In a piece published this morning on ESPN Insider, Buster Olney sounds the panic alarm for rising PED use in Major League Baseball. San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal became the sixth player suspended in 2012 for PED use on Wednesday, with testosterone being his elixir of choice. It is testosterone that Olney designates as a rising problem among baseball players because of its in-and-out of the body nature. The six players caught under MLB’s drug testing program is the highest total in five years.
The prevailing problem here, according to Olney, is the threat that cheaters pose to “the welfare of their union brothers”. Call it cheaters taking away earning power and playing time from their clean brethren. Olney says “baseball’s cheaters are like fraternity brothers who steal from the community cash box”. The current suspensions that players face for breaking baseball’s drug rules are 50 games for a first offense and 100 games for a second infraction. This punishment, according some nameless players states Olney, is too lenient. Something along the lines of one year for the first time and a lifetime ban thereafter would be far more appropriate.
This sentiment is echoed by Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci in his rundown of the best available free agent outfielders when he touches on Melky Cabrera:
“… I can’t believe Cabrera has yet to truly explain himself and begin to clear the air to try to reduce the [PED use] taint. He needs to be fully accountable. And the fact that he could roll the dice in his free agent walk year by juicing is a reminder that baseball and the union aren’t truly serious about getting PEDs out of the game; a 50-game suspension is baseball’s equivalent of a five-minute timeout in the corner. The penalty should be at least one year.”
Maybe Olney and Verducci are correct in suggesting that baseball’s current PED rules aren’t stringent enough to discourage cheaters. Maybe democracy is for pussies. Maybe if we punished players on a case-by-case basis and truly made them pay for their iniquities, then baseball would finally be on the road to righteousness.
To quote Dolph Lundgren’s Punisher, “I still talk to God sometimes, I ask him if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I’m still waiting for an answer, and until I get one, I’ll be waiting, watching, THE GUILTY WILL BE PUNISHED!”. This is how I would punish the six men who violated baseball’s drug rules in 2012:
Marlon Byrd: Replace his limbs with those of Paul Byrd and have the Houston Astros sign him. This Byrd hybrid will patrol the area formerly known as the hill in centerfield at Minute Maid Park, which will be reconstructed just beyond the outfield wall. Byrd’s assignment will be to lob home run balls at the stadium’s train. This task is baseball’s version of purgatory given the impossible nature of accomplishing such a feat with Paul Byrd’s dead appendages.
Freddy Galvis: The youngest of 2012’s fraternity of cheaters, Galvis shall be forced to perform a joropo dance with the opposing team’s catcher until he draws his first walk of the 2013 season. This punishment is projected to last well into June.
Guillermo Mota: A notorious cheater, who served a 100-game suspension last season, must be punished by death for his repeated transgressions. Death, in this instance, will be administered by baseball’s equivalent to waterboarding. Death by 1000 Barry Zito fastballs.
Yasmani Grandal: The latest MLB player to face the hammer of justice. Grandal will be sentenced to swimming his ass back to Cuba, his place of birth, while holding his U.S. citizenship above his head for the entire trip. Upon arriving in Cuba he will be locked away in solitary confinement in cell lined with photographs of Mat Latos.
Melky Cabrera: Taking a page from the esteemed punishment catalogue of Rick Sutcliffe, Cabrera should be deported back to Dominican Republic. He shall play out the rest of his natural life playing winter ball while wearing less than reasonable facsimiles of Sutcliffe’s goatee around each eye socket.
Bartolo Colon: Colon will see his throat replaced by his colon and vice versa. Thus, every time he shits out his mouth or vomits out his ass he will be reminded that cheaters never win.