I’ve had about enough.

I think I should have reached this point awhile ago.

Major League Baseball has suspended 13 players, for 50 games or more, for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance enhancing drugs.

What will await most of them after they do their penance? More big money, that’s what.

New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez, 38, is reportedly making $28 million this year, despite being sidelined since January with an injured hip. He is fighting his suspension, which would cover 211 games and encompass the rest of the 2014 season if it is upheld.

The rest of the players are not fighting their suspensions and can probably look forward to becoming even more spectacularly rich than they already are when they return.

I am tired of cheating paying off, and paying off handsomely. If this continues I, in a move that will shock my wife and daughters, will quit watching MLB altogether.

Columnist Tim Dahlberg is right. He wrote that in the future a first-time PEDs offender should be banned from baseball for at least a year and that anyone dumb enough to be caught a second time should be barred for life. 

Team owners need to send a message by not offering players returning from a suspension for PEDs usage more money than they earned before they were suspended.   

On the subject of folks being caught, yes, I admit it, Brad Memberto and Elliott Stern. You both were right about Ryan Braun and I was all wrong.

Brad and Elliott snickered and hooted when I said that an arbitrator’s reversal of the Milwaukee Brewers slugger’s suspension in 2011 for using PEDs proved Braun was not guilty because his sample was allegedly mishandled.

So what happened in the aftermath? Major League Baseball fired long-time arbitrator Shyam Das, the man who reversed Braun’s suspension, and Braun was caught with the goods this time. He’s one of the dirty 13 who was suspended in the Biogenesis case.

I don’t believe Braun deserves the 65-game suspension he got. I don’t believe he deserves a 65-game suspension because I believe he deserves a much longer one.

Reportedly, under the deal Braun cut with MLB, he won’t get the $3.2 million owed to him on his contact for this year, but he’s owed $127 million until 2020 anyway.

Atlanta Braves catcher Gerald Laird told Cody Fields of sportsmedia101.com, a Braves website, “I agree with what guys like (former pitcher) Curt Schilling are saying, what does it really do to him?

“He’s not giving up very much of his contract, because he’s making more money next year and the following years. So he’s kind of making the least amount (in salary) on his deal this year; his team is not going to the postseason, so there’s nothing to lose there.”

Laird told Fields, “I mean, what are you really teaching the guy? And he knowingly came out and said he didn’t do anything. I don’t think he should be banned from baseball, but make it hurt. Make him sit out next year for 50 games or 100 games.”

At a press conference after the suspensions were announced Monday, a defiant A-Rod acted as though he somehow was a victim and said that he hoped that now the many great stories in MLB that were happening would be written about.

Thousands, upon thousands, of words about MLB stories other than PEDs have been written and broadcast by media this year. The Biogenesis story happens to be hot, so it is being written about and broadcast right now.

While it is true that if the 211-game suspension sticks, A-Rod will be hit with baseball’s most sweeping penalty since the 1919 Black Sox scandal, the ramifications for the men involved in the two cases will wind up worlds apart if the suspension holds.

The eight Black Sox players implicated for allegedly trying to throw the 1919 World Series in which the heavily favored Chicago White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds don’t exactly emerge as victims. However, because of the reserve clause that tied a player to one team, they were poorly paid in an era when gamblers, according to some accounts, had baseball by the throat.

After the Series, one of the players, Eddie Cicotte, told a grand jury, “Now I’ve lost everything, job, reputation, everything. My friends all bet on the Sox. I knew, but I couldn’t tell them.”

It has been written that it was well known that Cicotte had money problems, having bought a farm in Michigan with high mortgage payments, when he was approached about throwing the Series.

Another of the players implicated, Oscar Felsch, told the Chicago American, “Well now the beans are spilled and I think I’m through with baseball. I got $5,000, and I think I would have got about as much if I had been on the level and the Sox had won the Series. And now I’m out of baseball — the only profession I have ever known — and a lot of gamblers have gotten rich. The joke seems to be on us.”

A-Rod is due to make $25 million in 2014 and $21 million in 2015. If the 211-game penalty is upheld, his lost pay reportedly could range from $30.6 million to $32.7 million, depending on when exactly the suspension is served.

Thus, he MIGHT net a mere $13.3 million over those two years.

I will be interested to see how the Players Union reacts to much tougher suspensions, if such suspensions ever come about.

If the union is more interested in helping its current players save their multi-millions than in saving its sport, I certainly have no intention of helping the union save its sport. 

Sports writer Kenny Cress can be reached at 739-2237 or by email to kcress@santamariatimes.com.

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