MLB and the MLBPA have agreed on a new drug policy that is the toughest in all of professional sports. Some of the biggest names in recent history have all been linked to some sort of PED that has tarnished the leagues reputation and given the game a black eye. But baseball has taken yet another step forward with a revamped drug policy that even the Olympic committee would be proud of.
Here are the new increased penalties:
- First offender up from 50 games to 80 games
- Second offender up from 100 games to 162 games
- Third offender up from 162 games to a Lifetime Ban
I love the length of the new penalties. On top of that, players will not receive any portion of pay during their suspension. If you receive a season long suspension, you will be barred from postseason play. Which will help avoid what occurred last season with Johnny Peralta. If players weren’t already thinking twice already about what they put into their bodies, these increased penalties will certainly do just that. Missing games are one thing, but the threat of losing those paychecks and potentially receiving a lifetime ban? That should do it.
Maybe it’s because baseball is looked at as the a “pure” sport, but they have taken more media scrutiny than all of the other professional sports have combined. Is PED use still an ongoing issue in baseball? Yes. But is it more president in baseball than say Football? No way. You can’t honestly tell me that there are more PED users in the game of baseball than there are in football. I mean have you seen some of these guys? Half of the NFL roster looks like it belongs in a WWE ring.
Whatever the reason may be, we seem to come down much harder on baseballs drug use. Whenever there is so much as a rumor of a player linked to drug use, it becomes a national story. But when a football player goes down with a drug suspension, we throw our hands up in the air and say “When does he come back?”. It’s a very hypocritical view and baseball doesn’t get the praise it deserves for tackling the issue head on. Use just last year for example, even without a positive drug test, the league still went after two of its brightest stars in AROD and Ryan Braun. MLB used all of their resources to punish these offenders and made an example that they’ve had enough.
Commissioner Bud Selig will most likely be remembered for the man who oversaw the “Steroid Era”. But you have to give him at least some credit for trying to undo his wrongs and bring baseball back to its purity on his way out. The game today has as many young stars as I can ever remember. If they can keep this next wave of role models clean, baseball will be on its way to healing their black eye.