There is a large faction of major leaguers who are displeased with peers who use performance-enhancing drugs, and Jesse Crain is among that faction.
The White Sox All-Star pitcher applauded on Monday the 65-game suspension received by Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun.
Braun dropped his appeal of the suspension handed down by Major League Baseball and will sit out the rest of the 2013 season without pay for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
In a vague statement, Braun, who previously won an appeal for PED use on a technicality in February 2012, said he’s “not perfect” and that he has “made some mistakes.”
When he addressed the media in New York last week, Major League Baseball Players’ Association chief Michael Weiner said he’s heard from many players who are upset they still have to deal with questions about PEDs nearly a decade after the sport’s image was tarnished.
“It’s nice to see guys are getting suspended for it,” Crain said. “It’s easier to have respect for guys who come out and say, ‘Yeah, we did it.’ At least they’re admitting they’ve done it, and they’re not trying to hide anything. I’m happy we’re working towards hopefully getting everything clean because that’s the way it should be and that’s the way the game is meant to be played. We’re in a new era now. We’re not in that era any more.”
Last week, MLB commissioner Bud Selig didn’t offer much detail when he discussed the Biogenesis case. But Selig feels baseball is headed in the right direction because he hasn’t heard from Washington, D.C., in 8 1/ 2 years in regard to drugs.
Selig noted how last season more than 16,000 tests were administered throughout professional baseball, including 4,200 in MLB. Only seven of those tests were positive.
White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy said he’s surprised by the news. Peavy noted he’s close with Braun and hopes for the best for his friend.
“Maybe I’m naïve and have turned a blind eye to it, but it’s amazing to me,” Peavy said. “With the amount of time and effort that Major League Baseball (puts) in. ... It blows my mind how anybody would try to get away with anything at this point in time.”
Earlier this season, up to 20 players were named in a report as possibly facing 50- and 100-game suspensions for their involvement with Biogenesis. Others named in the report include New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, Oakland Athletics All-Star pitcher Bartolo Colon and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
In February 2012, Braun, a five-time All-Star, the 2011 National League MVP and the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, won an appeal and had a 50-game suspension overturned because the collector in his case improperly handled the sample.
At the time, Braun went as far as to say he’d bet “his life” the substance he was accused of testing positive for had never entered his body.
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But Crain believes Braun gave himself a competitive advantage through his PED use.
“Everybody in the big leagues has talent,” Crain said. “The key and the consistency to be able to play for a long period of time is your work ethic and being able to put up with the grind mentally and physically. And when you knowingly use stuff that you know is going to give you an edge and make you better, it’s unfair to the guys who are clean.”