When the Yankees do well, or were expected to do well and don't, they are crucified by the New York press. The Mets skated for years, and that's because they weren't terribly good, but that changed last season. The Mets were very, very good. And I wondered to myself... "When do they get slammed like the Yankees have been?" Well... with the lifetime suspension of Jenrry Mejia... thank God for John Harper of the New York Daily News:
Titled By keeping Jenrry Mejia around, Mets flunked test of their own
"The Mets had to know that Jenrry Mejia was a rockhead when he was suspended twice last season for using PEDs, so even if they were stunned on Friday to learn he’d done it again, getting banned for good this time, they should have known better.
That is, they should have cut him loose on the spot rather than hope to still get something out of him in 2016 and beyond. Yes, theoretically Mejia could have added bullpen depth late in the season, but two suspensions should have been enough for them to realize they couldn’t trust him.
And if you can’t trust him, what’s the point?"
And it's so true, but here's the thing; The Dominican Republic has always been rumored as a PEDs haven for a long time. Not only the D.R., but many Latin countries. We've mentioned it here on BYB. No excuses, what Mejia did was wrong, but hear me out; Many kids from the D.R. grow up playing ball all their lives from a very young age. In fact, my friend, a Dominican, told me once, 'Yeah, there's American age, and then there's D.R. age'... meaning, 'that kid may be 13 year old in American age, but he plays like he's 16'.
The Dominican Republic players play more and are less educated. Many D.R. players are extremely, EXTREMELY talented because they grow up playing baseball every single waking moment. Great, great players are made at a much younger age than American players, because the hope is to make a Major League team one day and most of them do. Here's the concern though; With that hope and dream comes the cloud of PEDs. NOT ALL PLAYERS, but that is the perception. In the process, some might take what they need to get there, not caring or not even knowing of the consequences.
BYB writer Mike O'Hara has touched on this in THE PEOPLE VS. DAVID ORTIZ, writing:
"The unfortunate fact seems to be that athletes from the Dominican Republic have what appears to be unlimited access to PEDs. It’s almost as if the “D.R.” stands for DAMN RIGHT they’re using. That is not an accusation on Dominican people. NOT. AT. ALL. There are countless players that hail from the Republic that NEVER took or would ever take HGH, Steroids and the like. But many do…Manny, Alex, Sosa (Those rumored to a possible link like Cano, Pujols and Bautista)."
I echo this. For players in the Dominican and other Latin countries, it's about getting out of the struggle, and that's the mentality and it is my opinion that that's where Jennry Mejia's head was and probably still was. But there's alittle more to it. Teams know this... and teams turn their back on it.
If you ask retired players today if they'd use now, guys like Don Mattingly, Johnny Bench, they said they would have, because it would have given them an edge or it would have helped with their injuries and furthered their career. Andy Pettitte did it during injury. He's still the Golden Boy in New York. Remember when everyone hated Alex Rodriguez? He came back with a solid season and all was forgotten and in the end, as dumb as Jennry Mejia was... perhaps he was hoping to get back to that point.
What I'm saying is I see where Mejia's head may have been at. He just did it way too many times and that's just dumb.
Look, I'm not softening my stance on PEDs in baseball... it despicable. But it's very curious as to just how big this epidemic is. Now, I will tell you, Major League Baseball could easily come out and say, "Hey, 1 offense and you're banned for life", but they won't ever do that. That's because in the end, baseball is a business. And so, if a player is tested and caught, the thinking is, "That player wouldn't be stupid enough to do it again, and so we'll just keep up with this charade. He's banned for 50 games... the game won't be affected. We'll keep making money."
It shows the fans that MLB is trying to clean up the game, and at the same time, it keeps the business rolling. But for a guy like Mejia... for Manny Ramirez and I'm sure more... they just don't think any other way... because they were brought into America with a different mentality... it's about the struggle for these players. My opinion of course.
Look, I like what baseball has done to clean up the game, but this is the extent of it. They will not do it much stricter than they already have and that's because if a black eye is on MLB for suspending everyone for life, they lose a ton of money and the system breaks down. And so this is what we know... the D.R. and other Latin countries work to get out of their poorer countriles and these countries are the ones that a rumored to be havens for PEDs. In turn, many players that come out of there either are users or RUMORED to use. Mejia may have been a product of that.
And by the way, this is not a racist slap at the D.R. people. This is about understanding what the struggle means for some of these kids. It's about being able to make it and go back to their homeland and say, "I made it, you can too". Not all Dominicans are users. Not all Latin players are users. Not all Latin players are criminals. I'm saying to you, I think I understand how this is unfolding.
And this goes for all players by the way. Ryan Braun is a perfect example of trying to get ahead. It's about the struggle for some, but it's also about the edge and many players, even talented ones want that edge. Sometimes they just get caught. Jenrry Mejia got caught. Alex Rodriguez got caught. Ryan Braun got caught. But there's more to it... everyone... EVERYONE knows this is happening including MLB, but the job is to just tamp it down... not truly fit it. That's where we're at.
I hope you understand my concerns, as well as my editorial. It was a tough one for me to write. Questions or concerns or comments... let's have a dialog. I'm here.
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