Recent drug investigation in MLB can finally pave the way for a future of clean pro baseball
This summer Major League Baseball announced severe punishments for numerous players tied to a drug clinic in Florida called Biogenesis. This facility was producing performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), and some of the players that have now been suspended are well-known stars such as Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, and others. Specifically, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season due to his use of PEDs (after constant claims in the past that he was innocent) and megastar Alex Rodriguez is currently appealing his 211 games suspension. While one might come to the conclusion that this recent drug scandal has tainted the image of Major League Baseball, it is also possible to view this whole debacle as a positive event, as future drug users will finally be held accountable and professional baseball will be a purely clean sport.
Illegal drug use has been rampant in baseball for many years now without any significant repercussions, which is what makes this year’s drug scandal different from the rest. Not only are the penalties more common and harsh, Major League Baseball finally seems to have an effective drug program that is fully supported by the players themselves. This is significant because in the past, there was no one on Earth who could convince professional baseball players to agree to a drug-testing program to filter out the cheaters in the game. During the days of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds, the sports world was witnessing a massive
explosion of home run hitting
prowess in professional baseball, and this phenomenon revived the reputation of the game as well as the sport’s dwindling popularity. Baseball had taken a blow to its image due to the strike in 1994, and it was drug-fueled home run hitters like McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds that made the game tremendously fun to watch for baseball fans at the turn of the century. Fans loved the game again. They came to games in big crowds, and the players knew that baseball was back in full force. There was simply no convincing them to conform to a drug policy at that time.
Today, times are different. Baseball has been a popular sport for quite a while now, and there’s simply no need to let players who use PEDs get away with cheating any longer. With this in mind, lots of players have voted for a stronger and stricter drug program that tests players more frequently during the season. These drug tests occur randomly, so there is no way that any player can ever tell if he is going to be tested soon or not. This program has yielded some intriguing results, as Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants and Bartolo Colón of the Oakland Athletics were each suspended 50 games in the later part of the 2012 season. Major League Baseball would never have had the opportunity to suspend those players last year if the other clean players in the game had not voted for a tighter drug program. Fast forward to this year, and now the league is really
taking advantage of its chances to crack down on offenders, as the Biogenesis scandal revealed numerous PED abusers. The most recent slew of suspensions is proof that Major League Baseball cares about the game being a 100% clean sport.
All in all, while many fans and mainstream media outlets will claim that baseball’s reputation will be tarnished because of the Biogenesis scandal, you don’t have to see it that way. Here’s a better way to look at this whole situation; the punishments resulting from the scandal are proof that professional baseball is finally furthering itself in its mission to be drug-free sport. There is now an effective and strict drug program. Cheaters will be held accountable, and as a result the baseball players who have been playing the game fairly the entire time will be treated with much more dignity and respect.
On the day that the suspensions were announced from to the Biogenesis scandal, former Giants pitcher Shane Loux tweeted the following words that someday all Major League Baseball players might one day be able to say:
“I may be a career minor leaguer with a little more than a cup of coffee in the show, but after 17 (years) at least I can say I did it clean.”