MLB not doing enough to punish drug cheats like Ryan Braun

Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the season by MLB on Monday. (Ralph D....

Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the season by MLB on Monday. (Ralph D. Freso/Reuters/Files)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:54 PM ET

Major League Baseball, a cesspool of illegal drugs and deniers, is close to having the doors completely blown off its dirty laundry room.

But if you are waiting for applause from this corner after Major League Baseball suspended Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun for 65 games for his use of performance enhancing drugs, you aren’t going to get it.

It was the least the league should have done. Braun, a liar, a man without conscience, a man who made himself out to be a victim while victimizing others, has again proved his ability to shed crocodile tears.

After admitting he used PED’s, Braun was without pay for the 65 games remaining on Milwaukee’s schedule.

It’s a year when Milwaukee is out of contention and Braun is battling injury. Meanwhile, next year he continues to benefit from the fat contract he signed after his PED MVP season.

Major League Baseball should have waited until next year to hand down the suspension when they could have really stuck it to Braun and when it would have cost him even more money because of a fatter contract.

For Braun to cough everything up, baseball must have had pretty compelling evidence he simply couldn’t get away from. Major League Baseball missed a chance to send a greater message.

Make no mistake about it, despite the Braun suspension and what may well be other suspensions coming down the road to other players linked to Biogenesis—Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, and Jhonny Peralta among others, a significant impact on cheaters can only be made by making the penalties significant.

The suggestion that 65 games paired with the tarnishing of their reputation and legacy is punishment enough is ludicrous. If druggies were really concerned about their legacy and reputation they wouldn’t have cheated in the first place.

Former major leaguer Dale Murphy knows what will really make an impact on players who cheat and those who are thinking of cheating.

This comes courtesy of Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.

“…if you want to get to the next level of the program, to get this under control, you’ve got to put the fear of ending a guy’s career into the equation,” Murphy said. “Even with Ryan Braun’s suspension and with A-Rod’s coming up, it’s not going to end it.”

Two of the most successful sports at catching cheaters when cheating was the way one operated in their respective sports, are track and field and cycling. Neither of those sports has cleansed itself completely but they’ve taken extraordinary steps to getting close.

What’s needed is a will to do what it takes not only on the part of the sports’ governing bodies but the athletes as well, athletes that are tired of playing at a disadvantage and are tired of being painted as cheats whenever they accomplish something exceptional.

Lance Armstrong was eventually caught because his drug buddies turned on him.

Cycling and track and field have learned what deters athletes. They hand out two-year bans. Careers are put at risk.

Until as Murphy says, careers are put at risk, gain will always outweigh the potential pain.

Compared to basketball, hockey and especially football, baseball has taken more steps to end drug cheating in the game.

They have a long way to go but the players’ union and the players themselves, two hurdles in the past, are coming around.

There’s still a lot to learn.

“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” said Rob Manfred, Executive Vice President of Economics & League Affairs for MLB.

Commend him for what? Repeatedly lying? Cheating? Coming clean when he realized that all his lying couldn’t get him off? The only thing that needs commendation is how well he managed self-preservation.

“Ryan Braun broke the rules and now he’ll pay the price for that.” That’s what should have been said.

If baseball is indeed ready to come clean, then the gloves have to come off.

“Braun's deal that he made or whatever, it's going to last 65 games. To me, it's not enough,” Seattle Mariner pitcher Joe Saunders said. “Next year he's making even more money. I think it should have been a year's suspension, at least. Just my take on it. I don't get why guys have to do that stuff. It's almost like, really just a slap on the wrist.

“I think everybody's frustrated, especially the players. I think we all feel a little bit cheated.”

Major League Baseball must come harder and kick the door completely off their dirty little laundry room or a lot more people are going to feel cheated.


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