Are MLB Fans Ready to Close the Book on the Steroid Era
by Mark Hanrahan
Earlier this week MLB updated the All Star game balloting results. Many of the people that covered baseball on a day to day basis lauded the fans on doing a great job so far of rewarding the most deserving players at their position with the votes to have them at the top, or near the top in the voting. Some young and unheralded players like Charlie Blackmon and Josh Donaldson were getting recognized by the fans for their performance on the field. Unfortunately, some people just couldn’t get past how Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz could lead their respective positions in the AL.
Yes, Cabrera and Cruz were both suspended in accordance with MLB’s anti doping policy, the most stringent policy in North American professional sports. Both players accepted their suspension and served their time. For me, that is the end of the story. If they are choosing to still play with fire and tempt fate by trying to find a way around the system, they will get caught. MLB recently adopted the “biological passport” form of testing, a much more detailed and specific form of testing which can actually pinpoint the exact substances, even if the spike in testosterone is minimal.
Some will argue that the drug tests are an “intelligence test” and that if the substances are dosed and timed correctly, you cannot get caught. But somehow, nearly every one of Tony Bosch’s clients had failed a drug test at some point in their career. Testing is catching up and more importantly, the MLB players are willing to work with the league to level the playing field.
So, what does this mean to All Star voting? I think this week will tell a great deal on what the fans think. Will they choose to continue to support Cabrera and Cruz with their votes or elevate players below them to make sure these two aren’t honored with starting spots in the game? Personally, I just hope the people vote to put the best players in the game. Let the chips fall where they may and trust the system. Enjoy the game for what it is, a game and let the people behind the scenes worry about making sure the playing field is level. The best part is, the fans have a voice and maybe by voting Nelson Cruz and/or Melky Cabrera into the All Star game will be a sign of using that voice to tell the media that the fans are ready to put the “Steroid Era” behind them.