Major League Baseball is rumored to be seeking substantial bans against up to 20 players as soon as tomorrow.
At the top of the list is Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.
Supposedly both of these players are facing 100 game suspension and its possible that many more will be facing similar suspensions. The list of players who are supposedly involved with this reads like a starting lineup for the early 2000’s A’s. You have Ryan Braun the Superstar, A-Rod the guy the Yankees wish to god they hadn’t signed at this point and some Mediocre players and a couple of free agents and Minor League guys. Per the ESPN OTL report which can be found HERE You can also add:
Melky Cabrera whom was on a previous 50 game suspension.
Bartolo Colon who coincidentally is a current A and also had a suspension last year.
Nelson Cruz of the Rangers whom has been a big league mainstay.
Yasmani Grandal Formerly of the Reds minor league system and currently of the Padres who himself just came off a 50 game suspension.
Jesus Montero the 23 year old former yankee catcher whom is currently injured for the Seatle Mariners.
Jhonny Peralta the man with the most mispelled first name in sports.
Gio Gonzalez is the one player who it appears may not have actually gotten illegal substances from Biogenesis and if that is true should not get a suspension.
Others named? Everth Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, Fautino de los Santos, Fendando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Cesar Puello. There are supposedly up to 20 or more named players who are looking at penalties. If you take Gio out of this that would mean you have around 8 or more still to be named. Will this happen? Who knows. Who will still be named? Who knows. I’m sure there will be a name or two that will still shock us as most of the names are “Encrypted” with a code name or passphrase but its impossible to even guess.
The Reaction to this seems to be a mistaken one, many are saying that the Biogenesis founder is being lauded as a “Hero” or “good guy” while the players are being derided or seen as “Bad guys” Heres a hint, one is not exclusive to the other.
Neither of these groups are “Good Guys” the level of how much of “Bad guys” they are will be determined by their actions. If all of the rumors are true and a player attempted to buy the biogenesis documents in order to get out of suspensions (the rumors are someone whos name rhymes with Jay-Rod) then that player would be a “Bad Guy”.
Anthony Bosch currently is embroiled in a lawsuit with the MLB over basically “Adversely” effecting the game. Bosch’s deal will more than likely be MLB will drop all lawsuits against him and he will turn over on everybody involved. Does that make him a “Good Guy”? Someone to be lauded? No, that means he wants to save his own skin from owing more money than he could ever produce to the MLB. At the same time Federal prosecutors are looking at him for criminal charges, how this will effect those still remains to be seen.
Major League Baseball is in a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation regarding PEDs. I don’t have to explain to you the 90s. If you’re reading this you know what happened. So many in the media, fandom, CONGRESS FOR GOD SAKES have been trying to burn Bud Selig at the stake since the “Steroid” era. There are a ton of reasons to burn him, lord knows I have in personal conversations, on the blog, on the podcast (Available on itunes, stitcher, zune, or just plain libsyn if you prefer) on twitter and even in my sleep have reffered to Bud as the Anti-Christ. But Bud has brough baseball from the dark ages by way of PED testing and penalties to the forefront of PED testing and penalties. To the point where they are the first sports league to offer HGH testing even though the NFL supposedly got it with their last labor deal.
Many say that MLB will be going too far if they suspend up to 20 players who haven’t “Tested Positive” BUT at the same time thats what the appeals process will be for. If Major League Baseball has evidence, real evidence that they have up to two dozen players who have been using banned substances but have found ways to cheat tests or circumvent the system they have to act.
BUT they have to act smart. This cannot be another Braun case. They had a drug test and they went after him with it, a technicality got him off. He got off from breaking the rules because the MLB drug collector who took his sample broke the rules. You know that he took steroids, he knows he took steroids, he doesn’t even dispute that. His dispute is that the urine chilling at a testers house magically grew fake testosterone in it.
They HAVE to have evidence that shows that these guys knowingly broke the rules. If they do they have to throw the book at them. If they don’t have the evidence then they have to leave it alone. They cannot take another kick in the ass the way they did before. They cannot pursue this if thats even in the realm of possibility.
This is why I would implore MLB to think of a few things.
1)Hand out only the suspensions that they have earned based on the collective bargaining agreement. Trying to hand out an extra 50 games because they lied to you is not going to fly. You can try it but odds are at a minimum that 50 games will be overturned and if you are too overzealous you’ll get all 100 games overturned.
2)If someone has already been suspended for what they got from Biogenesis whatever it may have been you cannot suspend them again. So do a real good check on your Grandal, Colon and Cabrera suspensions. DO A REAL GOOD CHECK because this is another thing that will get you kicked in the ass on appeals. Double Jeopardy is something that will cause a real issue with your players union.
3)Be fair in general, just because a player is named doesn’t mean they did bad things. By all current information Gio didn’t do anything bad so if he didn’t be smart and don’t suspend him.
4)In general only suspend those who you know you will get. Seriously. If this means a Braun or Rodriguez gets off so be it. You need to go perfect on this one on appeals. if that means 1/1 or 20/20 its all that matters. You cannot have any overturned. Suspensions will become paper tigers. Players will not be afraid of suspensions if they know that they can find a technicality to get away with it.
Overall I believe that MLB will do what needs to be done, the only remaining question is will they go too far. Either way this is going to be a historic day for sports. Either Major League Baseball will announce the stiffest suspensions in Major League Sports History and the largest number since the black sox scandal (possibly more than the black sox scandal). Or MLB will announce the largest number of suspensions that were then overturned on appeal. Either way tomorrow will be the first time this story has been interesting in months.
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