It’s wrong that the arbitrator in the A-Rod case came up with some improvised penalty regimen that essentially stacked his offenses to make some 150-game mega-suspension. Because this is how you’re supposed to do 150-game suspensions:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Milwaukee Brewers Minor League left-handed pitcher Will West has received a 100-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, as well as a third positive test for a drug of abuse.
The suspension of West, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Arizona League Brewers, will be effective upon completion of his current 50-game suspension, which commenced on August 5, 2013.
So, three times on a drug of abuse and one test for amphetamines = 150 games in two separate suspensions. If it was A-Rod I calculate that it would be [counts fingers and toes] eleventy-billion games.
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.
No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.
Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:
Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.
Manfred didn’t stop there, however.
An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?