Article written by Chris Ziza courtesy of FeedCrossing.
My rant for the day is about the manhood, or lack thereof, in Major League Baseball. That’s right. I’m calling the game what it is, a place where babies and sissies run and play the sport. There are two problems as I see it. First, performance enhancing drugs. Second, fights.
For a number of years now we’ve been battling the stigma of performance enhancing drugs in the majors and yet here we are, 2013, and we have rules with no teeth. Don’t get me wrong, the rules have changed. Players are tested more frequently, for more substances, and suspensions have been handed out. But let’s face it, a 50-game ban? Really?
Let’s put it another way. Say you’re a corner infielder or an outfielder with a decent glove, reasonable bat, but not all that much power. Hell, let’s just say my name is James Loney. A career .282 hitter with a .338 on base percentage and a meager .418 slugging percentage. I’m currently sitting on a one-year $2 million deal.
Now a guy like Andre Ethier, who has a career .290 batting average, .363 on base percentage and .476 slugging is currently making $13.5 million this year and will make another $69 million ($71.5 with the 2018 buyout) over the next 4 years. If I’m James Loney my body is a pin-cushion in the off-season loading up with all the newest (defined as yet undetectable) steroids and HGH (currently not tested) that I can find.
Put up a .290-25-100 (at least) season in Tampa Bay while potentially leading them to an AL East crown and my next offer will be at least $52 million over the next four seasons. What’s my risk? A 50-game ban. A suspension that will cost me $617,283.95.
Yeah, not sure about you folks, but I’m gambling that amount to make $52 million. What the idiots (defined as Bud Selig) need to do is this. First offense, 162 game ban. That’s it. You are done for the season and whatever games the following year to fulfill this ban. Second offense, you’re done, period. Career over. Lifetime ban. Will players still use? Of course they will. The allure of that one big contract is still probably worth it. However, once they’ve been caught once, my guess is they’ll be thrilled to collect $1-2 million per year being a decent player as opposed to some civil service job.
Now let’s turn our attention to fights. The events that occurred last night in the Dodgers-Padres game have caused me to address this issue. In a 2-1 game, Zack Greinke hits Carlos Quentin with a 3-2 pitch. Quentin charges the mound and in the ensuing melee, Greinke suffers a broken collarbone that will likely sideline him for a good 6-weeks.
First of all, I highly doubt Greinke was trying to hit Quentin leading off the inning in a one-run game. Secondly, regardless of the fact that there’s a beaning history between these two, Quentin needs to man up and walk to first. If people charged the mound on Bob Gibson every time he came up and in on a batter, MLB would have changed their name to WWE 50 years ago. There’s simply no place in the game for a batter charging the mound.
The retaliation is your pitcher now throws under the chin of the opposition’s star hitter. Umpires warn the benches and ejections would result from the next such occurrence.
So what should Bud Selig do? First off, if you charge the mound it’s a minimum of 20-games. Second, if a player suffers an injury in the resulting melee, your suspension continues until that player comes back to action or at the very least, triples to 60-games. Now obviously there needs to be a tad of Commissioner discretion when it comes to this latter point.
Clearly if Ryan Braun charges the mound against the Phillies and Erik Kratz gets hurt, the Phillies may just keep Kratz out longer than necessary just so the Brewers get screwed on Braun. But you guys get the point. In the good old days of baseball, the inside part of the plate belonged to the pitcher. Today, baseball players go on the DL when they have wisdom teeth removed.
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