The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

August 4, 2013

SPORTVIEW: MLB finally takes a tough stand on PEDs

By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor

OPINION — HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who realizes we soon won’t have A-Rod to kick around anymore. Well, at least for a while!

On Monday, when Major League Baseball is expected to announce the suspensions of numerous players linked to MLB's Biogenesis drugs investigation, I can’t wait to see if it follows through with reports that Alex Rodriguez may be suspended for life.

While A-Rob isn’t the only one expected to be penalized — others included Detroit stars Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta as well as San Diego’s Everth Cabrara. Ryan Braun of Milwaukee already accepted his ban for the rest of the season and others may do the same to avoid longer punishments.

Negotiations with A-Rod and his attorneys could result in a lesser punishment or they may choose to battle the MLB about the length of the suspension. It’s pretty much like plea-bargaining in regular courts.

But A-Rod is right when he says that “There is more than one party that benefits from me never stepping back on the field.”

He’s right and one “party” would be the New York Yankees. If A-Rod is banned from baseball it would save the Bronx Bombers about $100 million. That’s a lot of money to be paying a player who is on the downside of his career.

I certainly have no sympathy for either the Yankees or A-Rod, they deserve each other.

The Yankees are the richest franchise in sports — worth about $2.3 billion — and think they can buy a World Series every year. That’s one of the reasons they went out years ago and signed A-Rod to the richest contract in the history of baseball at that time.

I won’t miss A-Rod if he’s gone forever. In fact, I would love to see every cheater who uses PEDs to be banned from sports for life. But you have to wonder how many players that actually would effect.

One thing for sure, most of the players who are linked to PEDs have very slim chance of ever being voted into the Hall of Fame.

Baseball is a game of history. America’s Game is one that holds great regard for statistics and people who use PEDs have damaged history.

Should we still consider Roger Maris as the all-time single-season home run leader (61), even though others who probably had a boost from PEDs have surpassed it? Should Babe Ruth’s 714 career homers still stand as the record, even though Barry Bonds blew past that?

Another way to stop cheaters is to penalize teams. If an NCAA team is caught violating rules, all wins are taken away. If MLB started doing that to teams, it would certainly make every franchise be very careful about who they sign without a thorough drug-testing check.

Congratulations to Major League Baseball for finally taking a hard stand on drugs. But they can still do more to curb the cheating.