Last week, Major League Baseball announced that it had suspended Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun for the remainder of the season. The Brewers had 65 games remaining in the season at the time of the suspension. Braun is likely the first of many that will be suspended in the wake of the Biogensesis scandal.
MLB announced the reason for the suspension was for “violations of the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”
Many expect Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to be the next to receive a suspension. The Rodriguez suspension will probably be even lengthier than Braun’s, which is fine by me. Some are even calling for a lifetime ban from the game.
MLB has a mess on it’s hands. The “Steroid Era” has tarnished the careers of some of the games greatest players — Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro just to name a few.
So what does MLB do? These are players, that by numbers alone, should be inducted to Cooperstown. But how could it possibly do such a thing when it refuses to lift the ban on Pete Rose? These players should be banned for life, with no possibility of ever being enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Their names should never even be listed on ballots. They cheated, plain and simple. They are the individual “Black Sox” of today’s game.
Going back to the Biogenesis scandal, the list of players involved is lengthy — 15 players in all — Braun, Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Yasmani Grandal, Jesus Montero and Bartolo Colon. That is only half the list. It’s a mixture of players on the tail-end of a productive career along with young prospects that have just broken into the majors.
The performance-enhancing drug industry is one that is growing every day. It always seems to be one step ahead of the performance-enhancing drug testing industry. For every drug test made to detect the latest PED, their is a new PED produced that is not detectable by any test. It is possible, albeit unlikely, that everyone is “using” in the game today. So who then, should be considered for Cooperstown? Absolutely nobody.
Baseball is supposed to be “America’s past time.” It has a rich history of great players, great individual performances and great moments that we will never forget. With every eye-popping statistic seemingly needing an asterisk by the players name now, the game on an individual level has become a joke. Let it keep it’s dignity.
Would Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig or Sandy Koufax tolerate playing with cheaters? I think not. So why should a cheater’s plaque be placed next to these baseball immortals? Ban this generation, and the next, from consideration for enshrinement, until the game is 100 percent clean. Baseball at its best is the greatest game on earth. But it is clearly not a fair game any more.
Shut the doors to the Hall now and save the face of baseball.
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