Major League Baseball is trying to get the bad guys.
Good for Major League Baseball.
By the bad guys, I don't mean crooks or murderers or spies, nothing as sinister as that. I'm talking about the drug-cheating liars who are messing up the national pastime. Some are repeat cheaters. Some are the biggest names in baseball.
They are bad guys.
Multiple sources are reporting MLB has a deal in place for a big drug bust, the grand slam of all drug busts. It's about an apparently marginal character named Tony Bosch who ran a Miami facility that supposedly fought against the ravages of aging, but on the side or up the middle apparently dispensed all kinds of illegal substances, substances banned in baseball.
Have you seen photos or watched interviews of Bosch? Sleaze City. He looks like a guy who slithers around Times Square and hides phony Rolex watches inside his trench coat and sells them to tourists from Des Moines.
I'm guessing he's a bad guy, too.
It seems MLB has him by the — name a body part — and he's about to sing like a canary and blow the cover of at least 20 cheaters. Since 2005, MLB has suspended 42 players for drug use, no more than 12 in a calendar year. So, this would be a lollapalooza.
And more busts may come later. Some of these alleged baseball phonies could get suspended 100 games, although the players' union will fight any suspensions, as usual, and the whole thing may go to an arbitrator.
Here are some big-name players who may be cheaters and phonies: Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and the A's Bartolo Colon. No Giants have been fingered — yet.
Rodriguez admitted using performance-enhancing drugs 2001-03 before MLB testing and sanctions went into effect. He swore he stopped — cross his heart, hope to die. But if these allegations are true, he lied.
What a surprise.
In 2011, Braun tested off the charts for testosterone but got off on a weasel-like technicality about where and when his urine sample was stored. Then he told a band of reporters no banned substances ever entered the temple of his body. His news conference was a real tear-jerker.
Question: How much credibility does Ryan Braun have with you?
If Cabrera and Colon get banned 100 games, they will have been banned two years in a row — you have to work hard to receive such an honor.
Here is a statement of my bias: If these guys did what I think they did and if MLB can prove it, I want them suspended 100 games or more. Baseball should not tolerate PED cheating. It must penalize even the most famous stars to clean up its game — the game is not clean.
Here is the rationale for my bias: Cheating is wrong.
That may seem naive or even quaint to you. And I may be naive. But I believe in the concept "wrong." And I believe wrong is not right. And I believe drug cheating in baseball is plain wrong.
You may say, "Baseball is just entertainment. So who cares what players put in their bodies?"
I cannot abide that weak, spineless, amoral argument. Baseball is entertainment, but it is not entertainment like a Broadway play or a flick. Baseball keeps batting and pitching stats and daily team standings. Cheating affects all that, affects the game's integrity.