RadioBDC Logo
Shark Attack | Grouplove Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +
all entries with the category

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox- Heroes among Heroes

Posted by She's Game Sports October 31, 2013 11:11 AM

By Alice Cook, She's Game Sports

I was there in 2004 when they won in St. Louis, breaking an 86 year old curse. Thousands of Red Sox fans were there, but few who actually had a ticket. When the game ended, security opened the gates to Busch Stadium and told the fans on the street to "go on in, and celebrate with your team." It was a wonderful gesture by the friendly folks in St. Louis.

I was also there in 2007 when the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies. A walk off interview with Series MVP Mike Lowell was one of my proudest professional moments. It was another sweep, another champagne shower in another clubhouse thousands of miles from Boston.

Finally, the Red Sox brought the party home, and the timing could not have been more perfect. Our lovable boys of beard were right here where they should be, in the loving embrace of a city that has come full circle. Everyone loves a comeback, and this one represented much more than winning a trophy.

On April 20th 2013, David Ortiz took the microphone before a game and declared, "this is our f-king city, nobody is going to dictate our freedom." It was 5 days after the Marathon bombings. Our region was emotionally shattered. There were hundreds of victims in hospitals. There would be four funerals, and a river of tears.

Then came the stories of the heroes. The first responders. The people that did not flee, but stayed with the victims, using their belts and neck ties to stop the bleeding. The people that carried the injured to ambulances and medical personnel. There were more heroes at our area hospitals, treating the wounded, saving so many lives.

As the victims healed, the Red Sox played, and won a lot of games. The (617) Boston Strong jersey hung in their dugout. There was never a day or a moment the dead and the injured were not remembered.

Spring turned to summer and the healing continued. The bombing victims appeared at Fenway in wheelchairs or wearing prothesis. They threw out first pitches, they sang anthems, and they rejoiced with a team determined to give them something to smile about.

By July 25, 100 days after the bombing, the last Boston Marathon victim was released from the hospital. The Red Sox were half way through the season with all the makings of of a playoff team. Only 12 months earlier they had been a laughing stock, finishing the 2012 season with 69 wins. The manager was fired, the fans were disgusted, and spring training came and went without much hope.

What happened next few could have predicted.

This band of brothers grew beards, played hard, and won back the hearts their fans. They became a lovable bunch in total contrast to so many teams before them. Koji Uehara came out of nowhere as the unstoppable stopper. Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and David Ross were wonderful surprises. Kudos to GM Ben Cherrington for finding the talent and right mix. Jon Lester was a "horse." John Lackey re-invented himself. Dustin Pedroia led the league in attitude. It's amazing a heart that big can fit under a uniform so small.

And Big Papi. Like his name- he's the big Daddy. David Ortiz did it with his bat, and with his leadership. His impromtu dug out pep talk in the middle of Game 4 was the signature moment of the Series.

6 months ago, it was David Ortiz who set the stage when he dared the world to ever mess with Boston again. Nobody was going to stop the Red Sox this year.

From worst to first,the Red Sox rose from the ashes, and so has the city of Boston. There are too many heroes to count.

Visit: www.shesgamesports.com
Follow me on Twitter @alicecooksports

Papi -coming up big

Posted by She's Game Sports October 30, 2013 04:04 PM

David-Ortiz-G-620x362.jpeg

By Justin McGrail, She's Game Sports


The Boston Red Sox are on the cusp of winning their third World Series in the last 10 years. They currently have a 3-2 series lead against the St. Louis Cardinals. This is the fourth meeting between these two teams, with St. Louis winning the first two matchups in 1946 & 1967 and Boston winning in 2004.

All five games of this series have been exciting and each has added something unique to the record books.

-Two hitters, David Ortiz of the Red Sox and Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, passed Babe Ruth in career post season home runs. Beltran sits at 9th all time with 16 homers. Ortiz hit two bombs so far this World Series and now sits tied with Jim Thome with 17 postseason jacks, good enough for 7th all time.

-Ortiz currently has a .733 batting average this World Series. That's the second highest single-series average in history. He also has the highest OPS (On Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage) in World Series history (1.370). That's better than Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson. OPS adds hits (H), walks (BB), and hit by pitches (HBP) and divides that total by the total of at bats (AB), (BB), sacrifice flies (SF) and HBP. The equations look like this: H+BB+HBP/AB+BB+SF+HBP. Anything over 1.000 is really, really good. Ortiz also has 11 hits this World Series. That's only two shy of the single-series record.

-Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday became the second player in the last eight seasons with six home runs longer that 420 with his solo shot off Jon Lester in game five. The other is former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez.

-Game three ended in an obstruction call, which awarded the Cardinals the game-winning run. Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks got his legs entangled with Allen Craig of St. Louis after an overthrow from catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Craig was thrown out at home but umpires decided that Middlebrooks obstructed Craig and awarded him home plate. That was the first time in World Series history a game has ended with an obstruction call.

-Game four ended with Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara picking off Cardinals rookie Kolten Wong. Wong entered the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the ninth with St. Louis down 4-2. It was the first World Series game to end on a pickoff.

-Red Sox starter Jon Lester joined Babe Ruth as the only two pitchers in Red Sox history with three World Series wins. Lester also became the fifth pitcher in MLB history to allow one run or fewer in at least his first three World Series starts, and the first since World War II ended in 1945. Additionally, his 16 and 1/3 scoreless innings streak was the third longest such streak in World Series history. Lester has a 0.43 ERA in 21 innings pitched, which is second all time in World Series history. Lester is the only active pitcher in the top 10 for career World Series ERA.

-Closer Koji Uehara is continuing his remarkable regular season with an equally amazing postseason. He's logged seven saves this posteason, tying him with four other closers. Of those seven saves, four of them were four or more outs. Only three other pitchers, Goose Gossage, Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Papelbon have recorded the same number of four out saves as Uehara. He could potentially surpass Rivera's record for most strikeouts without giving up a walk. Rivera has the record with 14 and Uehara is sitting at 15 with the World Series still going on.

The 2013 World Series has been one for the ages. Each game has provided something unique for the history books and Boston hopes to add another entry to the record books with its first World Series clinching win at Fenway Park since Reversing the Curse.


www.shesgamesports.com
twitter: @alicecooksports

Koji Uehara-from security guard to stopper

Posted by She's Game Sports October 7, 2013 03:15 PM

By Justin McGrail and Alice Cook, She's Game Sports

The Red Sox are baseball's comeback story of the year, and perhaps no player symbolizes the turn around better than Koji Uehara. The 38 year old relief pitcher wasn't the first option at closer heading into this season. He wasn't the second option either. The Sox acquired Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates and they also had Andrew Bailey healthy after missing last season due to injury. Hanrahan and Bailey both went down with different season-ending injuries and along came Koji.

Uehara has been stellar in his new role as the Red Sox closer, but his career path to the big leagues is more unorthodox than most. Most Japanese pitchers gain attention from scouts through Koshien, the national high school baseball tournament which is comparable to March Madness here in the states. Former Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka made his name in Koshien before playing professionally in Japan and the United States. Uehara didn't participate in Koshien. He wasn't even a pitcher in high school. He was an outfielder.

Japan's university testing for incoming students is very demanding. Uehara didn't pass his initial entrance exam so he spent the entire year studying. He didn't even play baseball at the time. To pay the bills, he took a job as a security guard. Baseball was the furthest thing from his mind. "I wasn't even playing at that point," he said. "My dream was to teach."

In that year off, Uehara read Nolan Ryan's "Pitching Bible". From it, he learned new weight training techniques that helped him bulk up, which in turn led to an uptick in his pitching velocity. He entered Osaka University of Health and Sports Sciences and picked up baseball again.

"My college was not really a baseball school," Uehara said, "so the manager told us just choose whatever position you want to play. The last year in high school, I pitched five innings and I thought it was fun. I thought pitching would be fun."

He began attracting scouts from the U.S. and Japan in his junior year and he eventually signed with the Japanese powerhouse Yomiuri Giants. In 1999, his rookie year, he won 20 games and won the Sawamura Award as Japan's best pro pitcher, the equivalent of the Cy Young Award. He won his second Sawamura Award in 2002 and was named an All-Star eight times in his 10 years playing in Japan.

Uehara signed with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009 and made it clear that he only wanted to be a starter. He had mediocre numbers as a starter and made two trips to the disabled list. He was moved to the bullpen in 2010 and converted 13 of 15 saves for a 96-loss team.

He was acquired by the Texas Rangers during the 2011 season to bolster their bullpen during their playoff run. Uehara gave up a home run in three consecutive playoff appearances, becoming the only pitcher in MLB history to do so, and was subsequently left off the Rangers' World Series roster. His brought his numbers down in 2012, posting a 1.75 ERA in just 27 appearances due to a strained lat muscle.

He was signed as a free-agent by the Red Sox this past offseason and has been worth every penny.

"What he's doing is phenomenal," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He's having a historic year."

The outfielder, turned pitcher, turned security guard, turned bullpen ace is also getting his wish to be a teacher. His lesson is a good one.

"Never give up."


Follow Alice on Twitter @alicecooksports
www.shesgamesports.com

The Tradition continues at the Garden

Posted by She's Game Sports September 19, 2013 10:12 AM
100alicecook.jpg
I am happy to report the ice is back, and on Tuesday it was covered with black flooring to accomodate one of the best annual Garden parties we know. "The Traditon" normally takes place in late June. The date was moved to September this year because the Bruins were still playing hockey when they are normally on vacation.

Fourth of July festivities were a little more than a week away, as we sweated out the Stanley Cup Finals with air conditioners blasting and beaches beckoning.

Nobody knew what Kochi Uehara could do 3 months ago, or much about Danny Amendola. The possibility of the Red Sox being a legitimate contender to win the World Series would have been laughable.

There was plenty to celebrate Tuesday night, and no better place to do it than the floor of the Garden.

Imagine a crowded cocktail party, with ice sculptures. (of course) It's a low lit atmosphere at center ice with nice music and great food. Look up, you see the banners. Look around, and you see thousands of yellow seats. Look to your left, there is Ray Bourque. Look to your right, there is Doug Flutie. In comes Aly Raisman, followed by a gaggle of young girls taking pictures and begging for autographs. Dave Cowens waves hello. Derek Sanderson holds court. Robert Kraft arrives with Vince Wilfork. And none other than Jack Nicklaus is in the house.

I had the pleasure of catching up with some of Boston's best while shooting a new TV show called "Life is Great New England." It certainly felt that way Tuesday night. Here are some my favorite snippets.

Doug Flutie on his legacy:

Doug Flutie on his legacy:

IMG_1275

" As an athlete, it's going to go back to my Boston College days.  The play well be remembered, the pass in Miami. I think more than that for Gerard and I, we were the class that kick started Boston College football. That was our legacy.  As for my personal legacy, maybe it's just as a competitor, a winner, and a guy tho went out there and gave it everything he had- and really enjoyed the game and played it with a lot of emotion."

Ray Bourqe on what makes playing in Boston so great:

Sequence 01 Synced.Still001

"Everything. As a sports fan now and as an ex-player, it's such a passionate place. We're talking about sports, politics, whatever is on the table.  People really expect you to go out there and work hard and give it everything you have, and as a player I love that. I think it makes you better.  They keep you accountable and there's really a great pulse and a passion that goes with that.

Aly Raisman- advice to young gymnasts:

Sequence 01 Synced.Still002

"Never give up .  I think watching us on tv every 4 years, we are all smiling and happy. But you don't see all the tears and the blood and the sacrifices and the hard work. Not every day is the best day ever.  Bad days are what makes you stronger.  As long as you love it, anything is possible."

Derek Sanderson on Bobby Orr:

IMG_1277

"Bobby was one of those friends you could always count on. Bobby is that solid type of person, that  I don't care if he was a truck driver he would still be a good friend.  And that's his make up. He is humble. I think he is the most humble super star I have ever seen.  You would think he would get just a little cocky. he never takes anything for granted."

There aren't many occasions when so many athletes from so many sports meet in one place. Thanks to The New England Sports Museum and all the fine folks at the Garden for another memorable and fun evening.

Life is Great New England!

IMG_1276

Bob Lobel, Doug Flutie, and Alice Cook

 

David Ortiz phone bust-up big hit

Posted by She's Game Sports July 29, 2013 10:56 AM

This is usually the time of year in baseball when something happens to a team that eventually gets referred to as the "turning point."   We won't know for sure until the season is over, but my bet is on Big Papi  and the nutty he pulled in the  Red Sox dugout last Saturday.

It all started when a 3-0 pitch was called a strike.  It was a bad call, anyone could see it was way high. Not even close. Ortiz had already thrown his bat aside and was ready to trot to first, when he was called back by plate umpire Tim Timmons.  The at bat ended with Ortiz striking out.  And then it happened.  As Ortiz cussed and ranted on his way back to the dugout, the cameras hung on to his every move. The big guy was not going go down quietly.  No way.

We've  seen David Ortiz do some damage with his bat this season, but the wild swings he took out on a dugout phone will go down as the most destructive.  Let's just skip over the fact that Papi's wild tantrum could have killed  his freshly minted 100 million dollar teammate. Dustin Pedroia  sat within inches of  the ferocious bat of his teammate.

Typical Pedey, he never flinched. OK. He ducked for cover.

If you missed it, here is the replay.

Remember that scene from "The Shining" with Jack Nicholson?

Jack Torrance: Stop swingin' the bat. Put the bat down, Wendy. Wendy? Give me the bat...

Instead the  psycho mad man played by Nicholson,  we could have had  little Pedey pleading, "Put the bat down Papi.  Papi?  Give me the bat."

Too late, Ortiz destroyed the telephone box for all the world to see.  It was violent,  angry, and  some great theatre.  I loved it- and not once did I think his rage was steroid induced. This is the Papi we have come to know and love.  Remember, this is the same guy who told the world  last April that "this is our f-king city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom!"

Nobody messes with David Ortiz. And we do mean "nobody."

Papi is an emotional guy.  He does not 'speak softly and carry a big stick,'  like Teddy Roosevelt.   Papi let's his bat do the talking, whether he's at the plate or in the dugout.

Ortiz got tossed from the game. No surprise there. He got his best revenge the next day when he went 4 for 4 including a two run homer. (20th this season)

After he hit the home run on Sunday, he playfully pretended he was going to smash the  newly replaced dugout phone box again.  I liked that too.

Let's just forget about anger management, and what kind of example this sets for kids who saw the incident.  Please.  Can everybody just lighten up?

Papi's teammates did, that's for sure.

Like the yucksters they are, Ryan Dempster and Jonny Gomes strung together a couple of vegetable cans with some string, right there in the same dugout.  Then, according to reports, they had this conversation.

Dempster: Can you hear me?
Gomes: Yes
Dempster: Ok, let's go straighten out the bullpen phone now.

Our friends at Verizon would be proud.

NESN's Jenny Dell captured the photo and sent this tweet.

Dempster has a background in stand up comedy, and this bit was really funny. We may see the parody soon on Saturday Night Live.

Much has been made of the Red Sox "intangibles" this season.   The bat, the busted phone box, and the tin cans attached with string taught us something else about the personality of this team.

The Red Sox have a sense of humor.  Let's add that to the intangible list of character, team chemistry and respect for the manager.

In the short term,  the most important thing is that the Red Sox took 2 out of 3 from the Orioles.  Best of all, Ortiz and his teammates got the last laugh.

Bobby Valentine's final ride

Posted by She's Game Sports October 5, 2012 10:00 AM


bv600.jpg

Bobby Valentine has had his final bike ride to Fenway Park. (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

After the final game of the Red Sox's sorry 2012 season, Bobby Valentine was asked what he planned to do next. He said, "My plan now is to wake up and have a long bike ride."

Bobby Valentine is riding out of town the same way he rode in - on his bike.

Every morning during spring training Bobby would cruise in on his bike before the sun came up. The Red Sox equipment staff had to take the bike apart and put it back together in each city the team visited. Valentine lives less than a mile from Fenway Park, and he rode his bike to work every day. He stayed so late after a game one night that he got locked into the ballpark and couldn't get out. It was just Bobby and his bike trapped like rats.

We would be hard-pressed to every find another personality like Bobby V, and his unusual mode of transportation is just one of many things that makes the man completely unique. Love him or hate him, Valentine is anything but boring.

Here was a baseball manager that performed as a ballroom dancer at the 1964 World's Fair at age 14. He can salsa, he can cha cha, and he can do the sock hop. He claims to have invented the wrap sandwich. Unfortunately, Valentine is also really good at putting his foot in his mouth.

As Boston bids farewell to Bobby Valentine, let's take one more look at the 'best of Bobby.'

April 15

Valentine says he doesn't think Kevin Youkilis is "as physically or emotionally into the game." Youk was dumbfounded, and his team mate Dustin Pedroia famously said, "That's not how we do things around here" in response to Valentine publicly calling out Youk. Valentine apologized for the comment and reiterated his regret on the final day day of the season.

April 21

After the Red Sox blew a 9-0 lead and lost to the Yankees 15-9, Valentine said, "I think we've hit bottom, if this isn't the bottom, we'll find some new ends of the earth, I guess."

Be careful what you wish for- the Red Sox were not even close to the abyss.

July 30

After Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney punched a door and broke his pinkie finger, Valentine says, "boys will be boys." Instead of leaving it there, Bobby added that the door had other dents from a number of players who smashed their fist into it. "He must have went at it in the wrong direction," Valentine said of Sweeney.

August 1

It is revealed that earlier in the season, Valentine chided Will Middlebrooks after the rookie misplayed a couple of balls. Valentine's "nice inning, kid" remark went back to the owners and Valentine was left to explain to his bosses that he offered Middlebrooks words of support after the game. It was never revealed what player, coach or employee threw the manager under the bus in that situation.

September 5

A few days earlier, Valentine was late to the ballpark in Oakland after a 20-2 loss the night before. Valentine got stuck in Bay Area traffic after going to pick his son up in traffic. WEEI talk show host Glenn Ordway asked Bobby if he had checked out for the season, and Valentine (jokingly) said he would like to punch Ordway in the face.

September 12

Fresh off a suspension for slamming the door of the manager's office, pitcher Alfredo Aceves did not hand the ball to Valentine during a pitching change. Aceves took the "long way" back to the dugout in a sign of defiance to the manager. After the game Valentine said, "who cares if he showed me up? If I have to explain Aceves' actions, I'll wind up going across the river and work for Harvard."

September 14

With the Red Sox clearly on their way to their worst record since 1965, Valentine told the media, "This is the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball."

Ouch.

It's been a tough and trying year for anyone associated with the Red Sox. Say this about Bobby Valentine: he is not boring. He said some stupid things, but the burden of this horrible team should not be put squarely on his shoulders. The blame pie is shared with the owners, the front office, the players, the coaches, which reminds me ...

October 3

Valentine is asked if he felt undermined by his coaches. "Yes," he said, "just what I feel."

Several days before the season ended, Valentine crashed his bike in Central Park while trying to read a text sent by Dustin Pedroia.

Fitting that his first ever bike accident would put a cap on this train wreck of a season.

Bobby Valentine's final ride

Posted by She's Game Sports October 5, 2012 10:00 AM


bv600.jpg

Bobby Valentine has had his final bike ride to Fenway Park. (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

After the final game of the Red Sox's sorry 2012 season, Bobby Valentine was asked what he planned to do next. He said, "My plan now is to wake up and have a long bike ride."

Bobby Valentine is riding out of town the same way he rode in - on his bike.

Every morning during spring training Bobby would cruise in on his bike before the sun came up. The Red Sox equipment staff had to take the bike apart and put it back together in each city the team visited. Valentine lives less than a mile from Fenway Park, and he rode his bike to work every day. He stayed so late after a game one night that he got locked into the ballpark and couldn't get out. It was just Bobby and his bike trapped like rats.

We would be hard-pressed to every find another personality like Bobby V, and his unusual mode of transportation is just one of many things that makes the man completely unique. Love him or hate him, Valentine is anything but boring.

Here was a baseball manager that performed as a ballroom dancer at the 1964 World's Fair at age 14. He can salsa, he can cha cha, and he can do the sock hop. He claims to have invented the wrap sandwich. Unfortunately, Valentine is also really good at putting his foot in his mouth.

As Boston bids farewell to Bobby Valentine, let's take one more look at the 'best of Bobby.'

April 15

Valentine says he doesn't think Kevin Youkilis is "as physically or emotionally into the game." Youk was dumbfounded, and his team mate Dustin Pedroia famously said, "That's not how we do things around here" in response to Valentine publicly calling out Youk. Valentine apologized for the comment and reiterated his regret on the final day day of the season.

April 21

After the Red Sox blew a 9-0 lead and lost to the Yankees 15-9, Valentine said, "I think we've hit bottom, if this isn't the bottom, we'll find some new ends of the earth, I guess."

Be careful what you wish for- the Red Sox were not even close to the abyss.

July 30

After Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney punched a door and broke his pinkie finger, Valentine says, "boys will be boys." Instead of leaving it there, Bobby added that the door had other dents from a number of players who smashed their fist into it. "He must have went at it in the wrong direction," Valentine said of Sweeney.

August 1

It is revealed that earlier in the season, Valentine chided Will Middlebrooks after the rookie misplayed a couple of balls. Valentine's "nice inning, kid" remark went back to the owners and Valentine was left to explain to his bosses that he offered Middlebrooks words of support after the game. It was never revealed what player, coach or employee threw the manager under the bus in that situation.

September 5

A few days earlier, Valentine was late to the ballpark in Oakland after a 20-2 loss the night before. Valentine got stuck in Bay Area traffic after going to pick his son up in traffic. WEEI talk show host Glenn Ordway asked Bobby if he had checked out for the season, and Valentine (jokingly) said he would like to punch Ordway in the face.

September 12

Fresh off a suspension for slamming the door of the manager's office, pitcher Alfredo Aceves did not hand the ball to Valentine during a pitching change. Aceves took the "long way" back to the dugout in a sign of defiance to the manager. After the game Valentine said, "who cares if he showed me up? If I have to explain Aceves' actions, I'll wind up going across the river and work for Harvard."

September 14

With the Red Sox clearly on their way to their worst record since 1965, Valentine told the media, "This is the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball."

Ouch.

It's been a tough and trying year for anyone associated with the Red Sox. Say this about Bobby Valentine: he is not boring. He said some stupid things, but the burden of this horrible team should not be put squarely on his shoulders. The blame pie is shared with the owners, the front office, the players, the coaches, which reminds me ...

October 3

Valentine is asked if he felt undermined by his coaches. "Yes," he said, "just what I feel."

Several days before the season ended, Valentine crashed his bike in Central Park while trying to read a text sent by Dustin Pedroia.

Fitting that his first ever bike accident would put a cap on this train wreck of a season.

Steroids in baseball: an old issue needs to be revisited

Posted by She's Game Sports August 22, 2012 03:44 PM

steroids575.jpg

Bartolo Colon's suspension for PED usage means more questions for MLB's drug policy. (Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE)

Upon first glance, the two recent suspensions of Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon for failed drug tests indicates baseball is finally doing something about a steroid issue that, for years, ravaged a league without a steroid policy.

Much of the achievements by players and teams in the 1990s and early 2000s will be questioned thanks to a lack of regulation from Major League Baseball and after-the-fact revelations that accused some of the biggest names of that time of using performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball first started doing something about steroid use in 2002, when it created a steroid policy that resulted in treatment – not suspensions – for players testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. The MLB was the only pro sports league without a drug policy at the time.

Then, the league was rocked by the BALCO scandal that revealed widespread usage of steroids among greats such as Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens. As a result of the evidence presented in a book, Game of Shadows, and a federal investigation, commissioner Bud Selig pushed the league to adopt stronger punishments for proven steroid users.

The harsher terms were met by resistance from the MLB Players Association, and the MLB adopted a still-lenient policy of 10-day suspensions for a first offense, 30-day suspensions for second offense, 60-day suspensions for a third offense and a one-year suspension for a fourth offense. But after dozens of players continued to test positive for PEDs, Bud Selig pushed the MLBPA until, in 2005, it adopted the current policy of a 50-game suspension for a first offense, 100-game suspension for a second offense and lifetime ban for a third offense.

Over the last three years, it seems the drug problem in Major League Baseball was starting to resolve itself, as only seven players were suspended through the 2009-2011 seasons for positive PED tests (although former Red Sox Manny Ramirez was suspended twice – once in 2009 and once in 2011).

But things are taking a turn for the worse in 2012. Guillermo Mota was suspended in May for 100 games after a second positive PED test, and in the span of one week, Cabrera and Colon became the fourth and fifth players respectively to be suspended for PED use this season.

Their suspensions were both for excess levels of testosterone and follow close on the heels of a disputed positive test from Ryan Braun, who avoided suspension after saying his test sample was not properly handled. Braun’s appeal was the first successful appeal of a steroid suspension by an MLB player.

But with two testosterone suspensions in one week and increasing positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs from some of the game’s higher profile players, baseball needs to reconsider its punishments for positive tests.

In the aftermath of Cabrera’s suspension, many in the media argued that testosterone testing is not strong enough in baseball, a complaint the MLB addressed by issuing a press release defending its testing methods.

And despite positive tests and suspensions for Ramirez and Mota, both used steroids again. Since Mota’s first positive test in 2006, he has signed six contracts worth a total of $10,025,000. So he missed 150 games in the meantime. How much does that matter when you’re making over $10 million dollars in six years?

Ramirez made out pretty well too. After his positive test in 2009, Ramirez finished out a contract with the Dodgers that paid him $18,695,006 and then signed a $2,020,000 with the Rays for the 2011 season.

Alex Rodriguez, an admitted steroid user who tested positive in 2003 (but was never suspended since suspensions for steroid use did not exist at the time), signed a $200-million contract after acknowledging he used performance-enhancing drugs.

While teams likely cannot get away with refusing to sign players who have tested positive for PED usage, players continue to enjoy high salaries and therefore do not have much reason to be deterred from steroid usage. Sure, Ramirez saw a drastic salary drop from his time with the Dodgers to his contract with the Rays, but he was also known as a problem player and was not producing at a level consistent with a high salary (he hit .298 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs – a career low – in 2010).

Baseball is certainly punishing its players who test positive for steroids – Oakland and San Francisco fans definitely feel that – but is the league really hitting the players where it hurts? With two suspensions in one week, now looks to be the perfect time for the league to re-examine its policies.

About the author

She’s Game Sports is a new media company dedicated to sports-loving women around the world. We are here to entertain, serve, empower and inspire women by delivering the “heart of More »

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street

archives