Major League Baseball needs to send a strong, black-and-white message to all those cheaters.
Take an illegal supplement or performance-enhancing drug and kiss your baseball career good-bye and start sending in a resume to your local grocery market.
Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun became the latest casualty of MLB’s ongoing PED monitoring after his connections with the now-closed Florida clinic that has tie-ins to about 20 other players. MLB suspended the Brewer outfielder for the rest of the season without pay instead of implementing the first-time offense of 50 games.
Braun tested positive during his MVP season two years ago but it was waived due to a technicality and he proceeded to claim that he was the victim and would never use PEDs to improve his game. Since reports surfaced that he and other notables, like Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera, were connected with the Florida clinic, MLB has spent the summer investigating these incidents and Braun is now the first to be suspended.
Braun’s become the Lance Armstrong of the MLB. None of these silly double-digit game bans will send the right message that taking these drugs will not be tolerated. MLB needs to ban these players for life.
It’s no different than any other profession outside sports. If someone cheated at UPS by claiming to deliver the correct passages while his co-worker completed the task himself, that person would get fired. No second chances.
If a promising student cheated during finals at Harvard, she would be expelled.
MLB needs to start firing these offenders. Bud Selig and his staff need to start expelling these poor excuses for a ballplayer.
These professionals should be examples of how to do things right and show what hard work and determination can do to someone wanting to fulfill the dream of playing in front of thousands of fans and millions of viewers. Too many times we look up to these players only to find out years later that they cheated the system because they couldn’t catch up to the competition. No reason is good enough for taking these PEDs. If someone younger and stronger is threatening your existence on the diamond, then rise to the occasion and prove that you’re the best – without drugs. Take a back seat and retire if you’re not good enough to perform at this level.
Send the right message, especially to those 5-year-old kids who are playing ball for the first time and wish that someday they could see their name roll across the TV. These players continue to corrupt sports by taking illegal drugs and one day, it could trickle down to the lower levels because high school athletes might feel that the only way to win a state title is to cheat.
Start banning these players for life and MLB will start seeing less violators and in a short time, baseball could be 100 percent clean for the first time since this sport was conceived more than 100 years ago.
Cheaters will never win and it’s time for MLB to clean up the league and send these pathetic, dimming stars to the eighth circle of hell.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.