Major League Baseball Plans To Suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and 20 Other Players
By now, you've heard that Major League Baseball is trying to suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and 20 other big leaguers who were involved in the Biogenesis of America scandal. ESPN's "Outside The Lines" reported yesterday that Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch has agreed to cooperate with the MLB investigation. At the heart of the issue is MLB's ongoing crusade against performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and A-Rod and Braun's alleged continued involvement with these banned substances. If baseball will succeed at their attempts to clean up the sport, then they need to severely punish the players that abuse their privileges to play the game the right way.
A-Rod and Braun are both no strangers to PED controversy. Both have been linked to steroids and/or human growth hormone, and reports are surfacing that MLB is seeking a 100-game suspension for both players plus anyone else who committed a second doping offense. A-Rod's offensive production has slid dramatically over the past six seasons, and the Yankees would love to void his contract and avoid paying him the nearly $100 million he is still owed on the 10-year contract he signed in 2008. However, Braun is still having a good season for Milwaukee, hitting .292 with 9 home runs and 35 RBI's. He continues to proclaim his innocence and said "the truth has not changed" when referring to his innocence of any wrongdoing. This is the same stance Braun has taken since winning his appeal against MLB in the Spring of 2012. If Bosch testifies against Braun and ultimately leads to a 100-game suspension by MLB, the Brewer slugger would be just as tainted as A-Rod no matter how innocent he claims to be.
I've often said that baseball has nobody to blame but themselves for the steroid and PED outbreak of the last 15 years. When the game was struggling after the 1994 players strike, it would do anything to win back the fans. Even if that meant turning a blind eye to rampant steroid use by its athletes. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa provided all the excitement of their 1998 home run chase, and Roger Maris' single season record that had stood for nearly 30 years was destroyed by a pair of over-inflated sluggers. Baseball marketed the "chicks dig the longball" phrase, without considering the long-term damage the sport would face more than a decade later.