Baseball needs to be tougher on dopers
Editors Baltimore Times | 8/9/2013, midnight
Most people keep score in baseball by whichever team gets the most runs or at least, that’s how it used to be done. It appears that once a ballplayer achieves play-for-pay, that is no longer it. Score is kept by size of contract. Biggest check wins.
That was the message sent loudly and clearly this week when Major League Baseball handed out 50-game suspensions to a dozen more players, including superstar New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, for violating policies against the use of performance-enhancing drugs. All of the players had the right to appeal the suspensions but only Rodriguez, America’s most despised player, chose that dodge. No one should shed tears for these cheats.
Baseball deserves credit for a new testing protocol, aggressive pursuit of cheaters and stiffer penalties than in years past. The Biogenesis scandal that ensnared Rodriguez and others won’t be baseball’s last as long as too many players chasing big money view rule-breaking as a gamble worth taking. A 50-game suspension for a first offender is something but not enough; at the very least, a drug rap should cost a player a year of earning power.
Baseball and its players’ association must reach agreement on letting teams invalidate any remaining contract years of any player caught using banned substances.
More and more players say they want these drugs out. Fans overwhelmingly say they want an untainted game. If so, public shame is not enough!