Baseball is known, and has been for a very long time, to be America’s pastime. It’s the sport of our country: a hot dog, cold beer, and peanuts on a Sunday afternoon at the park. It symbolizes freedom, unity, and everything American.
That all changed when greed started to sneak its way in. Players stopped seeing the game as a sport, but as a business opportunity. Now this isn’t the case for everyone; just an observation. Everyone wants to be the best, and some players used unfair means to achieve it.
Performance enhancing drugs (or PEDs) soon became the means by which players took their skills to the next level. When players got caught, they would be suspended from anywhere from a couple days to 100 games. When this Biogenesis scandal came to light, it seemed like it would change the world of baseball forever.
Recently news broke out that some players had obtained PEDs known as human growth hormone from a clinic called the Biogenesis of America. And hence the Biogenesis scandal was born. A former employee from the clinic released records accusing several MLB players of receiving the PEDs from the clinic.
The biggest name in this list was Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, third baseman for the New York Yankees. The only time you will hear Rodriquez mentioned is when the terms “biogenesis” or “suspension” are accompanying it. Rodriquez’s suspension was the largest, as he is a repeat offender of PED use. Rodriguez’s suspension is 211 games and is pending appeal.
But to the Washington DC area, hearing that pitcher Gio Gonzalez’s name was also thrown around in this scandal was heartbreaking. The fans and organization as a whole could only wait for MLB’s investigation results to be announced.
When the report came out, if you looked too quickly you almost missed it. It was hidden in the final paragraph, but it was good news for the Nationals; Gonzalez was cleared. “Major League Baseball’s investigation found no violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez or Baltimore Orioles infielder Danny Valencia.”
Throughout the entire investigation, Gonzalez had maintained his innocence. What is sad about this current state of baseball is that we cannot believe anyone. Ryan Braun, left fielder and third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, has maintained his innocence through several PED accusations, and has been lying every time. Alex Rodriguez was the same way; we can’t believe anything these players are telling us.
If you do not live in the DC metropolitan area, you would not have known about Gonzalez’s side of the story. The news was too busy focusing on the bigger names suspended: A-Rod, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta. Gonzalez was tested by the league days after the story of the scandal broke. When the results came back negative, they were only picked up by the local media.
I believe the league is sending the wrong message to younger players aspiring to play at the big leagues one day. Don’t focus all your attention to the rule-breakers, the cheaters. Stop giving them a spotlight they don’t deserve. Applaud those players like Gio Gonzalez who were not involved in this scandal. They are the role models for baseball players and fans everywhere.
So it’s not surprising when Nats fans didn’t believe Gonzalez. This is just the era of baseball we are in. We can only hope one day that baseball will become PED free, and we can go back to enjoying the sport the way it is supposed to be.