Look, you can agree with me or not that the system in place has been effective. I believe it’s the laughing stock of sports. We have millionaires getting caught using suspended substances who can afford the fines and who don't suffer if they aren't paid. They are millionaires who stock pile their dough. I mean, they are still under contract with their team remember? As soon as the suspension is over, they come back and play...and get paid. So what is the lesson that’s actually being learned here? Bad behavior doesn’t get you punished. In fact, bad behavior only gets you placed in purgatory… temporarily, until the ban is lifted, the fines are paid and the players come back “clean” and waiting for a second chance, or in some cases... a third chance.
Bleeding Yankee Blue is the little train that could. You can notice a wider readership as of late and as we know, we’re not the number 1 source in sports, or baseball or Yankees or any of that… but we’re honest and we’re sick of this PEDs crap. Major League Baseball has to toe-the-line between stars and punishment and while they want to “enforce” their "hard rules" and show the world that they’re “tough” on drugs, it doesn't matter. Players are still using and players are still coming back after their suspensions. Sure, Major League Baseball has curbed the drug use, but then Biogenesis comes along and there’s a paper trail. Interesting. This only proves to me that it’s not working. It proves to me that it’s baseball's dirty little secret and if there is a Biogenesis lab with alot of alleged evidence, then there are most likely other labs, with other lists and other names. Instead of investigating Biogeneisis… open it up and do some real Law & Order shit here. If you're serious, really clean it up. We are in a situation now where they will spin this as a brilliant and effective solution to the problem, but it’s bigger. This trickles down to the kids and that's always been where my heart lies on this issue. I’m sick of having to explain the “wrongs” of my son's heroes who get caught using. All I tell my children is to work hard and you’ll get yours. Now I have to explain to them that you need to work hard, not cheat, even if your hero is, and you’ll get yours...Maybe.
My oldest son made a statement a few months ago when one of his friends told him that Alex Rodriguez was caught using PEDs again. He threw his baseball card in the trash.
We took the card out of the trash, like I was buying ARod time or something. Now, I look back at that moment and I realize that to my kid, it was like yanking off a band-aid really fast. He was cutting himself off of the misery and disappointment. He was cutting ARod out of his life and already chalked him up as a cheater and he was moving on. Maybe too sophisticated and mature, but smart maybe. No, it’s not fair to the player that still needs to go through the legality of this whole mess, but it was an interesting move.
Look, we have a system in place where we prove innocence verses guilt. While not perfect, it’s in place. There are appeals and depending on the crime, prison time, probation and fines and all of that. But unless Major League Baseball wants to change their tune on their “hard” stance on drugs and make it even harder, this mess will never end. There will always be players and always be lists and always be PEDs. It’s about to get bad and it’s disgraceful. My sport is ruined.
I have stated here at Bleeding Yankee Blue that there needs to be a "shaming mechanism" in place. There needs to be a way for the caught player to literally talk to my son and millions of others around the world and tell them that as a ball player, as a role model, they are an embarrassment and "Sorry". They need to say to millions that they will never, ever do it again. My plan breaks down like this:
- They admit their guilt in a Public Service Announcement that will be paid for by the player. It will be broadcast on every Major League baseball game or any big sporting event for the week, again, paid for by the athlete, OR make the team pay for it, OR split it with MLB or the players' union. Lord knows the sport is raking in the dough… so are the athletes, they should pay.
- The offender should say the following: "Hi Boys and Girls, my name is (INSERT VIOLATOR HERE), I play for the (INSERT TEAM HERE), but I tested positive for drugs and cheated. I am now suspended for 100 games and have to pay (INSERT LARGE SUM HERE). What I did was wrong. Don’t be like me. I am not a role model. A role model works hard to achieve their goals.”
- Next, whenever this athlete is caught, their stats for that season are wiped clean. You read that right, WIPED CLEAN. Their season would no longer exist. If he has 55 home runs and gets caught in August, guess what? He now didn’t play that season. This needs to be recognized by MLB and on the baseball card, it no longer has stats for that year. Instead, it reads GUILTY OF PEDS.
- Next, fine them for the amount of money they get paid for 1 season in the majors for first offense, plus 100 games. The second time around, they are out of baseball. That’s it, the end.
Now, you’re going to tell me there is a huge gray area and flaw with my system. You’re going to say, “Well, what if they are accused and appeal and are found not guilty like Ryan Braun?" That’s then when Major League baseball’s “strict” first offense fine comes into play, a 50 game suspension, or, that would mean if there is a paper trail, but no proof they stuck the needle in their ass, they get some type of fine and some type of suspension determined by Major League baseball and the lawyers involved on both sides.
Something isn’t right here, don't you agree? There are people that research that kind of thing… they’re called investigators. Investigate, you will find the truth.
You can tell me that the Player’s Union would never go for this. I’ll tell you they’ll look just as guilty as the player's accused. You want to clean up the sport? These guys have to get on board with it too. These are adult athletes who make childish mistakes and cheat. They don’t need protection from the player’s union… They need their asses beat… they’re dumb.
Bartolo Colon, Manny Ramirez, Melky Cabrera… they’d fall into my plan. They admitted guilt, we know they did it. Instead, we have guys finishing suspensions and winding up in Taiwan winning over new fans. What has happened with Manny Ramirez was disgraceful, but because he wasn’t shamed and wasn’t fined enough, he’s still playing, just somewhere else and no one seems to care. Well… I do care.
When I was a kid, my dad told me to work hard and never take your eye off the prize. I didn’t and while, years later I’m exhausted, I know it’s paying off. That work ethic rubbed off on me and now I am doing the best to rub it off on my children. It’s no easy task with their own peer distractions and some troublemaker friends. These days there are even more obstacles. Now I have to examine each baseball hero they worship real closely because, it’s clear they will never be protected from the cheating nature this society is showing them unless I do it. I’m sick of the lying. I’m sick of the cheating and I’m sick of having to explain why an athlete who is strong, fast and talented needs drugs to be better. That’s right, we were watching a baseball game one night last season and my 10 year old sat with me. Every batter came up to the plate and every time, he asked me, “Is he on drugs?” That’s not how I want to watch a ball game and if these ego maniacs didn’t dabble, I wouldn’t be, but now I have to try and defend their behavior.
ARod’s card in the trash… maybe it’s time I just cut off these guys when there is any type of hint of PEDs accusations… just like ripping off the band-aid… quick, painless… and I move on. In other words, if Major League Baseball won’t put a "shaming system" in place, these players will never learn, and in 6 months or a year there will be another clinic and another list… and more players and it’s all because the players know it doesn’t matter. Why? Because the system doesn’t work, despite what they tell you. Don’t believe me? Ask my sons, they’ll tell you.