Death, taxes, and professional baseball players cheating. Those are the three things we can assuredly count on in this life of ours. On Tuesday, a potential new list of performance enhancing drug users was revealed by a clinic in Miami, allegedly tying Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez to the use of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids.
Shocked, aren’t you?
All of the players tied to the report from Miami have claimed the accusations to be false, including Alex Rodriguez who hired a Miami attorney to defend him on the case. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals pitcher who finished the season with 21 wins, most in the National League, stated Tuesday, “I’ve never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, and I never will.”
While the public stands from a distance to hear the outcome of Major League Baseball’s newest steroid saga, the teams of the players in question haven’t. According to league sources, the Yankees are trying feverishly to find a way to void the contract of 37 year old Alex Rodriguez, who still has over 100 million dollars owed to him.
While nobody has been proven guilty in this round of steroid finger pointing, yet, one thing is clear. The game is still not as clean as it needs to be, and they appear to have a way to go to get it as clean as they desire. Take Melky Cabrera for instance. Cabrera bounced around the league as a serviceable fourth outfielder for years with a number of different teams. All of a sudden in 2012, he breaks out in San Francisco, and was arguably the front runner for National League MVP before he was caught using PED’s. Even after he was caught cheating, he parlayed his huge season into a two-year, 16 million dollar deal from the Blue Jays.
Cheat, get caught, make 16 million dollars to play baseball. Sounds simple enough, right?
While Major League Baseball is leaps and bounds ahead of where they were on drug testing a decade ago, the punishments need to be more severe to deter the players from playing their own version Russian roulette. Anyone in their right mind would juice, produce at a high level, and take a 50 game suspension if it meant they would get paid eight million dollars over the next two years.
With all the money to be made in Major League Baseball these days, players will do anything they can to stay on top of their game. What we do know is that until the consequences become more severe for players who are caught, they will keep spinning the wheel of fortune on PED’s. Hopefully that day comes in the near future, or baseball fans everywhere will continue to have doubt creep into their minds every time one of their own has a season to remember. Something that is all too unfortunate for the ones who do solely perform on God given ability, not scientist given.