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Jeff Francoeur estimates 90 percent of major leaguers want stiffer PED penalties


Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur went on Buster Olney’s ESPN podcast on Thursday and said that he estimates 90 percent of major leaguers would like stiffer penalties for players caught using performance-enhancing drugs, as Jerry Crasnick notes.

Francoeur said:

“The system is flawed. There’s no other way around it. Guys get docked 80 games (pay) or whatever it is. Yeah, that’s a lot of money. But if you sign a $60 million deal and you’re losing maybe $5 million, it’s worth it for a lot of these guys. It stinks because there are buddies of mine who were basically battling these guys for jobs. It’s just unfair.

“I know a lot of guys that have been busted, and they’re good people. I like them a lot. But at the end of the day, they’re cheating the system.”

Major League Baseball’s drug testing program has levied increasingly harsh penalties for players who test positive. Currently, first-time offenders receive an 80-game suspension while second-time offenders sit out 160 games and third-time offenders are banned for life.

Per Crasnick, 57 minor leaguers and 12 major leaguers have tested positive since January. Two-time All-Star Dee Gordon is the highest profile player this year to get caught.

Francoeur realizes that, in asking for harsher penalties, he is putting more power  in ownership’s hand, something which the Players’ Union wouldn’t like. However, he said, “I think we have to start listening to the majority of the players, and not the other way around.”

Francoeur also doesn’t buy the excuses of players who test positive and say they unknowingly took the substances. The outfielder said, “For me, the only thing I’ll drink is the protein shakes that MLB gives us. They tell us in spring training, ‘Don’t take it if it’s not certified.’ If you go to GNC and get some bogus stuff, how stupid can you be? That’s your own fault. (I hear players say), ‘I don’t know how this got in me.’ Well, watch what you put in your body.”

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”