By: Dan Leach
Many Tigers fans will wake up on Wednesday morning to the surprise that the Tigers have acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox. While having no relation to the famed songster Julio and his beloved “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before”, but when it comes to baseball he may be just as impactful. The root of frustration for many fans will be the fact that the only reason this three way trade with Boston and the Chi-Sox was made, was because All-Star SS Jhonny Peralta is going to be suspended on Friday due to the mess that is the Biogenesis PED scandal.
There are so many issues I have with this coming down because it really only affected a couple teams that have viable playoff hopes , while most of the players on the list play for teams long out of the race. But before I shed light into that absurd development, the bottom line is the MLB is a mess. The game itself is still one of the purest in the world at its root, but with the fact that a high percentage of players – some think over 50% – are cheating, something simply has to be done. The fans, the integrity of the game, and the players themselves are simply making a mockery of what at one time was “America’s Pastime”.
If you want to actually combat blatant cheating, just ask Ryan Braun. HIT THEM IN THEIR WALLET!! It seems like such a simple and easy answer, but yet it has never really transpired. If Ryan Braun lost a huge percentage of his salary instead of just going quietly into the night, along with giving up his season on a team that had no postseason chance, maybe he would have actually thought twice about it. If A-Roid – sorry Alex Rodriguez – knew he would lose most of his absurd record-breaking deal, maybe he would have at least thought twice before ruining his career and legacy.
So I present to you my plan to save baseball as the current system at its root is an absolute joke.
FIRST OFFENSE- 100 games, lose 80% of the guaranteed money
SECOND OFFENSE- TWO YEAR BAN- lose all of the guaranteed money
-In the first year an offending player is forced away from baseball and has to do a certain amount of community service such as talking to high school kids, college teams, etc.
-In the second year an offending player is only able to play in the minors and can make the league minimum of around $400k. This would teach the player an important lesson of humility and it would be very exciting for the wonderful and die-hard fans to see former big leaguers play in a setting that many of them likely would not have-of course if they HAD NOT CHEATED. Of course, I like to find a silver lining in the worst of situations and this would be just that.
THIRD OFFENSE- LIFETIME BAN- NO CHANCE FOR REINSTATEMENT-DROP DEAD IRON CLAD!!
It is time that sweeping changes finally become part of a game in order to leave no cracks in the system that has long allowed players to cheat and do so with little recourse other than to their super egos. Bud Selig and his cronies made a half-hearted attempt in 2006 with The Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, which could have easily been called The You Can Still Cheat If You Don’t Get Caught Half-Ass Joke.
This game means to much to too many of us to have it run like the Wild West with absolutely no consequences. It is time for serious solutions to a troubling problem. I still hang onto hope that someday soon the MLB will once again be a game we can be proud of. However, for the time being I will even take a game we watch without questioning every player that starts to get hot or hit a lot of HR’s and if said player is simply cheating to do so. (See Chris Davis, this season)