Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A couple interesting decisions by the MLB

The MLB Disciplinary Committee guys have done a couple interesting things this week. They have some things in common two. Both involve pitchers who are on the disabled list, and both involve suspensions. That's kind of where the similarities end, though.

The first is The 50-day suspension of Edinson Volquez for violating MLB's drug-use policy. While overall this isn't all that interesting, and might just speak to the fact that PEDs are still an issue, there are a number of things that do make this interesting. The first is Edinson Volquez's excuse, which was that "he received a prescription in the Dominican Republic as part of his treatment to start a family with his wife", according to the linked article. In some ways it's kind of humorous that he would make this excuse, and of course, it may also be the truth. Either way, I think the MLB needs to monitor things in the Dominican Republic a lot better. If no one has noticed, a lot of the recent guys to be attatched to PEDs (Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, DAvid Ortiz, and now Volquez) have spent considerable time in the Dominican Republic, with Rodriguez and Ortiz both claiming that their positives must have come from something they got in the Dominican. The MLB is heavily involved in the Dominican, and could very easily do something to clean up the drug trade there.
Any way, this is also interesting because the MLB is being nice and letting Volquez serve his suspension while he is already on the DL. By the time the suspension is up, he will just barely be ready to pitch again. Essentially (as that article notes) he is just losing some money. Personally, I think that if you are on the DL those suspensions should not be applied, and the next case in some ways indicates that that's how these things usually work.

The second interesting thing that the MLB has done is the overturning of Cliff Lee's 5-day suspension. During Spring Training Lee was told he would be suspended for 5 games once the season started because he ALMOST hit a guy during a game. First of all, it's a freaking Spring Training game. A few years ago there was a flat out fight during Spring Training, and I'm fairly sure no one was suspended. Second, he didn't even hit him, nor had he even received a warning ealrier in the game. He also was not thrown from the game. In general, the suspension was completely ridiculous. Despite this, when MLB rescinded the suspension, they didn't acknowledge that it was egregious, they simply said that Lee's physical problems at the time (recovering from surgery, and an abdominal strain) were understandable reasons for him to almost hit someone in a game. Basically, the MLB is trying to save face for their ridiculous punishment. What makes this interesting, is that right now Cliff Lee (like Volquez) is also on the DL, but would have had to serve his suspension the moment he came off of it, causing him to miss a start. How is that fair at all? How about some consistency MLB.

What are your thoughts on these issues?

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