A couple of initial thoughts on the Chris Davis suspension

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Before you all call me an apologist — and I know you will anyway and have come to accept it and not fight it anymore — allow me to say that (a) I have no problem with amphetamines being against the rules; and (b) have no problem with Chris Davis being suspended for taking amphetamines. Do the crime, do the time. Amphetamines are a performance-enhancer and if you take one, you deserve what you get.

Also, given that Davis made a lot of comments last year about being clean, sure, the hypocrisy card is on the table. Maybe it’s not as satisfyingly playable if we learn later that his positive here was from a legitimate mixup or some cold medicine or something, but it’s fair game. UPDATE: He said he used Adderall, for which he had an exemption last year but didn’t get one this year. So we can add “wow, that’s dumb” to the reasons to criticize Davis.

But of course I have some thoughts on the reaction this is likely to receive from fans and the press:

  • Prediction: Davis gets way more crap for his amphetamines suspension than the many players who have gotten one but didn’t hit 50 homers. People comparing his stats from this year vs. his stats from last year. People making a much bigger deal out of this than they did out of, say, Cameron Maybin’s suspension for the same thing earlier this season;
  • Moreover, I expect the same people who go after Davis and call his 2013, 50-homer season fraudulent to be less eager to play that game with the guys who took amphetamines in the 1950s and 60s. There’s a lot of “well, greenies were different” sentiment out there. If they were, you gotta lay off Davis’ power numbers from last year. if they weren’t, you gotta ask what we think of Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays.

I realize this is a bigger story because he’s a bigger name. But let’s make a distinction between the size of the story and the degree of the ethical violation here. The former is noteworthy, the latter is no different than any number of other players.