Today was a giant step in the elimination of steroids in MLB, but the process is far from complete.
Baseball has to be applauded for its aggressiveness in trying to combat steroids, but the suspension of Ryan Braun for the rest of 2013 is only a band-aid over a giant wound that needs surgery. Braun will lose over $3 million, this year, but he is still owed over $100 million and the Milwaukee Brewers were already out of contention in 2103 anyway. The punishment doesn’t go far enough.
Braun boldly lied to everyone. He cheated himself and the game more than Pete Rose ever did, yet it is Rose who was banned from baseball while Braun sits with hundreds of millions of dollars and a MVP trophy. Worse, the outfielder will be playing baseball in 2014 with the Brewers, who will welcome him back with open arms.
How is that supposed to induce fear among baseball players?
Sure, this step of a full-season suspension will bring pause to athletes, but teams will still sign known steroid players like Melky Cabrera, Braun and others. Those players will still make money that will take care of their families for the rest of their lives, and steroids will still help them reach those millions quicker and more efficiently than being clean will.
It’s simple — until there is a ban for any player caught once for steroids, players will still continue to do it because there are still more positives than negatives to cheating.
Until someone is banned for these actions, the cheaters will still win. Don’t get me wrong; I am proud of baseball for taking these initial steps, but what they are doing is plugging a hole in a dam with a piece of gum. It’s time for a real message to be sent, a message that is unwavering and inarguable — it’s time for lifetime bans.