The Biogenesis news has been one of the biggest subjects in baseball and sports in general. Simply put, the hammer has been dropped on the individuals that have done the crime, intentionally or not.
The following major leaguers received suspensions:
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (65 games, the remainder of the 2013 season)
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (2013 All-Star) (50-game suspension, served immediately)
Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz (2013 All-Star) (50-game suspension, served immediately)
Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero (50-game suspension, served immediately)
San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera (2013 All-Star) (50-game suspension, served immediately)
New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli (50-game suspension, served immediately)
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo (50-game suspension, served immediately)
New York Mets utility player Jordany Valdespin (50-game suspension, served immediately)
Free agent reliever Jordan Norberto (50-game suspension, served immediately)
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (211-game suspension, effective Thursday, appealed)
And the following minor leaguers received suspensions:
Houston Astros reliever Sergio Escalona (50-game suspension, served immediately)
New York Yankees outfielder Fernando Martinez (50-game suspension, served immediately)
San Dieg Padres reliever Fautino de los Santos (50-game suspension, served immediately)
New York Mets outfielder Cesar Puello (50-game suspension, served immediately)
Does the punishment fit the crime? There are many that speak highly of the three strike policy (50 games, 100 games, and lifetime ban) currently in place. This is an improvement over the initial policy in 2005 (10 games, 30 games, 60 games, one year and finally commissioner’s discretion).
While all of the players suspended will be a significant loss to their teams, some are more significant than others. Outfielder Nelson Cruz is on a team with postseason possibilities and there is a chance they could miss the postseason without him. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta is also on a team with postseason possibilities but they have acquired insurance on the trade deadline in shortstop/third baseman Jose Iglesias.
But the most significant and most talked about name of the suspensions is the Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez. He is the only announced player on the suspended list that is appealing their suspension.
Once viewed as the player that could break historic records and put a clean player atop baseball history, Alex Rodriguez’ fall from his pedestal has been a bumpy fall. He was once expected to be a Hall of Famer but that is no longer seen as an option. Names associated with performance-enhancing drugs like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and even Rafael Palmeiro are not receiving votes to enter the Hall of Fame. Writers who vote for the members of the Hall of Fame have expressed no interest in allowing anyone suspected of association to an illegal substance in. Alex Rodriguez’s tumultuous road involving performance-enhancing drugs, involving denial, lies, truth and lies again, has made it very unlikely he will find a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Despite entering the 2013 season with 647 career home runs (fifth all-time) and three Most Valuable Player awards, there will be a dark cloud over Alex Rodriguez’ career. Many will wonder how many of his accomplishments are attributed to illegal substances. Fans, players and writers may never truly know the answer to this is. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, just one accomplishment reached with illegal means would be enough in the eyes of many.
Hopefully this is another mountain overcome in the battle for the game of baseball. Time will tell though. This is one of the most significant stories with punishments being handed out regarding performance-enhancing drugs. The hope for those who treasure the game of baseball is that this will be a deterrent. Other baseball players are hoping that the punishment will be enough to keep players from attempting to “cheat” or give themselves an “advantage” over their peers. There has also been hope in the form of names like Mike Trout, Manny Machado, Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw and more. The hope that these young stars of the next generation have taken the baseball world by storm with a clean career and use their natural gifts to be leaders, showing that America’s pastime can have a bright and clean future.