By Ryan Lack
Today, we’re rolling out a new recurring post – “Quick Slants.” The goal of these will be to publish daily short reactions to some of the biggest sports stories of the day. In lieu of solid news to react to, Kevin will substitute with a diatribe on beard haircare and the benefits of exfoliating and moisturizing to promote healthy skin and vibrant, voluminous hair.
From a fan perspective, the news that five more Major League Baseball players are being allegedly linked to the purchase and, by extension, use of performance enhancing drugs is nothing new.
The new players listed in documents from the Biogenesis of America clinic run by Anthony Bosch: San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, 26, the reigning National League stolen-base champion; Jordan Norberto, 26, a lefty reliever with the Oakland A’s; Fernando Martinez, 24, a Houston Astros outfielder; Fautino De Los Santos, 27, a reliever claimed off waivers by the Padres; and Cesar Puello, 21, a top Mets outfield prospect.
According to two sources familiar with Bosch’s operation, however, the Washington Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez, previously identified as being named in Biogenesis documents, did not receive banned substances from Bosch or the clinic.
Many of us as young as in our 20s and 30s remember the “steroid era.” First off, my biggest problem with labeling that period from around 1987-2009 or so is the problem is still plaguing the league.
How can you call a period of time “an era” when that era clearly never ended?
The short answer to that is marketing and PR. And also, you can’t.
Labeling something an era signifies it had a beginning and an end. The league and probably the media want us all to move on; to believe they’ve done enough to shore up these issues and rectify the negative sentiment rampant among fans new and old. But as time goes on, more and more revelations are made. A-Rod gets pegged again and may never step foot on a diamond again. Heros will continue to fall. Even guys you don’t expect to see getting roped into this, like this most recent one above with Gio Gonzalez, are extremely disappointing. Fortunately for Gio, he’s been cleared of any possible connection to this clinic in Miami but, let’s be honest, no one’s buying it. We’ve learned the hard way in the recent past with the likes of Melky Cabrera that where there’s smoke there usually is fire. I loved Gio as an Oakland Athletic and was sad when he went to the Nationals and became a 20-game winner, but if this is the kind of baggage he’s going to tote around with him they can keep him.
The MLB is trying to fix this but it’s not working. And it will never work until they drop the hammer on these guys. A 50-game ban is great and all, but it’s 50 games. A guy can get caught at the beginning of the season and still come back to not only play but play well.
What needs to happen is the MLB must become more stringent:
– First offense – 50-game ban
– Second offense – Season-long ban
– Third offense – You’re done, bro. Out of the league forever.
Make it happen, Bud.