Is There An End to the Steroid Era?

Melky Cabrera is suspended for 50 games after testing positive for high amounts of testosterone. Cabrera, the anchor of the Giants line-up, is a valuable piece to a team in playoff contention. Cabrera was supposed to add another dimension to the Giants. He was supposed to make the team that could pitch dangerous because they could hit. Trailing the Dodgers in the NL West, the Giants are going to need to lean on their pitching more than ever before. At least they got Hunter Pence, right?

This is an after shock of the steroid era. Proof that the doping will never really go away. How do you end that?

Gone are the days of the brazen use of steroids. Guys that looked like the incredible hulk and acted like nothing was wrong. Those days are past us. Cabrera doesn’t look bigger than he did before. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you could attribute Melky’s spike in production to the fact that he was taking care of his body and eating better. What is a real way to hold guys accountable?

Melky Cabrera stood to make millions of dollars after this season. It’s the final year of his contract and he was having a career year, with 11 homeruns and 60 RBIs. Compared to a possible 50 game suspension it seemed well worth the risk. Even if the steroids weren’t making him bigger they were helping in some way, possibly recovery. The reason doesn’t matter. An edge is an edge.

The real way to hold players responsible is to have them hold each other responsible.

This idea proposed by Dale Murphy on the Jim Rome show is absolutely correct. Take away wins from the team. Despite the length of the season each victory matters and taking away wins would be devastating. Guys would definitely not allow their teammates to take steroids then. This is a use of peer pressure that would be beneficial.

If victories are voided using the Wins Above Replacement stat, which is the number of victories a player adds to to a team above what a replacement player would add, then the Giants would be in third place in the NL West. Not second. Cabrera, statistically speaking, adds about 5 wins to the Giants above what a replacement player would. The Giants got passed for the division lead by the Dodgers yesterday and now trail them by .5 of a game. If the five games were taken away the Giants would now be tied with the Diamondbacks and would trail the Dodgers by 5.5 games.

This makes much more sense than taking away all the games that Melky Cabrera was involved in but, it puts enough pressure on the team to make sure he was clean. That’s what a steroid punishment should be about. Helping to completely clean up the sport from the inside.

Not only do steroids give an unfair advantage to others, it’s not good for people. It may have come a long way from being as deadly as it was but, just like concussion rules in football, this should be about protecting athletes from themselves. Possibly shortening their lives is not worth the short term gain they’re getting. Until this happens the game won’t be completely clean.

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