They Don’t Care… They Just Don’t Care

What’s it been two weeks? Three weeks? Yet it has happened again – another Major League Baseball player has been suspended for testing positive for a banned substance. This time it is Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz and this time it was amphetamines, for which Ruiz will be suspended for 25 games to begin the 2013 season.

According to Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia, a 25-game suspension for amphetamines means that this is Ruiz’s second offense, as a first offense does not include a suspension and is kept private. I’m thinking that didn’t work too well, did it?

Since a first offense for testing positive for amphetamines carries no suspension, this would have to be Ruiz’s second offense. (Photo credit – Matt Slocum)

Do you think that the Major League Baseball Players Association care… I mean really care? Care enough to actually do something about this continuing problem, like maybe increasing the penalties to 100 games for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense? I don’t think they do.

Do you think that the so-called “steroid era” is really over? Well, Ruiz is the 34th MLB player to be suspended for testing positive for a banned substance since the MLB and MLBPA went to their self-proclaimed “harsher penalties” in 2005.

And what exactly does the MLBPA have to say about this? Here are their official statements for five of the seven MLB players suspended for testing positive for a banned substance in 2012:

  • Carlos Ruiz (Phillies) – “I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season, and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.”
  • Yasmani Grandal (Padres) – “I apologize to the fans, my teammates and to the San Diego Padres. I was disappointed to learn of my positive test and under the joint drug program. I am responsible for what I put into my body. I must accept responsibility for my actions and serve my suspension.”
  • Bartolo Colon (Athletics) – “I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A’s. I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program.” (Colon received a one-year/$3 million contract after his suspension with incentives that could push his earnings up to $6 million).
  • Melky Cabrera – (Giants) “I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.” (Cabrera received a two-year/$16 million contract after his suspension and also received a full postseason record share of $377,003).
  • Freddy Galvis (Phillies) – “I’d like to apologize to my all my fans, especially here in Philadelphia and back home in Venezuela, to my teammates and to the Phillies organization.”

(Note: The MLBPA did not issue a statement for Giants reliever Guillermo Mota, and why should they – it was his second offense; and Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez used a ridiculous story that he received a prescription in the Dominican Republic as part of his treatment to start a family with his wife – give me a freaking break.

I’ll say it again – These guys aren’t sorry, they’re sorry they got caught.

Do you see just how foolish the MLBPA looks making these cookie-cutter, canned, and utterly ridiculous statements? Why don’t they say something like “We’re tired of this crap and we’re going to do something about it. We’re going to make the penalties even stronger. These morons need to understand that their cheating will not be tolerated in the MLB.” That’s what the Major League Baseball Players Association needs to say.

But you know what? They Don’t Care… They Just Don’t Care.



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9 Responses to “They Don’t Care… They Just Don’t Care”

  1. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Nobody seems to care but the fans who have seen all semblance of innocence in the game taken away. Certainly a number of players are willing to cheat, and toe the party line laid out by the player’s association when they are caught. The MLPBA doesn’t want to take a stand, nor does MLB. As you say, they don’t give a rat’s ass about PED’s. One would think the baseball establishment would want to take away the embarrassment. Well, I expect they aren’t embarrassed or they would take a stand to preserve the integrity of the game. What integrity you ask? Good question.

    I do empathize with other fans and especially players who do not cheat, seeing the cheaters make their way to bigger contracts, more all star appearances, etc. The temptation for them must be enormous.

    MLB may well have to try to get the MLBPA to accept harsh penalties in an upcoming agreement. Not much chance of that happening willingly. What about a lockout to clean up the game? Not even sure that is possible and it punishes the players who are clean.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      That’s the rub right there, Bluenose; the players just don’t seem to care about cleaning their own house. I’m not sure if this is because they do not want to offend any of the old-timers or legends, but it truly is entirely in their lap to clean-up their game – and it really wouldn’t be all that hard to accomplish. They really only need to take a very strong stand on this and give the impression that they really want to do it, but I question if they really do.

      As I’ve said before, because PED use was so very prevalent in the games (like 80%), I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that, at some point, they all used some form of PED – especially while in the minors trying to make it up to the Bigs. Because of this, nobody wants to say anything at all and just let the chips (and suspensions) fall where they may.

      I recall you being quite upset with an ESPN article in which the author said that he understood why guys (Ryan Braun in that instance) are willing to risk using PEDs to land multi-million dollar contracts. I recall you taking exception to the article but the bottom line is that he was right – these players ARE willing to risk the consequences to land huge contracts and the MLB and MLBPA allows it to happen. You need look no further than Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon, who received $15M and $3M contracts AFTER their recent suspensions. If this isn’t condoning PED use, nothing is.

      Here again, you would think that the “clean” players would be enraged by this but they are not. Makes one wonder just how clean they really are, huh?

  2. OldBrooklynFan says:

    I can’t think of anything except raise the penalties like everyone is suggesting. I don’t think there’s much more that can be done.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Your reply doesn’t surprise me in the least, Joe; it is exactly what I would expect from you.

      You are 100% wrong, there is “much more that can be done” – like sending emails or writing letters to the commissioner’s office or to the MLBPA, (or even to the Dodgers) – they all have contact information on their websites.

      Sitting on your ass waiting for something to happen (or expecting nothing to happen) is the last thing that any true baseball fan would or should do. But once again, I question how much you really know and understand about the game.

      Instead of blowing everything off with a “will just have to wait and see” or “there’s always tomorrow” attitude, why don’t you show a little assertiveness or take a proactive approach rather than your typical “oh well” negative do nothing attitude? Be part of the solution not part of the problem.

      MLB Players Association email:
      Phone: (212) 826-0808
      Fax: (212) 752-4378

      MLB commissioner’s office mailing address:
      The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
      Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
      245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
      New York, NY 10167
      Phone: (212) 931-7800

  3. Evan Bladh says:

    MLB should suspend the Giants for 25 games for actually voting Melky Cabrera a full Playoff and World Series share. Nice message from the Gnats to Cabrera and the fans. “Go ahead and cheat, we’ll pay you for your contributions that heavily contributed in our winning season.” They had an opportunity to send a message that steroid use won’t be tolerated, but they swung and missed. What a spineless & boneheaded move by WS champs.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      As noted above, signing these guys to multi-million dollar contracts immediately following their suspension sends the wrong message not only to fans, but to up and coming young players. It actually encourages them to try to get away with it, because if they do, they stand to make millions of dollars.

      The way it is set up now, the risk is definitely worth the reward and until the MLBPA and the MLB change this, the steroid era will never end – period.

      There is little doubt that the Giants have been leading the way in PED use since the Bonds days and it continues today.

      Allow me to ask a rhetorical question: Does Juan Uribe’s complete failure as a Dodger have anything to do with the fact that he came directly from the Giants where several players have tested positive for PEDS? I don’t want an answer on this, just give it some thought. Perhaps there may be something to it and it falls right in line with what you are saying, Evan.

  4. lindav says:

    If they would make the f—— penalty a complete ban without pay in baseball including HOF for any positive test it would stop. Just build that into all contracts as a requirement to have a baseball contract. Simple. Forget this 50 games for 1st offense, 100 next, etc.

  5. echavez2 says:

    All I have to say is I bet they think twice if the first offense is one year. Kinda sad that Melky Cabrera test positive and gets a slap on the wrist and a raise.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      “I bet they think twice if the first offense is one year.”

      This is my point exactly, Evan. A one year ban for the first offense and a lifetime ban for the second.

      Here is an article I posted a couple weeks ago that pretty much explains my position on this: Enough Already!

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