How about a round of applause for Arizona Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez? In the wake of MLB’s latest PED scandal, where baseball will attempt to suspend notable players like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun for their connection to the Biogenesis clinic via the testimony of a disgraced doctor facing criminal charges, finally an active player is speaking out about his peers cheating the system.
When asked about the story and players still using PEDs by AZCentral.com, the 28-year-old righty didn’t hold back:
“I think you should be out of baseball. It sounds harsh but at the end of the day you’re making it harder on somebody else who is trying to make it in the game. You’re essentially ending somebody else’s career if you’re cheating and putting up numbers. You should be done.”
Hernandez went on to say the penalties in place by baseball and its PED testing program still aren’t enough of a deterrent:
“It’s not fair to all of us who have played the game the right way. I think there should be stiffer penalties from the get-go. Apparently 50 games isn’t enough to stop players from cheating. A lot of us feel that way around here. Basically you’re cheating us, the players. Not only the fans, but us, the union.”
On Wednesday I wrote about my thoughts about the Biogenesis scandal. It always seemed strange that during the height of the ‘Steroid Era’ in the 1990s that clean players, especially pitchers, said nothing about others juicing up and posting absurd offensive numbers. (The MLB Players Association had a hand in this.)
Hernandez is right, too. The players themselves are the ones directly hurt by PED users. Think of the hundreds of fringe minor leaguers struggling to make it to the bigs, only to have one of the roster spots taken by somebody who had artificial means aiding him along the way. Consider the money some players missed out on when the mammoth contracts went to PED users thanks to their chemically-boosted statistics.
Will Hernandez be a lone voice in the wilderness or will players start cracking down on their peers? On the big league level this seems possible. Down in the minors, where players are fighting to get their shot at the big time, it’s harder to see it happening.
Either way, good job by Hernandez for speaking out. Hopefully others will follow. [via AZCentral.com]