Blue Jays weigh in on Biogenesis suspensions
SEATTLE -- Hours after Major League Baseball announced discipline for the players tied to the Biogenesis investigation who violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, a handful of Toronto Blue Jays players were offering their analysis as they watched the clubhouse TV.
Outfielder Melky Cabrera, who is currently on the disabled list and not with the team, will not face further discipline for his involvement in the Biogenesis investigation, as expected. Cabrera was suspended 50 games last season while with the San Francisco Giants for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
"We didn't expect anything would happen, but we didn't know for sure," manager John Gibbons said. "We were pretty much by it anyway. He served his time, just like these guys will."
MLB suspended 13 players as a result of the league's Biogenesis investigation. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez received the stiffest penalty -- a 211-game ban without pay through the end of the 2014 regular season. Rodriguez, 38, has appealed the suspension, which is to begin Thursday. His case will be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Rodriguez's discipline, MLB said in its written announcement, is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez's discipline under the basic agreement is for attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to "obstruct and frustrate" the investigation.
Infielder Mark DeRosa doesn't believe the time away and lost income is the biggest deterrent to PEDs.
"Everybody knows their names," he said. "That, to me, is more damaging than anything. You lose your name, you lose your reputation, your family's embarrassed, your teammates are embarrassed, your management's embarrassed. Money is one aspect of it and it's a huge aspect of it. I'm sure losing a couple millions of dollars, [like] some of these guys in the big leagues, is definitely a deterrent.
"To me, your name is all you take from this game. What kind of person you were. What kind of player you were. I would never want anyone to say I was a little fake or a liar."
DeRosa is among many big leaguers who are teammates with players associated with PEDs. DeRosa had a locker next to Peralta when the pair were in Cleveland.
"I shared a locker next to him all of Spring Training, and the first half of the season," DeRosa said. "I know him. I know his wife. I know his kids. I know his family. That's shocking. It won't change my perspective of him as a person. You question some things, but I like to think I know who the real guy is. The other guys I can't speak for."
DeRosa also said he's tired of hearing about the issue, but it's one that needs to be addressed. As for suggestions of what can be done, the veteran isn't as sure.
Gibbons is more of a believer that performance-enhancing substances need to be eliminated by heavier penalties, although he acknowledged it might be difficult to accomplish a complete purge.
"They got to get to the bottom of it, they got to eliminate it," Gibbons said. "I don't know if you ever can. Somebody's always willing to cheat to get ahead, in any walk of life. I don't think you can ever totally eliminate it, but you need to try. I think that the bigger the penalty the better. That's the only way. You got to feel some pain."