Keeping Score

After the All-Star Game, Baseball’s In For A Rough Second Half

Drug suspensions are looming for Alex Rodriguez, and other big-name players.

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Rome Braves v Charleston RiverDogs
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees during a rehab assignment at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park on July 2, 2013 in Charleston, South Carolina.

The finals of last night’s home run derby, between Oakland Athletics second-year player Yoenis Céspedes, 27, and Washington Nationals sophomore superstar Bryce Harper, 20 — Céspedes won — should be an uplifting sign of baseball’s youth movement, a signal of the game’s great health, and bright future. Tonight’s All-Star game, which features National League starting pitcher Matt Harvey, the second-year phenom from the New York Mets, should be more of the same.

Instead, this week’s All-Star activities will likely be remembered as a five-star meal – at one of those upscale airport restaurants, before a long, crappy flight that nearly makes you puke.

Because drug suspensions are looming over the sport. Tony Bosch, the former director of the Biogenesis clinic who has allegedly supplied as many of 20 major league players with performance-enhancing drugs, is singing to baseball officials. Commissioner Bud Selig, who’s going to retire next year, has a chance to brandish his legacy as the commissioner who cleaned up baseball – even though something called science will likely make this nearly impossible. The chemists have stayed a step ahead of the testers, and there’s no reason to believe this will stop.

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Alex Rodriguez is baseball’s biggest target. Leave it to A-Rod to overshadow a season with so many good storylines, like the emergence of Los Angeles Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig, small-market teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland A’s winning, Baltimore’s Chris Davis, with 37 home runs at the All-Star break, threatening baseball’s legit home run record – 61, by Roger Maris back in 1961. Remember when A-Rod opted out of his New York Yankees contract back in 2007, during the final moments of that year’s World Series? He stole the spotlight there, and he’s doing it again now.

And remember when Rodriguez was going to eclipse Barry Bonds’ new career home run record, and erase the awkward charade of Bonds topping Hank Aaron back in 2007? Don’t worry that Bonds’ home runs were almost surely fueled by steroids; A-Rod is clean, he’s still pumping out 50 home runs a year, and he’s in his early 30s. He’ll catch Bonds.

Ha. As we learned in 2009, when A-Rod admitted that he had used steroids earlier in his career, he was far from clean. And even after warning kids about the dangers of performance-enhancing drug use, it appears that Rodriguez cheated again, hooking up with Bosch and Biogenesis.

Injuries and age would have likely prevented Rodriguez from catching Bonds. Now, it appears that Selig will place a huge hurdle too. According to the New York Daily News, Rodriguez recently met with MLB officials in New York City, and the evidence against him was so overwhelming, he’s looking to cop a plea deal. Maybe a 150-game suspension is the best he can do. Players like Ryan Braun and Nelson Cruz could also face stiff penalties. What a mess. So enjoy tonight’s All-Star game. Because the second-half of this season will leave a bad taste.

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9 comments
BorisIII
BorisIII

As long as baseball is trying to prevent it it doesn't bother me like it did in the 90's.  You would think with all the money professional baseball has they could keep up with all the new types of steroids coming out.  maybe they could work together with cycling and track and field.  Hard to believe its never used in football which depends so much on muscle strength.

ptcruiser5850
ptcruiser5850

The legacy of the Selig era will be PEDs.  Since they are not interested in cleaning it up, they should require PED usage.  At least then Bud will have some consistency.

mrkenboosie
mrkenboosie

I'm not happy about A-Rod messing up his legacy but it's his life plus I'm rooting for the Tigers to make it back to the fall classic.Time to turn up the heat Tigers.

CharlesBoyer
CharlesBoyer

Baseball fans have collectively yawned at steroid scandals and the sport will be fine without Alex Rodriguez -- just like it has so far this year.

MichaelCordero
MichaelCordero

You must be joking! Bud Selig legacy is the Godfather of PEDS! Have you all forgotten the 1990's when they all were aware of PEDS  usage and looked the other way...? I don't think the Players Union will allow this Hypocritical process to cleanup Selig's "legacy" to prevail without a very strong fight! Baseball was from long time ago a sport were PEDS usage was prevalent, amphetamines, greenies as they used to call them gave way to Steroids and other stuff...does anyone remember how MLB was the last major Worldwide sport to deal with Peds? Come on! They are certainly not fooling me! 

squelchuk1
squelchuk1

"The chemists have stayed a step ahead of the testers, and there’s no reason to believe this will stop."

Errr... get MLB to sign up to WADA's code then?  IT's obviously working in US, Jamaican and Russian athletics

branashton
branashton

A-Rod being punished will always leave a good taste in my mouth. 

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

Steroid stories are beyond lazy. 

Everyone Understands that there are dirty athletes in the game. Thats why MLB has drug testing. People are immune to people getting suspended and no longer surprised. I am Happy as hell that players get suspended, Means it is working



 

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

Ya, Nice try with saying the season will be soured because of 1 guy who hasn't been relevant in a few years, 1 star on one of the worst teams in baseball and a bunch of other guys who while good, aren't carrying their teams, except for maybe Colon.  Do Yankee fans even care about A-Rod playing or not playing(taking the salary part of it out)