We briefly brought up this topic on our most recent podcast: Should the A’s and Giants as teams be punished further for their PED-suspended players?
Everyone knows the names. Melky Cabrera for San Francisco and Bartolo Colon for Oakland, both major contributors to their respective teams’ success in 2012, were suspended for 50 games apiece by Major League Baseball for testing positive for testosterone.
And under the improved, more stringent suspension rules, they got a fair punishment. Both players will lose a lot of money in that span, don’t get to play in playoff races, and likely will receive a lot less interest as free agents. And even though the teams probably had no idea what was going on, should they be punished too?
Before you jump on me for being “biased” as a Dodgers fan, let me remind you that I’m also an A’s fan. I hate that PED’s are still a part of the game, and am not clamoring for an excuse as to why my Dodgers trail the Giants. The Giants have simply been better, and I’d rather beat them with Melky in the lineup if that was at all possible.
Now, back to the question. I truly believe that players would never screw around with serious PED’s if they knew it would take away wins from the group of guys that become like brothers to them over the course of a 162-game season. Do you think Cabrera would have screwed over his manager and buddies on the Giants for personal gain if he knew the team as a whole would be docked?
Would Colon have cheated if he knew that his rotation-mates and all the passionate fans in Oakland would lose in the win column? I doubt it.
I researched Cabrera’s WAR before the suspension for the 2012 season. It hovers around 4.5, depending on the source. You can reasonably assert that Cabrera was worth 4-5 wins for the Giants before his suspension this season. Colon is a trickier case because he’s a pitcher, but his WAR is listed as 2.8. I feel fine going out on a limb and saying a starting pitcher’s WAR can be doubled, considering they have a hand in every play.
So let’s say Cabrera was worth 5 wins for the Giants this year, and Colon was worth 6 for the A’s.
That would put the A’s in third place in the AL West, way back in the Wild Card race, and scrambling to make a comeback much like their division rival Angels are. It would put the Giants either tied or 1 game back in the NL West, and still on the verge of a Wild Card spot.
Personally, I think it’s worth discussing. Sure, the teams didn’t know what was going on. But they still benefited from the testosterone-fueled success that player may have brought to the team before the suspension kicked in. It may be difficult to figure out a system, but even having that provision in the doping rules would potentially reduce use by a good margin.
Do you think this is something MLB should take into consideration? Should a suspended player’s team also be punished for the wins they accumulated with that player on the roster? VOTE below, and let us know your opinion in the comments!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)