Are PED penalties working?

There are many people who are wondering if the 50-game suspension for first time offenders of the PED rule is a stiff enough penalty. In my opinion, it is not working. We are still having players violate the rule every year. At the <ajor League level, and also in the Minor Leagues.

I will use the most recent high-profile incident to demonstrate why I believe the penalty must be stiffer. In the case of Melky Cabrera, he was making $6 million for one year to play with the Giants in 2012. He got off to a great start, then tested positive. He was given a 50-game suspension, at the end of which the Giants could have reactivated him and he would have been eligible for the Postseason. The Giants chose not to do that. In my opinion, that showed a tremendous amount of integrity on the part of the organization.

The Postseason is a reward for a team playing great baseball over the course of 162 games. I personally don’t know Melky, so I don’t have any ill will towards him at all. But what he did was force the Giants to go out and make a move that they probably wouldn’t have had to make to fill the hole he left in their lineup. He lost what would add up to roughly one-third of the $6 million he would have been paid. That is a lot of money — some of which he was able to get back, because it is my understanding that his teammates voted him a full World Series share of around a half-million dollars. That to me isn’t right.

Melky did the right thing by saying he would not take the batting title if he was eligible to win it. Then he signs a two-year deal with the Blue Jays for $16 million. He not only tested positive, but then he got a $2 million a year raise for it. That is sending the wrong message! You can cheat, and it may cost you some money, but you will more than make up for that loss with your next deal.

I believe that the only way we can truly rid the game of PEDs is to suspend the player for a full year. That will then give the opportunity to younger players who are not cheating to come up and maybe prove that they can play at the big league level. When guys start losing a full year because of their poor decisions, I believe we will see the end of it. But as long as a player knows he can cheat and only lose 50 games’ salary, and then get a raise the following year, I believe we will always have guys trying to beat the system.

Again, I tip my cap to the Giants as an organization for not activating Melky for the Postseason. That showed a ton of integrity and restraint on their part. And they were rewarded with another World Series championship.

9 Comments

Does the MLB Players association agreement provide that Melky gets a share of any post season pay? Do your home work Mitch.

If they “voted” that Melky get a playoff share, as Mitch states, then there couldn’t be anything in the CBA about it. There wouldn’t be any need to vote, they’d just give it to him.

Still hold a grudge with Toronto much?

Melky got the raise for his past work as much as his most recent season. Had he not gotten the suspension (which he obviously fully deserved) he likely would have signed a deal for WAAAAAAAAY more than the $16mil over 2 years. The market increased for a guy with his skill set.

I will be curious to see what you think about the Carlos Ruiz suspension since he took a stimulant, not a steroid. Still very disappointing :O( I agree though – the penalty needs to be more serious.

suspensions have to be longer. Life if necessary. Cabrera got a WS share and a sweet new contract some penalty

Suspensions do not deter… Anyone found guilty of using should be banned from baseball for life and be banned from the Hall Of Fame. Period!

Furthermore, Roger Clemons is a joke….

The day that PED’s are permanantly and truly banned from the clubhouse will be the same day that the penalties start to affect the entire team. How about a post-season ban for any team with a juicer on their roster? Or a team-wide fine in addition to a suspension for the player that used? Either or both of these options would turn things around right quick (until the next masking agent or undetectable product comes around). I doubt if the MLBPA would get behind such drastic actions, but until the penalties start to become team wide there will always be an element of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” to deal with.

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