2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun has become the latest PED punching bag. He will be suspended without pay for the remainder of the season.
As you may recall, Braun failed a drug test during the 2011/2012 offseason only to have the urine sample mishandled during storage—making it inadmissible.
Braun’s punishment equates to a 65 game suspension—likely less than originally sought by Bud Selig. In all likelihood, Braun’s willingness to (finally) admit his involvement with PEDs enabled him to minimize the length of his suspension.
Alex Rodriguez is likely next, and since he refused to speak with the powers that be, the-oft injured and chronically overpaid Yankees’ third baseman may be facing a 100 game jaunt or perhaps a lifetime ban…pleasing many (present company included).
The Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz is also a potential for a 50 game jolt, as he was one of 15-20 major-leaguers associated with the Biogenesis sting. Aside from the potential for a plea bargain, first-timers receive a 50 game suspension, second-timers 100 games, and a third time results in a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball.
Current players that are on their second offense include Texas Rangers’ minor leaguer, Manny Ramirez, and Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—although Hamilton’s drug issues were those of abuse rather than PEDs.
The Biogenesis news and potential of Cruz’s suspension certainly puts a damper on the exciting prospect of Matt Garza joining the Rangers’ rotation as early as Tuesday. However, on the bright side, the sooner the better for Cruz’s suspension, as there are currently 63 games left in the season for Texas, and there is a possibility that a suspension would end shortly before the playoffs.