(East Meadow, NY) - via Sportscaster101
Before the stench of the Melky Cabrera 50-game suspension could wear off, a second Bay Area Major Leaguer finds himself in that very same predicament. Oakland A’s hurler Bartolo Colon received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball for testing positive for testosterone. As is always the case at these moments, I feel disheartened. I’m disheartened that this continues to go on even after all of the negative press that PEDs receive. I’m disheartened that there appears to always be a doctor out there or players willing to try something new that they believe is undetectable by Major League Baseball. I’m disheartened that PEDs clearly seem to have a major effect on many athletes.
During the many radio shows I’ve hosted, I would always use my same example when referencing PED use. Obviously, I’ve never been in the Majors which means that I’ve never hit a Major League home run nor thrown a Major League pitch. Therefore, I would ask what is the difference when doing these things on steroids or with other PEDs? Does a home run go another 10 feet? 50 feet? to the Upper Deck? Will I hit 2 points higher on my average? 20 points? more? Will I throw a pitch 2 mph hour faster? 5? more? Will I be less prone to injury or more? With so little to compare, it’s been difficult for me to analyze how to punish those accused or convicted or those up for the Hall of Fame.
These latest two examples (Cabrera and now Colon) are only adding to my growing feeling that PEDs do so much more than I initially thought. I guess I should’ve always felt this way. After all, why would so many take the risk in the first place? Why would even more take the risk now when the suspensions are bigger and the public attention is so much more heightened?
Prior to last season, Melky Cabrera never had a batting average higher than .280 and hit no more than 13 home runs in any campaign. In 2011, the switch hitter picked up career highs in average .305, HR’s 18, RBIs 87 and steals 20. Each number was greatly higher than his previous numbers. In 2012 he was off and running again earning an All-Star bid and the praise of many around the league as he helped the Giants towards a potential postseason bid. At the All-Star break, the Oakland A’s were a .500 team and 9 games out of the AL West division. Despite having some solid seasons in his past, righty Bartolo Colon came back strong in 2012 with 10 wins and a 3.43 era at the time of his suspension. Just over one month later, Oakland is now 10-games above .500 and sits 5 games back of Texas and just one half game out of a Wild Card spot.
With many years now to reflect on the PED situation, I wanted to give the players the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to believe that these drugs didn’t have impact that they clearly seem to have. I also wanted to believe that it has only been a select few players but the evidence is piling up. More players, more teams, and presumably ALL leagues are tainted with this curse. How do you fix it? I don’t know but it seems that I will have to take the position as a fan that many believe the Commissioner and others took back in the 90’s. I will just turn a blind eye and see what unfolds.