Tag Archives: Ryan Braun

MLB’s big dog has been hammered

Bud Selig is now officially my favorite major sports commissioner.

Roger Goodell? David Stern? Gary Bettman? Forget about it.

Major League Baseball’s top man has done the right thing by giving Alex Rodriguez — the one-time heir apparent to Barry Bonds as MLB’s so-called all-time home run king — a 211-game suspension. A-Rod is out for the rest of this season and all of 2014, depending on the outcome of his expected appeal. (I say “so-called” because Hank Aaron, whose mark Bonds surpassed, will remain the real HR king in my eyes; he belted 755 of ’em without cheating.)


Indeed, now A-Rod appears headed for another “heir apparent” role as it regards Bonds: the heir to the most soiled reputation among those believed to have cheated their way into baseball’s record books.

What makes this suspension so welcome is that Selig dropped the hammer on one of the game’s biggest stars. He didn’t reserve this harsh punishment for some utility player or pinch hitter. A-Rod has more than 600 home runs, fifth-most in baseball history. He was closing in on 3,000 base hits and a bunch of other standout numbers I don’t care to discuss today.

A-Rod’s sin has been his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic and its alleged dispensing of performance-enhancing drugs, such as human growth hormones, testosterone and other banned substances. A-Rod has been implicated in all of that, apparently with a mountain of evidence to back up the allegations.

Furthermore, Selig reportedly was steamed at Rodriguez’s insistence in calling all the shots in the negotiations with the baseball front office, which Selig would not tolerate.

Selig has demonstrated some serious manliness in standing up to the game’s great players. He’s already suspended Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun — who plays in Selig’s hometown — over the use of banned substances. And today, he handed out significant suspensions to a dozen other players apart from Rodriguez.

It’s that 211-game suspension that stands out, given Rodriguez’s standing among the current players and the fact that it likely means the end of the line for the star who’s approaching 40 — which makes him an “old man” in the world of big league baseball.

Major League Baseball’s commissioner is making an example of those who think they can get away with cheating — and is setting a sparkling example for other commissioners to follow.

MLB needs to drop hammer some more

There once was a time when I was addicted to big-league baseball.

I’d wake every morning from April through September, get the morning paper and scan the box scores for my favorite players. My actual favorite was Mickey Mantle. I’d look to see how Mick did the night before. I’d grimace if he went 0-for-4; I was joyous when he had a good night at the plate.

Those days are gone. Free agency took care of much of it for me, as players moved from team to team when their contracts were up.

Now comes the Age of Cheating, the use of performance enhancing drugs. Barry Bonds will never be the home run king. In my book, that honor belongs — still — to Henry Aaron.

When Major League Baseball suspended 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun for the rest of the season, I was delighted to see the league taking action — finally — against the cheaters. This suspension likely will preclude Braun’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

More suspensions need to follow. I heard today that Alex Rodriguez might face a lifetime ban in the case that ensnared Braun. That’s all right, too.

MLB needs to set an example. It needs to make an example of these players who have cheated their way into the record books.

I am shedding no tears today over this development. Keep dropping the hammer.