Cracking Down: Several MLB Players Call For Stronger Sanctions Against PED Users
Many MLBers are "calling for stronger sanctions" to players caught using PEDs, and some "may be ready to do something about it," according to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. TIMES. Astros C Jason Castro said, "There's been a lot of talk about what could happen next as far as the guidelines and punishments and penalties for failure to adhere to the standards and testing." He added, "Players are getting involved. And it's a good thing to see because it's our careers and it's our game and we want a level playing field." Angels DH Mark Trumbo said, "Guys who deliberately bend the rules and do what they were doing, as opposed to guys who are caught with a tainted GNC supplement, it would be nice if there was a difference between the two. For deliberate cheaters, I say throw the book at them." D'Backs P Heath Bell: "We just want the game to be as clean as possible without somebody trying to cheat the system. We just want to make sure the system doesn't have any loopholes. Unfortunately, it does, but I think we're trying to clean it up" (LATIMES.com, 6/15). On Long Island, Steven Marcus noted former MLB arbitrator Shyam Das, who overturned the suspension of Brewers LF Ryan Braun in February '12, believes any potential "player discipline in cases governed by the sport's joint drug agreement will stay within baseball's domain." Das said that the arbitrator's role is to "judge the ultimate fate of any player suspected to be in violation of baseball's joint drug agreement, and the arbitrator's decision is not likely to be challenged outside of baseball." Das said, "Baseball, like most other private employment collective bargaining, is covered by federal law." He added, "They would have to prove bias, something along those lines. Neither party would have much of a chance if it went to court" (NEWSDAY, 6/16).
HEADING TO THE POLLS: In Boston, Stan Grossfeld wrote under the header, "Fenway Park Fans Are Sick Of Steroids In MLB." Of more than 100 fans chosen at random, 76% said that they "want MLB to clean up the game, and 24 percent said they want MLB to move on" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/16). Also in Boston, Nick Cafardo reported about a half-dozen Red Sox players last Thursday had to "produce urine for a performance-enhancing drug test" at Camden Yards in Baltimore. One player said, “Yeah, it’s always after we’ve had a good series against someone. It’s like clockwork. When you’re going good, they’re right there waiting to test you" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/16). The N.Y. Daily News' Mike Lupica said, "The same people who criticized (MLB Commissioner) Bud Selig for not doing enough in the old days now want to bang him around for doing too much." Lupica added of the case against players tied to the Miami-area Biogenesis clinic, "Good for baseball for going at this case hard. Swinging for the fences whether it ends up swinging and missing or not. If baseball can make its case, I hope Selig throws the book at these guys and it ought to be the record book" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 6/16).