It’d be a start, Padres outfielder Will Venable said.
“My personal opinion is that the penalties need to get back to the contracts,” he said. “I believe that if you cross over and decide that you are going to use the banned substance, you also should forfeit the support of the players’ association.”
“They are not worthy of the support of the players’ association. I think the combination of that and somehow having to forfeit or void your contract that you’re under is something that needs to be the main focus of the penalties,” he said.
For Mark McGwire, the taint of scandal cost him a chance at the Hall of Fame. For Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the drug cloud landed them in federal court.
Rafael Palmeiro, with more than 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, became an outcast after a positive drug test. Manny Ramirez drew a suspension that ran him out of the majors, Steve Howe was banned seven times. In the 1980s, several players had reputations tarnished during the Pittsburgh cocaine trials, before that a few even went to prison.
Now, former MVP Ryan Braun is serving a 65-game ban and more big penalties are looming.
“There’s a thought that maybe the punishment isn’t steep enough because the guys are still doing stuff,” Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan said. “Is there a punishment that’s too stiff? I don’t know. It should scare anyone from doing it.”
A tough task, Yankees player representative Curtis Granderson said.
“I think as long as the ability to improve and the amount of money and fame and accolades are there, there’ll always be someone trying to do it,” the star outfielder said during a media session at Petco Park in San Diego.
“I mean, if you go back to all of us here standing here, I’m sure one of us at some point in time has cheated off of a test, finagled a resume, entrance exams to a school. And then you see in all the different other sports and stuff, the way people have been doing stuff from these Olympics to these sports to this game.”
Granderson added: “There’s always a way to try to get yourself better, especially when there’s a monetary value involved. Whether that be getting a scholarship, getting a job, getting a career in baseball. I think always someone’s going to be trying to do it.”
Hall of Famer Tony Perez, who works with the Marlins, understands the lure.
“You can make a lot of money. The temptation is hard to refuse,” he said. “I’m not angry at them. They made a mistake. I don’t know if I was in their shoes, I might have done it because of the money.”
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said baseball needed “to make the players aware of what’s acceptable and what’s not, that there are consequences for bad decisions.” And Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said the commissioner’s office “kind of set the precedent with Braun.”
Still, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said, “we’re paying a price for 15 or 20 years ago burying our heads in the sand. It’s not really fair to anybody.”