To be brutally honest, I’m sick and tired of hearing the acronym ‘PED.’ In case you’ve been on the starship Enterprise for the last 20 years, PED is short for ‘performance-enhancing drugs.’ We’ve seen players from Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds to Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte either admit to, deny or or flat-out lie about their use of PEDs.
I’m over it, but unfortunately we are about to inundated with more discussion of them. According to various reports, Major League Baseball is expected to announce suspensions for former MVP’s Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez as well perhaps 20 other players. This is all in connection to the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida that has been implicated in supplying PEDs to these players.
The main person involved with the clinic is Tony Bosch. He has reportedly been cooperating with MLB and will be the key provider of information for whatever MLB does. Accoring to T.J. Quinn of ESPN, baseball is prepared to suspend both Braun and Rodriguez for 100 games despite it being a first, not second offense.
Quinn is surmising that the suspensions will come right after the All-Star break.
How do these potential suspensions impact baseball down the stretch? Furthermore, how does it impact you if you choose to lay some money on a team to win a division, League pennant or World Series?
The easy answer for Ryan Braun is that it won’t effect anything because he plays in Milwaukee where the Brewers are out of any potential chance at the playoffs. I don’t necessarily buy that though because while his team might be out of it, his presence on the field could still impact teams you might be wagering on.
The National League Central, in which the Brewers play, is hotly contested between the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds right now. If Ryan Braun isn’t on the field over the final 50 games of the 2013 season, then that could impact any of those three teams because they all play the Brewers in the second half of the season.
Therefore, don’t automatically assume that just because Braun is on a losing team his absence won’t impact anything.
In terms of on-field action, Alex Rodriguez has started rehab assignments in the minor leagues and wants to join the Yankees after the break. he is coming off of hip surgery and the Yanks desperately need his bat because the third base position up to know has provided literally nothing from the batter’s box.
Unlike the Brewers, New York is in the hunt for a post-season berth. Their division is highly-competitive with all five teams still in the running for a playoff spot.
Because we’ve already seen the Yankees without A-Rod this year, we have a good idea of how division rivals have fared against them so his absence won’t be as glaring as Braun’s. Regardless, how you choose to wager, whether on the Yankees or another AL East team, is impacted by whether or not A-Rod is suspended.
Two other key names that hav ebeen linked to the Biogenesis clinic are Bartolo Colon of Oakland and Nelson Cruz of Texas.
The 40-year old Colon is 12-3 and is a major reason why the A’s are in a battle for the AL West with Cruz’s Rangers. For his part, Cruz has 22 home runs with 68 RBIs on the season. Should either one of these guys be suspended this would be a significant blow to each team’s chance of winning a division title.
Because of the leads the two teams have over the rest of the division, I predict they’ll still both be there at the end, but their success in the playoffs will be affected.
While I can’t stand the thought of another summer filled with PED talk, we have to acknowledge that it is in fact an issue and one that can seriously alter how we wager on teams.