be ammended and ratified. Waiting till it is up, is not the only route.

        Yes, greenies and alcoholism, and racism, and other drugs have been around for a century of baseball. Ty Cobb was a despicable human by all accounts. But along with everything else, it is ridiculous to compare different generations in sports. 50 years ago, we didn’t the juice shrunk your balls, caused bursts of rage, or had the potential to cause stroke or heart attack.

        Justifying actions based on the same actions of generations before is crazy. We once thought the world was flat. Times change, and we adapt. This is no different.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        If you polled 1000 Americans and asked them whether they would be willing to have the media and fans berate them for an extra 100 million dollars guaranteed, I guarantee you that in a moment of honesty, atleast 980 of them would take the 100 million. To say that public shame ooverrides the Monet is counter intelligent to your own words

        First, please don’t make up polling numbers like that. You can’t get 98/100 people to say whether they like themselves or not (this is a joke btw, don’t accuse me of the same shit), so to say you know what a large majority would do is disingenuous. Second, it’s very easy for this hypothetical group to say that they’d take the money, because they’ve never been in that situation before. They don’t know what it’s like to be berated by fans and/or the media everywhere they go, for years on end. I’m not trying to trivialize it here, but there are high school kids killing themselves because of far less abuse. I think you grossly underestimate the effect of all those people booing has on a person’s psyche.

        But along with everything else, it is ridiculous to compare different generations in sports.

        Why? It’s a known fact that large numbers of players used PEDs in the 60s and 70s. Why is it ridiculous to bring this up?

        50 years ago, we didn’t the juice shrunk your balls, caused bursts of rage, or had the potential to cause stroke or heart attack.

        So you’re concerned with the side effects of these drugs? Then where’s your moral outrage for all the DUI problems that MLB has? Alcohol has directly killed on MLB player (Nick Adenhart) which steroids never have.

        Justifying actions based on the same actions of generations before is crazy. We once thought the world was flat. Times change, and we adapt. This is no different.

        Stop putting words in my mouth. In no way did I justify anything. I merely stated that it’s a fallacy to think the game used to be “credible” or “pure” because all these issues were already in the game. I’m not saying players should be able to use PEDs now because they could use them in the 60s and/or 70s. Im saying if you didn’t care about it then, why do you care about it now?

      • paperlions - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Josh Hancock says “Hi.”….oh wait, no he doesn’t he killed himself driving while plastered.

    • lessick - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      “baseball will never regain the stature it once held in this country until baseball regains its credibility.”

      Really??? I would bet that there are more steroid users in the Pro Football Hall of Fame than in baseball’s.

    • dluxxx - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      I thought this was a well thought out post, and it all makes a lot of sense, until the end where you start talking about baseball regaining its place on the pedestal, and specifically the words “feats of our hero’s”.

      If these guys are your heroes then you need to find new heroes. Just because a guy can hit a ball or throw a nasty slider doesn’t make them some sort of great human being that deserves our praise and adulation. These guys aren’t heroes. They’re human beings that play a game for our enjoyment.

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    im all for contract-voiding provisions, when a guy pulls what arod just did and has done you should be able to protect yourself within the contract. Only in MLB would nobody think that was right

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      My god, I agree with THIS guy.

      • yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        Now hug.

  12. patrick10311211 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Totally agree. The most important point of the disciplinary action is to change the culture via the consequences. Im aware that there will always be forms of cheating in all sports primarily because it’s in the nature of all people and especially very competitive athletes but baseball has done the most important thing they could have done and that’s change the culture in their game. Its great to see the change in the mentality of the players nowadays when it comes to cheating.

  13. rayburns - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    It’s a simple equation, do the risks outweigh the rewards?

    In this case, even though this is a substantial penalty, and Braun’s name is forever besmirched, he still has over $100,000,000 that will somehow manage to comfort him in his time of troubles.

    As long as athletes continue to see that even if you’re caught, you can still make the big payday, there will be those who will continue to take the risk to gain the reward.

    If the penalties were enhanced so that if a player is caught, his deal is voided, then you’ll see players think twice about taking that risk.

  14. Mariska Crookshanks - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    It would seem that at least part of the solution would be to have at least a sizable chunk of the player’s forfeited salary be donated to charity.

    Teams would be less likely to gamble on likely or known users if they know they can’t just recoup a massive contract if the player turns up dirty. Players would be less likely to use, given the hesitance to give enormous contracts to suspended users. Little kids with cancer get Ferraris. Everyone wins.

  15. chip56 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Craig – the vitriol at Braun isn’t because he accepted his suspension this time without a fight – it’s because of the BS he spread when he was first caught. The way he basically accused people of conspiring to get him and smear his name. Then he says “I realize now I made some mistakes.” Oh, so you just read the JDA yesterday and were all “oh my bad.”

    Do I think they need harsher penalties? No. Do I think Braun is the worst person to ever play baseball? No. Do I think he’s a lying douche? Absolutely.

  16. ningenito78 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I’m actually just wondering if we can all agree back in 2011 that what Braun got off on was actually a ‘technicality’? Yes? No?

    • Mariska Crookshanks - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Man, you must hang around a different group of people than I if you were hearing a lot of “see? completely innocent!” talk.

  17. banpeds - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    You are one misguided person Calcaterra. No one will be reading your opnions in the future. As for the rest of them, they are all cutting the best deals they can as the Braun news breaks.

    • yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      You will still read his opinions.

  18. banpeds - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – you are atweaker, and have no idea what you are talking about this whole issue, just like CC. Anyone who sees you psots no knows to ignore them inlcuding me from now on…lol

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      Is that because I continually call you out on your bullshit and then you magically disappear from the thread?

  19. ridingwithnohandlebars - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    There used to be a time when players who cheaters were banned for life. That was a pretty strong incentive for players to not cheat.

    • Mariska Crookshanks - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Again, PED use goes back to the 60s and earlier. Name me one player banned for life for PEDs. Colluding with gangsters to throw ballgames? That got people banned.

      These two things are not even in the same universe, so far as punishable offenses go.

    • Alex K - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      What magical time was this?

  20. djpostl - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    MLB did good. The player’s and the union have been great in helping on this cause but who the fuck are you kidding when you say that voiding contracts is “draconian”?

    If a player, like Braun or Melky or Arod, uses PEDs then lands a big fat deal they ARE still getting over.

    They are receiving ill-gotten gains and defrauding owners, fans and other players.

    The ability to void deals should ABSOLUTELY be in play.

  21. largebill - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Biggest problem with the substance abuse suspensions/penalties is the seemingly one size fits all application. Everyone gets tested randomly. Currently, first positive result gets a 50 game suspension & second is 100 games. Doesn’t matter if your positive is for adderal or for high grade steroids & HGH. That is a silly approach. It would be like treating speeding a couple MPH over limit same as vehicular manslaughter while going 30 MPH over limit. Or better analogy is treating guy caught with a joint same as guy caught with 5 lbs of heroin.

    • jwbiii - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      No. Adderall is a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, so it is classified as a stimulant. A first violation gets you counseling and increased testing for a year and no suspension. A second violation gets you 25 games; a third, 80.

  22. LampyB - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I can’t believe i just took the time to read your worthless dribble. The outcry is about removing PEDs from the sport altogether. What happened to armstrong? He lost all medals and currently isn’t allowed to participate. This is the only thing that will stop this in baseball. Complete loss of contract, and being banned from participation permanently. Players aren’t as likely to risk their entire career when facing a complete ban. Right now its a slap on the wrist and they’ll continue to make millions.

    The author is a complete moron. Get a clue bud, you’re way in left field. You’re too far to see what happened at home plate.

    • lessick - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      You are aware that Alberto Contador is still competing and finished this year’s Tour de France, non?

      Armstrong’s case was unique in many ways.

  23. LampyB - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    How so, because he was a liar, a public figure, and a superstar?

    • lessick - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Armstrong thumbed his nose at the cycling authorities for years, and it did take years to build the case. Armstrong ruined or attempted to ruin many lives in the process. He also had unprecedented success and a long history of doping and denial.

      Braun did have a guy fired, so I guess you could say that makes him “Armstrong-light” (very light in comparison). However, Braun has not been permanently banned, nor has Contador, who still is recognized as the 2007 Tour de France winner.

      • louhudson23 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Only one sentence does not seamlessly fit Braun…he did not spend years making a concerted effort to destroy the credibility of any and all who sought to implicate him or even question him….Braun only besmirched the sample handler,and relatively mildly in comparison…the rest is right out of Brauns playbook…

  24. Stiller43 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    @paperlions re: dui’s (or other charges) vs ped’s

    I think most of the outrage you see for PEDs vs other charges is PEDs (do/can) directly effect your baseball performance, thereby effecting team performance and perhaps also generate a nice big new contract for that user, assuming he doesnt get caught and they have their intended effects…

    DUIs and other charges cant make a better baseball player. Sure, they can make you scum, asbolutely, but not a better ball player. People dont watch sports, or their favorite team, to watch the biggest group of upstanding citizens in the world play sports. You can certainly be more proud to be a fan of that team if those players are amazing people, but its not necessary in the vast majority of cases.

    But when a player cheats (lets say for a rival team), you may have think back to all those hits/great plays against your team and go “gee, without him, we may have won some more…” Maybe those extra wins would have been enough for a playoff spot, and anything could have happened there….who knows?

    I dont think, speaking strictly as human beings first, anyone thinks PEDs are worse than DUIs or other terrible charges. However, strictly in a baseball fan first mode, PEDs usually are more of a sore subject.

  25. stevem7 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Before I call for stiffer penalties, I’d call for MLB to clean up the way it does investigations. This is all scare tactic and bought and paid for testimony. I have no problem whatever with MLB investigating any player but to do it in the manner that this has been done means MLB is worse than the players because they use illegal tactics to gain information. An investigation not only has to be above board but has to look above board as well. This one reeks of Bud Selig having an entire septic tank in his undershorts.

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