Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More personal thoughts about MLB and steriods

Of course the big news of late is the suspension of Brewers' Ryan Braun for PED usage.  Once I again, I will give you all some idle thoughts about Braun, et al, suspensions, steriods and anything else linked to it all.
Frankly, I am tired of hearing and talking about steriods and other Performance Enhancing Drugs(PEDs),  but I know we are living in a day and age where it is available and will always have players who will use it for an unfair advantage.
Once again, baseball is getting a black eye from the cheaters.  Unfortunately, this the only way the game is going to be cleaned up.  Suspend and shame publicly the guilty.  MLB has been the most aggressive in going after the cheaters among the major sports leagues. I believe there is good percentage of players in NFL using Human Growth Hormones(HGH) and some in the NBA. Their day is coming in the future.
I am glad a superstar like Ryan Braun got caught and it wasn't by the traditional drug testing.  It will show that no one is too big for suspensions and news can come out at any time and from anywhere that someone is using.
Braun will be suspended 65 games and have a clean slate for next year.  I am hoping during the off season,  MLB and the players association will have discussions of having harsher penalties and maybe making contracts voidable if a player gets caught. I still think that known users should not eligible for future All Star games and individual awards.  Probably asking too much here.
The best thing that can happen for the New York Yankees is that Alex Rodriguez get a lifetime ban and his contract becomes null and void.  His lack of production and burden of a contract is a detriment to New York's success. Of course, MLB should not let the Yankees get off the hook for signing ARod to such high priced contract. I will make the prediction that the New York will not make a World Series until ARod's contract is over. I would almost consider playoffs,  but I am not going to go out on that limb.
I expect the other players linked to Miami Biogenesis clinic to be suspended within the next couple weeks.  I think each suspension depends on the amount of evidence on each player and person's priors, if any.  Interesting to see how it affects the playoff chases and upcoming free agency.
I am happy that players' union has done a 180 degrees from 20 years ago or so in their stance in steroids.  Years ago, the union would defend every bit of the player, even if guilty or innocent.  Now the players and union want the game to be clean and will be good with the suspensions as long as they are fair.  I still say why steroids were used and given a blind eye in the 80s, 90s and later is because the MLB players union was/is so strong.  Baseball had some many work stoppages and any fight to outlaw steroids by MLB would have been met by lawsuits, etc claiming invasion of privacy by the union.  MLB was so worried about more work stoppages and driving more fans away, so they turned a blind eye to this issue.  Once labor peace was attained, MLB went after steroids.
I have always been curious of clean players who had careers come quickly to end at the beginning of the steroid era like a Dale Murphy. He was a perennial All Star in the 80s and had decent numbers thru 1991 and all of sudden was mediocre at best afterwards. Was this because of others using steroids? or just natural aging of Murphy? Or clean players who came up at the sametime with Jose Canseco or Mark McGwire like a Wally Joyner or Mike Greenwell. Were these players actually better than perceived because their counterparts were cheating? How many All Star games and much better stats would they have had in a clean game?
Well, those are my thoughts regarding PEDS in baseball.  I surely hope this will be the last time I will discuss this subject for awhile besides the rest of Biogenesis suspensions.

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