The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

June 7, 2013

New punishments need to be added in MLB

By VAN HOLLAND
Sports Correspondent

TARBORO — The main question remains about Major League Baseball. Why do the same players names continue to appear when it comes to using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)?

Last year, Commissioner Bud Selig said that they were going to crack down on drug testing, but the fact is how many players have been tested so far through this season?

When you see a player's name roll off on reports that have failed drug tests lately, it's mainly a minor leaguer. Yes, you do see some MLB level players testing positive, but not as many.

Now you have the latest problem in the MLB. Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch coming forward saying he is going to cooperate with MLB and tell who the 20 plus players are he injected or gave drugs to. The only reason he is doing that is to cover his rear end. In exchange for him agreeing to cooperate with baseball, MLB will reportedly drop Bosch from its lawsuit, indemnify him for any costs associated with his cooperation and defend his character should he face criminal charges.

What does MLB need to do to ensure that drug use is eliminated from the league or at least have it minimized?

To settle the differences with the PED use problem, there needs to be a stricter plan put in place to insure the players that if they use drugs to enhance their performance there will be stiffer penalties to pay.

Take the current policy for example. The first time a player fails a drug test he is suspended for 50 games. The second time is 100 games and the third time is a lifetime ban.

What MLB needs to do is come to terms with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and draw up new terms for dirty test.

The new agreement should read, that if a player is caught the first time, they are suspended from the sport for a full 162-game season. During that time, they are to attend drug counseling for six months and not have a dirty test during that time. Also as part of the punishment, the player has to agree to void his contract for that season and pay a $100,000 fine.

The second time a player test positive for PEDs or HGH, they get a lifetime ban from the sport.

Just because it is the game of baseball doesn't mean you need to give the players three strikes. Tighten up on the rules and get rid of the bad apples in the game.

If MLB and MLBPA agree to put stiffer penalties in place, then the players will think about their futures and what penalties they could face if they break the rules.

Selig needs to step up to the plate and make a statement for the game of baseball and for fans across the globe.

Commissioner show them who the boss is and implement rules that will make them think twice about using drugs to enhance their performances.

Most players in professional sports are thinking about one thing...those high dollar contracts that they are signing and getting rich off of, but in fact, they are having those performances, because of the substances they are using.

If you tighten up on the rules and make some examples out of the ones using PEDs then the other players who are thinking about using will have second thoughts and won't turn to the drugs to make their performances better on the field.

These players need to remember, that they have kids nationwide who are watching them play the game everyday and are imitating these athletes when they play baseball in their backyards.

What happened to the morals of the game?

The morals of the game have completely changed and there is only one thing that could possibly get the morals back into Americas favorite past time. Get rid of all the cheaters and ban them for life.