- William Rhoden, NY Times
Listen, I don’t want ballplayers railroaded out of baseball for the sake of show obviously. And yes, baseball could maybe do a better job of getting at suppliers - I don’t know how, if my employer found out I was using drugs they would fire me, not go after my dealer.
Somehow MLB is criticized for only dealing with its employees. And because we (the public and journalists) haven’t seen any evidence we assume that a person’s due process rights are being violated.
I’m sure I’m wrong - and someone is welcome to correct me - but since the MLB doesn’t actually operate under the Bill of Rights (that’s only for the federal government, generally) they don’t have to offer due process. They CAN penalize someone for testimony and other inferred evidence.
And what’s really funny? No one who has been suspended for PED usage has ever been found completely innocent. (Braun got off on a technicality - as he should have, processes weren’t followed.) No one has been able to come back and say “I told you I never took drugs! MLB has been wrong.”
Note: Don’t say Clemens. MLB never suspended Clemens. That was the Feds who blew that one.
Do we really think that MLB would harm its reputation and hurt its stars for the sake of it? (Maybe you do. But I don’t think these suspensions have really burnished Selig’s or baseball’s reputation.) They were completely crushed for ignoring PEDs during the McGwire-Sosa era and then get crushed again for going hard after users today.
I’m no blind Selig fan. I think that instant replay not being implemented is a joke. I think that Jeffrey Loria borders on criminal with his ownership of the Marlins and should be handled by MLB. I think his refusal to use email is archaic.
But can we please stop pretending that MLB is on a witch hunt. As someone has mentioned on a witch hunt the key point is witches don’t exist. But on the PED hunt, we’ve found users. (Has anyone seen Melky Cabrera’s numbers since his suspension?)
This could be handled better but since MLB is the only sport who is actually handling it - and is doing what it can without being able to test for HGH (PLEASE stop with the “he’s never flunked a drug test” - of course not, that’s why they pay so much for the drugs! Ugh.) - we need to let things happen.
I wouldn’t suspend A-Rod or Braun or the 50 or so others during the season because it takes away from the sport. But otherwise I will never feel sympathy for a man who used fraud to gain millions of dollars - as did dozens (100s?) of others over the last 20 years.
PS I do think they should go into the Hall of Fame if they are not banned from baseball. Since we will never know who was on PEDs we can’t decided, rightfully, who was clean and who wasn’t. So let them all in - we’ll all tell our kids and grandkids the truth. Heck, there is no one who doesn’t know that Ty Cobb was a racist ass.