Tigers ace Justin Verlander has never been shy about sharing his feelings concerning players using performance-enhancing drugs. Last year, he spoke up in favor of more severe punishments for those caught using, even going as far as to suggest a permanent ban for first-time users. “It’s too easy for guys to serve a suspension and come back and still get paid,” he said.
Verlander is now suggesting something even more draconian: drug testing upon entering the clubhouse every day, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. “Test me every day,” Verlander said. “I’m passionate about it. This is a great game. I love the challenge of it. But you like to know it’s fair.”
Verlander continued, “If you come in every day knowing you’ll be peeing into a cup, that should deter people.”
I can think of at least one group that would fight against any such effort: the players’ union. And though Verlander would argue otherwise, PED use is not really a problem in the game anymore. Dee Gordon and Jenrry Mejia are really the only major league regulars to end up testing positive and Mejia is permanently banned, having tested positive three times. Almost every other player that has been caught in recent years is a minor leaguer or a fringe major leaguer, the type of players Verlander would dominate even if they were legally allowed to use steroids.
Verlander’s proposition is a solution in search of a problem. But as Craig points out, this is just par for the course:
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim