Major League Baseball had to investigate allegations that several big-name players were involved with performance enhancing drugs, and the sport had to exact stern punishments against those found to be cheating.
The recent suspensions handed down were sweeping and caught a couple of past MVPs -- Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun. The inclusions of those two superstars show that no one is above the reach of the sport’s governing body when it comes to taking strides to clean PEDs out of the game.
Because the suspensions took place immediately and only Rodriguez appealed his punishment, he has been the focal point of fans’ ire. He had been doing a rehabilitation stint in the minor leagues and, coincidentally or not, his first game of the season with the New York Yankees came right after the suspensions were announced.
The Yankees were playing in Chicago, and White Sox fans showed their displeasure by roundly booing him at each plate appearance. Even when he returned home to Yankee Stadium in New York, A-Rod could do no better than a 50-50 split between boos and cheers.
Even more gratifying than the fan reaction is the reaction of Major League players. Many of them have vocally supported the punishments, in some cases even against their own teammates.
This is a good sign because it indicates that the players who aren’t using the drugs have grown tired of being painted by the same broad brush as the cheaters. They are tired of being targeted through guilt by association — namely the Major League Baseball Players Association. They want people to know that they are getting the job done the old-fashioned way, working for it.
Hopefully, with MLB cracking down hard by leveling long suspensions and with advancements being made in detecting these drugs, players who are tempted to cheat will decide it’s not worth the risk. The future of Major League Baseball hangs in the balance, as players and fans will decide the fate of this great sport.
In summary Major League Baseball may still have a long way to go in the fight against performance enhancing drugs, but the game has made a big step with recent suspensions.