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Baseball’s major league size problem: Role models and records are juiced.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun is dirty. He agreed to a 65-game suspension by Major League Baseball rather than continue to feign innocence of his role in the latest performance-enhancing drug scandal. No big loss for Braun. The Brewers are in the basement, their season just about over, and Braun will still pocket $5.5 million of his $8.5 million due this season and remain under contract for $117 million through 2020.
And that is what is wrong with baseball and why players keep doping.
Braun failed a drug test in 2011, the season he was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player. He beat that charge on a technicality, a glitch he claimed proved his innocence, boasting that “the truth prevailed.” Sure. And Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa weren’t juiced that sweet summer they fooled a nation hooked on their home run derby — the steroid era* that was supposed to have ended.
Braun is just the first player to be suspended in an investigation connected to Biogenesis of America, a now defunct Florida clinic suspected of helping an all-star roster of players enhance their performance. It is expected that before the season and the investigation are over, more players will be benched, none more prominent than New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez.
MLB players like A-Rod and Braun are heroes to young fans who fill the stands, buy their shirts, hang onto their cards and dream of becoming like them. But they’re cheaters.
Cheaters who rob little boys of their innocence and awe. Cheaters who rob records from yesterday’s stars. Cheaters who rob today’s stars of the presumption of innocence when they have a break-through season.
MLB claims it wants to clean up baseball. But coddling dirty players won’t do it.
Don’t just toss the bums out for a season. Evict them from the game and strip them of their records and honors.
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