Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nats glad to move on from Biogenesis

Photo by USA Today
For Gio Gonzalez' teammates on the Washington Nationals, there was a clear sense of relief to see their comrade have his named cleared on Monday in the Biogenesis scandal of performance enhancing drugs. There have may have been more joy, however, in knowing they likely won't have to talk about it ever again.

Several players that spoke on the issue expressed a sense of exhaustion about the entire subject. They want to see the game played clean and fair, and wish it wasn't so hard to keep it that way.

"I’m so over it. I don’t even care anymore. Literally don’t care," Adam LaRoche said.

"This stuff has been going on for a long time," Ryan Zimmerman said. "Everyone knows how we all feel about it."

The root of their frustration seems to have a lot to do with the fact they want a level playing field. Those that use performance enhancing drugs gain an advantage over those who don't cheat and they feel that's unfair.

"For a guy that doesn’t do anything, for 95 percent of the guys that don’t do anything, it’s a tough game to play every day. It’s not fair for other guys to have an advantage like that," Zimmerman said. 

"My career has gone okay without that or whatever those guys have tried to do. But I think it’s more unfair for the guys who are the last two or three on the roster who play the game the right way. They fight to try and make the big leagues and maybe sometimes the last two or three guys who made it used these kinds of things, those are the guys I really feel bad for. They try to do it the right way."

Tyler Clippard believes most MLB players want the game free of steroids as they throw off the competitive balance.

"From an overall perspective, everyone wants a clean game," he said. "Nobody wants to be pitching to a guy who’s cheating. Nobody wants to be facing a pitcher who’s cheating."

The question now of course is whether the suspensions will actually deter cheaters in the future. Alex Rodriguez was banned for this season and next, Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of this year, and many others - including 2013 All-Stars - were given 50 games. It was the most significant set of bans in the game's history and targeted several of the league's biggest names.

Punishing high profile players, Zimmerman believes, could do the trick.

"Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, those guys are unbelievable talents. They were going to be good baseball players anyways. It’s unfortunate they had to use those things for whatever reason they thought they needed to use those things. To have some closure and to suspend and punish some guys that are that high up in this league shows that nobody’s safe."

Zimmerman was happy with MLB's action this time around, but noted they still have much work to do to keep the game free of PEDs. These players, after all, never failed drug tests. 


"Most of these guys didn’t even fail a drug test so I think that’s an important step, but unfortunately these guys were doing stuff and didn’t fail a drug test. We need to continue to make the test tougher so it’s harder to cheat and do things that not everyone’s able to do."

37 comments:

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

A-Cheat.

SCNatsFan said...

Glad baseball is done with this. Until they discover the next lab, of course.

Joe Seamhead said...

The penalties are not fair to the rest of the players and teams, in my opinion. I really think if baseball wants to put an end to PED cheating then they should not only suspend guilty players, but they should penalize their teams all the way to making teams forfeit wins that they have that guilty players played in. The teams won by cheating when you cut through the crap.They should suffer consequences as a team.

Doc said...

Thanks for RZim's contribution on the topic. Often left to the side of the discussion are players who don't abuse---this game is for them, and them only. Somewhere along the way, with lots of sportswriters doing the enabling, ACheat deluded himself into being entitled.

I like the discussion of FP for manager next year, even if it is not a likely possibility.

FP would bring a lot of energy to the job.

I also agree that he has progressively grown into the analyst's job. I enjoy his banter. Unlike most analysts, he could easily slide into the broadcaster role.

FP was also a former hittting instructor. For me he would sorta be out of the Tommy Lasorda mould. Both Pisans too!

Joe Seamhead said...

Seriously, I see the Giants' championship as fraudulent last year. Melky Cabrera was suspended one month after the all star game, but how many wins did he contribute to while he was juiced?

UNTERP said...

Joe Seamhead said...

The penalties are not fair to the rest of the players and teams, in my opinion. I really think if baseball wants to put an end to PED cheating then they should not only suspend guilty players, but they should penalize their teams all the way to making teams forfeit wins...


I agree with your sentimentality and your rightness, but this isn't the NCAA which isn't a money making entity. It's Major League baseball, which isn't a business either... :)

Joe Seamhead said...

How much extra money did the San Francisco Giants rake in by going to, and winning, the world Series? The clubs have a vested interest in winning at any cost. I like FP Santangelo, but I have don't like the idea of a guy who was a cheat with PEDs being our manager. He denied, too, until the Mitchell report. What makes him any better then A-Rod, Bonds, Roger Clemens, etc?

natsfan1a said...

I like FP as a broadcaster. Not sure about managing. In regard to the subject matter of the post, he was named in the Mitchell Report and did cop to HGH use.

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

Shuttling a guy between the broadcast booth and management? That's an Angelos move. See Flanagan, Mike.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Or Coleman, Jerry. Or Valentine, Bobby. Or Brenley, Bob.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

FP's wackiness is a fun part of his broadcasting schtick, but it's not the most appealing quality in a manager, to me.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Didn't Uncle Lou do some hard time over a microphone?

How could I forget Buck Martinez?

And Terry Francona actually could be said to shuttle back and forth...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

While it might seem most broadcaster-managers were not very good managers, in fairness, *most* managers fail.

MicheleS said...

Glad this is over for Gio. I hope some other players learn a lesson from this. be careful who you associate with, (and don't do PED's)!!!!!!

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

This might be over for Gio (I hope it is), but it is very far from over. As was pointed out, these guys got caught only because somebody else got careless.

Candide said...

I like FP in the broadcast booth, a lot. Knows the game, has a quick wit, and honestly seems to enjoy doing it.

Managing 25 high-paid athletes, with their personalities, quirks, and baggage AND running a 162-game strategy coupled with daily 9-inning tactics, all require a completely different set of skills. FP may have them all - hell, he could be the High-Voltage Electric Messiah With A Little Round Button On Top, for all we know - but doing a great job in the broadcast booth is no evidence that you'd do a great job in the dugout.

Would love to get Joe Girardi and Robinson Cano here, but that isn't going to happen. I'd also love to see what Bo Porter could do with this band of underachievers.

RaleighNat said...

Like Ryan's comments. I've always thought the guys who were really hurt most by cheaters were the clean guys who didn't quite make it. How mad would you be to have come just THIS short only to find out that your roster slot was taken by a guy in his 40's only able to remain productive because of PED's. These cheaters stole someone's life long dream...that's awful.

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD said...


I am a big fan of Gio. I love his enthusiasm and his competitiveness and I am glad he is in the clear but I can't make the leap of faith that I know for certain that he was clean.

The only thing we know for sure is that there wasn't enough evidence to suspend him.

natsfan1a said...

I feel the same way, RaleighNat.

natsfan1a said...

It ain't over 'til it's over.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

This might be over for Gio (I hope it is), but it is very far from over. As was pointed out, these guys got caught only because somebody else got careless.
August 06, 2013 12:31 PM

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Sorry, 1a
tl;dw

natsfan1a said...

???

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

tl;dw

natsfan1a said...

Nevermind, I found it. :-) (Thanks, Google.)

natsfan1a said...

For the record, you didn't really need to watch it all. The opening scene is sufficiently, er, impactful for my point. :-)

sjm308 said...

Swami - late in getting to this but excellent post on the last article!

UNTerp - did you really say the NCAA is NOT a money making interprise? I am honestly hoping that was sarcasm at its finest.

One take I have not heard or read much about is this. Do we really feel like Biogenesis is the only lab out there? It should be alarming to everyone that Lance Armstrong never failed a drug test. I don't believe Barry Bonds ever failed a drug test. I am pretty sure that these 14 men never failed a drug test. There are chemists out there who are able to mask just about anything and there are players who are willing to take those risks. I have no proof but I would be willing to bet that each and every team has a cheater on it. They just haven't been caught yet. What scares me even more is if the pros can do this, what is stopping some avid parent from pushing his child into this garbage.

Off to continue to pack!

Go Nats!!

Eugene in Oregon said...

UNTERP @ 11:35 a.m.,

While I agree that it would be virtually impossible for MLB to penalize teams vs. individuals (unless they could prove that a given team was pushing PEDs on its players), I'd encourage you to rethink your notion that the NCAA isn't profit-making (or, at least, money-making for itself and its members). If you have time, read Joe Nocera's reporting (albeit in the op-ed pages) in the NYT over the past year or so. Here's the partial list:

http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/#/Joe+Nocera+NCAA/since1851/allresults/1/allauthors/newest/

Eugene in Oregon said...

One other thought: I'm really quite put-off by Adam LaRoche's comment that he doesn't care anymore. PEDs threaten the integrity of the game. As a player, he should care about that, just as any professional should care when her/his profession is under fire. I don't care whether you're an accountant who discovers that books are being cooked, a doctor who learns that unnecessary tests are being ordered, a military officer who see waste and fraud in procurement, or a teacher who finds that administrators are fixing standardized tests, you should care if your chosen profession is being assaulted by cheaters.

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

No need to worry about FP Santangelo being the next manager of the Nats. And unless they make a very strong finish to this season, either getting a wild card or being in it til the end, no need to worry about any of the current guys in the dugout, e.g. Knorr, being the next manager either. Rizzo is looking for his Bobby Cox or Tony LaRussa, someone who will be his manager for a long time. It will be someone with MLB experience and/or a big name. If the team had performed up to expectations this year, then he might have gone for Knorr or one of the other coaches, giving them their shot to be a big league manager. But that didn't happen, so he's definitely not going that route. Been there, done that with Manny Acta. Joe Girardi is definitely a possibility, as his Yankee contract is up this year. Likewise Gardenhire. Scoscia or Mattingly would need to be fired from their current jobs first, which is unlikely. Guys who have been outof work for a while, like Bob Brenly, are also unlikely. The dark horse candidate might be Cal Ripken Jr., who Rizzo described as "my buddy" recently.

NatsLady said...

JD, I feel the same. Not enough evidence. I really hope Gio learns from this experience.

UNTERP said...

sjm308 said...

and

Eugene in Oregon said...

it was sarcasm and I had a smile at the end :)

UNTERP said...

I was just agreeing with Joe Seamhead and my sarcasm was saying how ridiculous it all is the NCAA and MLB and PEDS... :)

sjm308 said...

UNTERP - I thought so but thanks for clarifying

UNTERP said...

sjm308 said...

It's ok. I can be bull headed and stupid and I'm not being sarcastic about this either...

I'll give you an example. And I swear I am not being sarcastic and I asked baseball fans in my office and at the Park yesterday. Besides the cheating and PEDS use, etc, I don't know why everyone dislikes ARod. I don't have a feeling about him one way or another. I don't get it...

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

Besides the cheating and PEDS use, etc, I don't know why everyone dislikes ARod.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

UNTERP said...

people disliked him before all of this, Real Feel...

Steady Eddie said...

Eugene @ 1:07 -- Re ALR's comment, it's really impossible to tell exactly what he was referring/reacting to from the one line and the way it was presented in the story.

For all we know from the story itself, he could have been referring only to Gio and his role in Biogenesis, that "[I] literally don't care any more" what the media writes about Gio on that topic, because he's convinced he's clean and only showed up in the records by Bosch's self-promotion and Gio's dad's gabbing on about his kid.

If it was "don't care" about PEDs, I'm a little closer to your point of view but it could be an understandable realism about what MLB is actually going to do proactively -- or more accurately, NOT do -- in its own testing etc. regime to root out PEDs, which is to say, very little. It may be resignation on his part, that he's seen this stuff around for his entire career and MLB gets aggressive about it only in a reactive mode, when something like the New Times story gets dumped in their laps and they can't avoid dealing with that instance. It would be understandable for him to think it's not worth his outrage if MLB is only going to act when they absolutely can't avoid it.

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