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Quote of the Day: Skip Schumaker brings the noise on Braun and PED users

Jul 23, 2013, 9:40 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Getty Images

To underscore the earlier post about where we are now with PEDs in baseball, check out what Skip Schumaker had to say after the Dodgers game last night:

“I can’t stand it. It (PED use) needs to be eliminated from the game. I have an autographed Ryan Braun jersey hanging in my baseball room at home that I’ll be taking down now because I don’t want my son connecting this with what I had to do to get to to where I am and to have what I have. In my opinion, it should be an automatic lifetime ban. One strike — you’re out. … It’s ridiculous. They’re still doing it?

“He lied. He lied to a lot of people. I was actually convinced after that MVP year that he didn’t do anything. I think he should give that MVP trophy to Matt Kemp (runner-up in 2011). Suspend them all. It needs to get out of baseball. Watching him talk now — it makes me sick.”

We’d never hear anything like this just a couple of years ago. We’re in a totally different world now. People (including Schumaker himself) are saying that tougher penalties are needed. Well, tougher penalties are being assessed, both in hard and soft ways.  This kind of public criticism from players’ peers matters. One need only look at the overall culture of baseball and how conformity — for both good and bad reasons — is so, so powerful in the game. It’s a society in which shunning matters.

It won’t work magic. There will always be some cheaters. But don’t think for a minute that this isn’t a powerful development in baseball’s policing of its sport.

  1. baseballici0us - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    100% agree with Skip here. That said, I’m taking a nap, can someone please wake me up when we go back to talking about the actual game and not scumbags?

    Thanks.

    • waiverclaim - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      Um, there’s a lot of different kinds of scumbaggery not at all connected to PED use commited by MLB players.

      Why DOES Josh Lueke still have a job, by the way?

      • paperlions - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        He was also suspended for zero games for raping a woman.

        Zee.

        ROE.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        Didn’t he plead it down to only kidnapping? I mean, I would hate to tarnish such a pristine reputation.

        So yes, take a drug widely available = suspended and moral pariah.
        Imprison/rape/assault/drunk drive/shoot someone in the DR = boys will be boys, or some such BS.

        For all the talk of taking away Braun’s MVP, the same people will crucify if you try to make even a statistical argument against Miguel Cabrera’s award, seemingly ignoring his DUI incidents and showing up drunk/hungover during a pennant chase.

      • baseballici0us - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Fair enough…but you know what I meant.

    • ctony1216 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Who care what Skip Schumaker said yesterday? Oh wait, wrong story. Sorry.

    • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      I hope the UPS driver sues the balls off him !

    • dickclydesdale - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      He can replace it with a Carlos Beltran jersey. A true natural 5 tool player that produced quality campaigns without the use of illegal substances. In regards to Braun it’s pathetic how the media built him up to an MVP then quickly tore him down. Robinson Cano is another cheater that should get fired.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      How are we supposed to do that? I don’t have your phone number or anything. It’s impossible to wake you just by sending you a message on here. Are you at work? If you nap too long you could get in trouble. That would suck. Hmmm…. I’ll try to find a way to wake you but I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to come up with anything. You should’ve set an alarm or called your wife or someone for a wake up call. You didn’t think this through at all!

      • baseballici0us - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Sorry to disappoint you.

  2. hotkarlsandwich - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Isn’t Skip like best friends with McGwire?

    • anotheryx - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      He may, I don’t know. Are you best friend with everyone you work with?

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

        NICE SCUMBAGGERY.

  3. summeroftony - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Way to go Skip!

  4. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    What was that movie where they guy falls off the building, and fires his guns at his nemesis as he falls to his death?

    Spend all day on week, pick apart every peice of info and quote by every person out there. It will not change this reality: Braun is not a victim. And yes, we know….you aren’t saying he is a victim.

  5. cohnjusack - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Jeez, am I the only one who think 50/100/Out for Life is actually a pretty good penalty for PED use? Last year, five MLB players out of over 1000 were suspended for PEDs. To me, this means one of two things:

    1). The current system has done a fantastic job of limiting PED use.
    2). If steroids are still more prevalent than this, than the issue lies with the test itself that allows dirty players to pass as clean, not with the associated punishments.

    At a point, the punishment is the punishment, making it harsher might deter it more…but is the right thing to do? To make a completely unfair comparison to unreasonably strengthen my argument, I’m sure cutting the hand of thieves deters crime, but it doesn’t mean we should go around doing it.

    • cur68 - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      Cohn: When the inevitable backlash against your sane and reasonable comment comes, you can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone in thinking that the current system is pretty damn good. Anyhow, I’m off to accomplish something more productive with my day. Good luck with the nutjobs.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      Ditto

    • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Hypothetical:

      You are player Joe Druggy and you are a moderately good ballplayer but not good enough to stay in The Show. Do you take PEDs in hopes to improve just enough to get in the show and to get awarded a multi-year contract? Suppose you do and get caught and you then serve 50 games, lose a little money during that time, and quit taking PEDS. Hypothetically your performance drops, but who cares, you have a few more years of big money left in The Show. Is it worth it?

      In my opinion if the answer is “yes”, then the 50 game initial penalty is too low and the financial penalty is too low. The first offense should hurt bad enough that there is ZERO incentive to take PEDs in any given situation. In the above situation, why wouldn’t a player risk it? It’s either stay in the minors as a middle income employee or be a PED-tainted multi-millionaire? The latter should not be considered an option but I still think it is absolutely possible that it happens under current circumstances.

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        To clarifly, I think that 50 games may actually have proven to be insufficient. I suggest 100 games to start. Why not? It’s not too harsh and would likely prevent cheats from getting end of season awards b/c they missed so much time. Kills two birds.

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

        I disagree, El Bravo. I think the 50/100 penalty is a deterrent and it will be more of one as the drug culture continues to recede from MLB. The only people who will miss it are the Nintendo fans who miss the daily 12-10 slugfests.

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

        The current risk is worth the reward. If you’re that middling AA or AAA guy, what’s a 50 game suspension cost you? $20k? If you can get The Call you’ll make that back in a week.

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        I think the system works, but is still imperfect. Braun basically proved that point by beating a failed test. Conversely, he also proved the MLB doesn’t need that to suspend soemone so they have significant power here and it appears the Union is behind the MLB. Despite the second point, I still think the penalties should hurt even more in terms of games missed and how bad it hits the player’s purse. It should be a nuclear deterrent in terms of trying to cheat to get enough of an edge to make the The Show or get the big contract. I don’t think it is right now says Melky Cabrera.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        For an interesting perspective on this, please read Doug Glanville’s “The game from Where I Stand”. The last 3-4 chapters address the very issue you raise.

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      I have proposed, and continue to believe, that teams should not be permitted to fill the roster spot of a suspended player – any suspension. This, to a degree, addresses El Bravo’s concerns (expressed below) about a marginal player; it also addresses the pitcher suspended for five games (one start max) for on-field incidents. Just increases accountability across-the-board in my opinion.

      • chadjones27 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        That’s actually kind of a good idea. This way suspended players aren’t just hurting themselves, they’re hurting the team.

    • nobody78 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      Very reasonable take, Cohn. I think the 50 / 100 / life is a tad light – I’d go 81 / life – but that’s the CBA has the 50 / 100 / life policy and it’s really not bad.

      I would also guess that there is now FAR less PED use in baseball than there is in football or basketball, thanks to this policy. Good for MLB.

    • indaburg - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Don’t you know that harsher punishments always result in deterrents? I mean look at how low the murder rate is in Florida and Texas is with the death penalty? Oh, wait…

  6. mdpickles - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    What year does this PED use/talk stop?? 2015? 2020? Just want it to go away.

    • cohnjusack - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Bad news…

      Never.

      Your best bet: In 30 years, we’re all on steroids because medical science is able to mitigate the negative health effects. Then people probably won’t talk about it….as much.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        Never, and I mean never. It’s been 53 years since SI published their article “Our Drug-happy Athletes.” Athletes were experimenting with Brown-Sequard solution even in the 19th century. As long as there is big money to be had in sports, people will try to cheat, including use of PEDs.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        Don’t forget the bull testicle juice. Who took that one again?

    • Tim OShenko - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      It’ll go away once people realize:
      1) there will always be players trying to beat the system
      2) the system is actually doing a good job of catching offenders & deterring use
      3) the majority of people are satisfied with the punishments in place.

      So, sometime around 2050, I’m guessing.

  7. countduku - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    If MLB wants to cut PED’s from the game, give an automatic minimum 162 game suspension, lifetime elimination from any possible post-season awards for life, risk of voided contract, and a lifetime suspension for 2nd offense. Personally I would also make them ineligible to play in any post season games ever,, thus eliminating them from playing in a world series. That should get the point across to them. Ryan Braun can credit himself for the fact that no player can or will be taken at his word in the court of public opinion when it comes to PED usage and allegations. For example. I now truly believe that Roger Clemens was a user, where i used to give him the benefit of the doubt. I also agree with Skip that his 2011 MVP should be given to Matt Kemp now, as we now know that his year was aided by PED’s. The Brewers need to have an ‘exchange your Ryan Braun jersey day.

  8. Jeremy T - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    One strike and you’re out only works if the tests are perfect. If there are any PEDs that can get around the tests, or if there’s any possibility at all of a false positive, then it causes more problems than it solves. 50/100/life combined with (in my opinion) the more important step of the culture changing should be enough to stop this stuff from being a serious problem.

  9. therealbigben - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Won’t someone think of the children?!?

  10. historiophiliac - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    The obvious contest for comment of the day: Who brings the funk?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      Currently bringin da funk in MLB – every catcher (unavoidable really) and Clay Buchholz’s jersey.

  11. chip56 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Craig – Tom Verducci on MLB Tonight last night said that under the new leadership the MLBPA has stopped protecting the cheaters and started protecting the clean players and their reputations from the cheaters.

    Do you think we would have seen this level of cooperation with the league if Don Fehr still ran the Union?

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

      No, we would see Tom Glavine defiantly declaring that there is no way in hell the MLBPA will ever allow steroid testing. Which he later recanted.

      • chip56 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        Also on MLB Tonight Al Leiter said that the JDA as he has read it would terrify him as a player because of the wide latitude it gives MLB – it’s really interesting to see how the older guys who played when things were more acrimonious between the union and league react to the fact that the Union has given the League as much help as it has to clean up the game.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        it’s really interesting to see how the older guys who played when things were more acrimonious between the union and league react to the fact that the Union has given the League as much help as it has to clean up the game.

        Players are also getting tons of money, less spending in the draft which, to them, should free up even more money, 7 day concussion DL, etc. They’ve received plenty of benefits in this time, and the game is prospering.

        It may come back to bite them in the ass down the road, but why rock the boat now?

  12. eshine76 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Got to see Skip on a daily basis when he played for the team I used to work for. He was always the first guy to the ballpark. He was never the most talented person on the team, but he was the most consistent and outworked every other guy. Nice guy too.

    Given his mentality of working his butt off to get the most out of his ability, I’m not at all surprised by this. Good for him for having the guts to speak up, especially given his lack of star power.

  13. sawxalicious - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I think an additional penalty should be that the ball club has the option to terminate the contract of the player for any PED violation. That would likely be a pretty good deterrent in the days of 8-10 year contracts….

    • Cris E - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Naw, make the team pay the salary during the suspension but redirect it to some charity. That way they think a little before signing a guy they’re afraid might be taking something. As it stands they benefit from the PEDs until the guy gets caught and then their payroll gets freed up to find a replacement. When the teams don’t want to be on the hook for the suspension salary they’ll take an interest in what the players are up to, but not before.

  14. magicrat13 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    what i don’t like, is that mlb negotiated with braun on his suspension from what i heard last night…negotiated with someone who came off all holier than thou last year….supposedly the proof mlb had is beyond refute…if so, why negotiate?….it comes off as being too lenient…if he was guilty, suspend him the length of time you want….i think having no chance at a plea bargain will be a greater deterrent…

  15. ningenito78 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    The kids angle is always a little rich for me. Then worrying about your kid juicing because some ass clown baseball player did….either have a little more confidence in your parenting or become a better freaking parent.

    • km9000 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Because all kids listen to their parents.

  16. nghtrder169 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Yeah give Kemp that MVP

  17. daveitsgood - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    In perspective of moral outrage/self righteousness vs real life, Yovani Gallardo’s DUI is far far more dangerous to the residents of Milwaukee than Braun’s PED usage. Que the name calling and insults in 5..4..3..2..1..

  18. stlouis1baseball - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Wow. Good for Skip. Surprising…very surprising.
    Especially considering how tight he and Big Mac are.
    Both Southern California guys…former teammates. Former (and current) hitting coach.
    Offseason work out partners.
    As Gator stated a few weeks ago…humans are complex individuals.
    Once again…Good for Skip.

  19. mathieug79 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    WE NEED PLAYERS TO TAKE PED!! I RATHER SEE A HOMERUN 500ft. THAN A STRIKEOUT!!

  20. muskyhunter2542 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Braun tainted the MVP award in 2011. Wouldnt it be more tainted if Kemp got it now? Knowing that he got it as a default? They should just say that nobody won it in 2011.

  21. skinsfanwill - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    The system does not work. Athletes cycle PED’s just like steriods. Only a few get caught because there are a few idiots who refuse to quit early enough. They need to test them in the offseason as well. that’s when we will see the spike in suspensions.

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