With baseball season just around the corner, most people would be discussing the latest offseason moves of their favorite teams, or try to claim bragging rights for who is going to take home the coveted World Series trophy this year. But Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) have once again stolen the headlines this year.
Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic located in Florida, has been linked to giving PEDs to some of the game’s biggest stars in a report from the Miami New Times. The list includes Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez. Cabrera, who received a suspension last year for PEDs while possibly en route to competing for National League MVP, has already admitted to using them and issued a formal apology. Rodriguez, on the other hand, denied all reports and is trying to keep his reputation in tact once again after admitting to PED usage in the early 2000s.
“I just think it’s a shame,” Ramapo College junior Troy Pappas said. “I have loved and watched baseball all of my life, but now I question who is playing the game the right way and who is cheating. I’m starting to doubt the whole game in general at this point.”
The problem now for the New York Yankees, Rodriguez’s current team, is what to do with the often-troubled third baseman. The Yanks are on the hook for his current contract, which has five years and over $100 million remaining.
Rodriguez also received his second major hip surgery in the last four seasons, and some analysts are questioning how much he will have left when he returns, which is expected to be after the All-Star break at the earliest.
The Yankees are exploring the option of voiding his contract, which would create a long and tedious process that will likely leave them paying most of his contract anyway. The Yankees acquired former Red Sox and White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis in the offseason to fill the spot until finalizing the Rodriguez situation.
Before this report, it was thought that baseball’s steroid era ended. Now some of the sport’s biggest names are once again under fire in the midst of another report linking them to PEDs. Cabrera, Rodriguez and All-Stars Ryan Braun and Gio Gonzalez were also named in the report. Gonzalez has publicly denied any usage of PEDs and association with the clinic.
Only time will tell what will happen to this latest round of players linked to PEDs, but from this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, which featured zero players elected, the public opinion on this issue is becoming clear: the voters view taking PEDs as a detriment to the game and will not reward players past or present who decide to break the rules.