When Breaking News Doesn't Shock Anyone: Carlos Ruiz Added to the PED List

11/27/12 in MLB   |   This_is_Rick   |   265 respect

Did yet another MLB player getting suspended for PEDs surprise anyone?
It's ok. I doubt there was anyone in the "shock-and-awe" category when the story broke that Phillies' All-Star catcher, Carlos Ruiz, tested positive for a banned substance, landing him with a 25-game suspension. 
Sep 25, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) celebrates hitting a three run home run with third base coach Juan Samuel during the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The idea of PEDs reporting in the MLB, currently, is more of wasted ink on the paper or cluttered words on the computer screen. It leaves only a one scenario: Now that we know there were, are and will be cheaters in baseball, is there really a need for any lesson-learned statements when someone is caught?
Most likely, the answer is no.
At best, it probably gives the players using PEDs a wakeup call to stop, or at least change the timing of their cycle; at worst it leads to another player releasing a well-crafted statement to the public—like Ruiz did through the Major League Baseball Players' Association (reported by FOX Sports): 

I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant...I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.

And the story continues: Same chapter; same word usage.

Did it work? Probably not.

If anything, the PR team that concocted that statement should be punished for plagiarism—after all, it's the same phrasing all the other players that got caught used. 
Perhaps it would be better to come out and shout the truth: Baseball is a difficult game and the 162-game grind, especially as a catcher, wrecks my conditioning. So, I decided to get an advantage...not for the role of a model, but the roll of cash. 

It's nothing new, and nothing the fan-base of the MLB doesn't already realize. 
Regardless, it still leaves the much-debated questioning of what, if anything at all, PEDs do for hitting, pitching, fielding, etc. And the truth is, no person knows at this point. 
In the case of Ruiz, who played his best season in 2012 (.325 16 homers and 68 RBI), it will be another player—like Melky Cabrera—lumped into the category of, "did the supplements taken help him perform out-of-the- ordinary for his skill level?"
Even more so, it will be another player lumped into the category of doing it wrong, at least for now, tarnishing whatever image was created by a stellar season.

Unfortunately, the news doesn't shock anyone; not anymore. 
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11/28/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

I will still stand by this until there is evidence to the contrary.

A catcher trying to fool an umpire into calling a strike is cheating.  A player trying to fool an umpire into thinking a ball he KNOWS he trapped was caught on the fly is cheating.  Yet everyone thinks that's OK.  But take a drug that does nothing more than what a can of Red Bull does and everyone thinks the player is a disgrace. 

It's pathetic.

BTW...  I thought first time suspension was 50 games.  Not 25.  Was I wrong?