It’s hard to be a baseball fan today. America’s past time has past its time and its a self-inflicted wound.
Performance Enhancing Drugs are overshadowing the season. Since The Miami Times exposed Biogenesis as a South Florida drug store catering to some of Major League Baseball’s biggest names, we have been waiting for suspensions to be handed down.
The Brewers’ Ryan Braun was the first player on a list of over twenty, to be kicked out of baseball. Much to the chagrin of many, Braun was only bounced for the remainder of the season. The suspension will also cost Braun approximately $3 million in salary. Petty cash for a guy that is still owed more than $100 million through 2020.
Standing in the on-deck circle is Alex Rodriguez. The Yankee third-baseman has been rehabbing in the minors lately and I am not completely referring to ailing hip. He has also be trying hard to clean up his tarnished image. That comeback attempt is destine to be a strikeout.
Rodriguez has admitted to using PEDs in the past. Now according to reports, the amount of evidence against Braun pales in comparison to what baseball has on A-Rod.
Baseball and the players’ association have their agreement on suspensions. It was negotiated for the existing collective bargaining agreement. BUT…Bud Selig has an opportunity to do something he has never really done. He can utter the words, “In the best interest of baseball.”
In doing so, he should change the rules for use or association with PEDs. Right now, the majority of players are voicing their displeasure with Ryan Braun. Few are coming to his defense.
So Bud, carpe diem, seize this opportunity to rid this great game of baseball of drugs. Restore this sport to glory.
I propose a very simple suspension system. Not three strikes and you are out, only two. So here is my pitch.
On the first positive test or association with PEDs, a full season suspension. 162 games. I will allow for an appeal process but that appeal must be filed and heard within seven days of the announced ban. Within thee days, a decision is made. If the suspension is upheld, the sentence begins without pay. If they player returns during the season, he is not eligible for post season play, the all-star game or post-season awards.
The biggest caveat to this plan, the scarlet-lettered player’s contract is reduced to the league minimum for the rest of his career. For example, Ryan Braun would return for the 2014 season and his salary would be reduced from $10 million to $490,000. Players that use PEDs don’t respect the game, its records or traditions. But they respect the money. Not the money really, THEIR money. Take away their money, you take away the main reason to cheat.
If there is a second positive test or association with PEDs, the punishment is a lifetime ban. Upon the same appeal process, the ban begins. Contracts are voided completely and the player disappears. The end.
Unfortunately, the past can’t be undone. The records that have been set are in the books but they don’t need to be recognized by you or me. To me, Roger Maris is the single season home run leader at 61. No asterisk. Henry Aaron is the all-time home run king with 755.
End of the discussion. End of PEDs.