Before you call for stiffer drug penalties please think about what just happened

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Within 12 hours of Ryan Braun — described by one national columnist as a “cockroach” — getting unprecedented discipline and going down without even bothering to fight, the calls have already started for baseball to get even tougher. Just this morning I have seen multiple calls for automatic lifetime bans, contract-voiding provisions and all manner of draconian proposals. These calls are couched in the assumption that Ryan Braun somehow got off easy and that, because of that, Major League Baseball is still somehow not doing enough to stop PEDs.

This is nothing short of madness. It’s auto-piloted rage, flown in from 2006, and offered with all spleen and no thought.

Ken Rosenthal lays all of this bare in his excellent column this morning, which I implore you to read.  The short version: Baseball, in the space of a few short months, investigated and suspended a major star with the largest-ever penalty for first-time discipline. It did so without a test. It did so in such a way that union publicly implored the player not to fight and the player, in fact, did not fight.  It did so with the vocal approval of many current players who, just a few short years ago, would have said nothing and probably would have supported their union’s efforts to fight to the death.

We have experienced a complete paradigm shift with respect to performance enhancing drugs in baseball. One in which there is no truly acceptable defense to cheating and which the league is empowered by all stakeholders to root it out.

Yet, in light of that, people think the system is a joke. That the penalties need to be increased. That baseball isn’t doing enough? Jesus, people, do you see what baseball just did?

Tyler Anderson to undergo knee surgery

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Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson will undergo surgery on his left knee. It won’t be known until after the procedure if Anderson will be able to return at some point this season.

Anderson, 29, struggled over five starts this season, allowing 27 runs in 20 2/3 innings. He had been bothered by discomfort in his left knee since very early in the season. The Rockies demoted him to Triple-A Albuquerque earlier this month, but he hasn’t actually pitched for them due to the knee issue.

Jeff Hoffman is a candidate to take Anderson’s spot in the rotation. He has made one start in the majors this year and has otherwise pitched at Albuquerque.