Monte Poole and I were talking about Bartolo Colon on Comcast the other night. Monte said, for drug penalties to have real meaning, MLB also should penalize the teams. I agreed and I agree. Right now, teammates tacitly condone drug cheaters. If they don’t condone them, they sure don’t condemn them. They see cheaters as aiding their own careers and aiding the team. After the Colon fiasco, Billy Beane and Bob Melvin talked matter of factly about losing him — these things happen, we have to pull together yadda yadda yadda. They might have been talking about some player who got injured, that’s how commonplace drug suspension have become — they are part of the landscape.

But if you take away wins from the team — I don’t know how many — for drug guys who get suspended, the culture on the team changes. Now players would condemn drug cheaters because they hurt the whole team. There would be pressure to play it straight.

If baseball is serious about stopping drug cheaters it will penalize teams.

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  1. Steve

    I see the logic, but don’t like the idea of taking wins away. In addition to much stiffer penalties against the offending player, modify the soccer model when a player gets a red card: that player cannot be replaced on the roster for X number of games. Teams playing short handed for, say, 40 games (1/4 season), would be severely handicapped, so much so that the onus of becoming ostracized among your fellow players might serve to self-police the sport.

    August 24th, 2012 9:28 am

  2. Stan

    Beane..raised as little Billy by Sandy Alderson and with the A’s history of steroids even pretended like he had no idea Bartolo took.
    Lets review..the man who wants to be called the genius of baseball…has NO IDEA of what players are taking,using?
    That’s how the wealthy work it..penalize the workers who are caught but not the employers..even after it becomes obvious the ownerships know who they are hiring and what they are up to.
    Billy Beane is the biggest hypocrite and phony in sports. I cant think of another name in sports who cheats while also claiming his goal is to just be good enough. Amazing.

    August 24th, 2012 9:44 am

  3. Tiburon Dave

    In order for it to be meaningful it can’t be arbitrary.

    Baseball is the most statistically analyzed activity on the planet. Why not simply remove the player’s numbers from the box score and adjust wins and losses accordingly?

    Let’s start with this year’s All Star game…

    August 24th, 2012 9:49 am

  4. Stan

    AND…WOW! Zito is better at 33 then at 27. ITS A MIRACLE!

    August 24th, 2012 9:53 am

  5. Mark M

    I heard you mention this on Comcast the other night….taking wins away from teams. The issue there is that fans are then hurt and that’s suicide for the overall sport. Selig would faint if anyone seriously suggested that to him.

    It has to hurt the individual players in their pocketbook more seriously. Perhaps a 2 year ban? This is tough enough on the fans and the team, but is correctly focused on the individual cheater since their career window is their youth only. Then there’s the players union. It’s going to be tough to address.

    August 24th, 2012 9:54 am

  6. chris

    I dont know if penalizing the teams makes any sense. Because everybody’s at fault……..Bud Selig with his minimal testing policy allowing steroids to exist in the game, and the players association backing the players who want steroids in the game so they can get huge contracts. Baseball is a mess.

    August 24th, 2012 10:37 am

  7. Stan

    Lance,Joe Pa,and Melky and Beane. And people ask why I sound so negative??..oh man. Because, I know people.

    August 24th, 2012 10:51 am

  8. StevenG

    No argument here on penalizing teams, but I could never support penalizing teams in the win column. When a team has their wins taken, it still doesn’t change the fact that they won. Cheated certainly, but won all the same. The problem for me is that there is no quantifiable way of determining how PEDs helped a team win and thus no quantifiable way of determining how many wins to dock a team. It would be arbitrary. I’m not sure what the solution might be. Fine owners/coaching staff?

    August 24th, 2012 10:54 am

  9. Bob In Portland

    If the team doesn’t know that the player is cheating the punishment becomes rather arbitrary. What exactly is a win? Should wins be taken away for, example, that Giant down in Latin America who killed someone? Would it matter if he were on the 40-man roster or just in the system? Would we let murders slide but just punish teams for guys on the 25-man roster for taking drugs.

    Juggling wins for misconduct would, ironically, damage the integrity of the game. You’d have people arguing if three games were enough, five too much. It’s like taking away Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France wins. Can you name who won those races, and do you care?

    If you want to punish the club, it should be because the club knowingly abetted it. And then it could be draft choices and money, not subtracting wins after the fact.

    August 24th, 2012 11:00 am

  10. Brady

    I disagree, simply because then you’ll have teams trying to hide their drug users. My guess is every team in MLB has someone who uses an illegal substance. If you start punishing the teams, not just the players, that just encourages the teams to cover up and hide what’s going on.

    Taking performance enhancers is a very selfish thing. Those who get caught lose millions and millions of dollars. If the threat of losing millions of dollars isn’t keeping them from using, then the threat of a team you no longer play for losing wins sure isn’t going to change them.

    August 24th, 2012 11:26 am

  11. Pablo

    I’m uncomfortable with your suggestion. It appears rather draconian.

    Some teams are not aware when and if a team member begins to use PEDs.

    I don’t have time to go into my concerns, but I wanted you to know I disagree. I get the feeling that your suggestion is harsh, and almost assigning blame to the entire team, which does not seem fair.

    In our society, we discipline/punish the culprit, not those guilty by association.

    I have to get back to work, I can’t elaborate my thoughts right now.

    August 24th, 2012 12:28 pm

  12. Neal

    Interesting concept, I think they need to have something more severe then a 50 game suspension, having a life time ban or at least 1 full season can be very serious consequences. I would not penalize the team ,because when it gets down to it, most of the players are self absorbed narcissistic twits.

    August 24th, 2012 12:49 pm

  13. Dennis

    I don’t want to sound like Stan, but I already said this, so I agree. I also agree that they will not do it until the teams get tired of getting ripped off with big salaries only to find out it was the PED’s they were paying for and the player really isn’t that good after all. How many times has that happened to the Giants?

    August 24th, 2012 1:13 pm

  14. CohnZohn

    Interesting idea, Steve.

    August 24th, 2012 1:24 pm

  15. Jonathan

    One civil remedy for fraud is to strip the profit from one who has been unjustly enriched by his or her fraud. The owner of a team who has a player using PEDs is tacitly turning a blind eye to that player’s use of the PED–just as much as the player’s teammates, manager or GM do. Why do owners tacitly allow a fraudulent product to go onto the field–because it brings about higher revenues in gate receipts, tv contracts and the like. So owners are part of the conspiracy to commit a fraud on the general public, and the profits they make from this fraud should be disgorged. I bet that as soon as owners lose some money as a result of a player on his/her team using a PED, PED users will be removed from the game. A topic for another day is how to distribute the disgorged profits.

    August 24th, 2012 1:30 pm

  16. Lameduck

    I agree, the teams and the agents should feel the pain. All who profit from the drug usage – including teammates who may benefit from better pitches or contracts due to the extra power in the lineup.

    Perhaps, the entire organization should have to attend mandatory daily training sessions on drug usage and have to do some volunteer work in the area. Send everyone to sensitivity and diversity training.
    Perhaps the entire organization / agents too, should have to submit to daily drug testing and searches..Mr Beane here is your cup…

    Maybe the team loses draft picks or waiver order. Banned from the post season i.e. bowl games? That would be weird. Put the team on “probation”.

    This could get interesting…

    August 24th, 2012 3:14 pm

  17. Dr. Feelgood

    I don’t understand the legalities concerning attendant to this issue. As a lay person, here is how I see it.
    What options does a front office have? As I understand it, in SF an employee may be a drug user as long as he or she meets the requirements of the job position. The employer can make a drug screening mandatory for new hires, but subsequent random tests, or tests based on a suspicion, are against our law. This employee protection can be negotiated between MLB and the players union. Isn’t that how Melke was caught.
    Important to note that it is the League office that conducts random tests. The team has no authority to test and would run afoul of the players union for the mere suggestion that a player is a user. It would be considered a discriminatory practice, perhaps slander, land the team in court and cost the team a fortune.
    Also, it’s very hard to accept that the other team members would “embrace” the action. I just can’t see that happening, ever.

    August 24th, 2012 11:10 pm

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