When MLB cheating makes sense

Shortly after the announcement from Major League Baseball that Indians projected center fielder Abraham Almonte was suspended for the first 80 games of the 2016 season after testing positive for steroids, a friend and I were discussing the suspension.

While we weren't about to christen Almonte as the second coming of Grady Sizemore, Abe did play an above-average center field, and showed enough pop in his bat last year to be a competent hitter in the Tribe lineup, at least until Michael Brantley had recovered from surgery. The news that Almonte was popped for using Boldenone, a horse steroid, had us tempering our optimism for the upcoming season before it even began.

People often wonder why athletes risk getting busted for steroid use when the penalty is so great. The story of Almonte is an excellent example of why players roll the dice in spite of the penalties. Keep in mind that even though Almonte reportedly "accepted full responsibility" for having the steroid in his system, Honest Abe also maintained he didn't know how it got there. Makes me think that anyone with the ability to say something like that with a straight face has a bright future in politics when his playing days are over. Then again, maybe that was the steroids talking and Almonte was just, ahem, "horsing" around. (Sorry, I couldn't resist).

But, back to why someone like Almonte might take the risk of using steroids. Just for a moment, pretend that you're a minor league baseball player who is at the Triple-A level, but having a hard time taking the next step to the "bigs." The minor league salary isn't bad, but it's a pittance in comparison to what you could get in the Majors. If only there was something you could do to get you to that big contract. What to do, what to do ... Suddenly that little light bulb goes on over your head, and you start thinking, Hey, if it worked for Thunderbolt, maybe it will work for me...

Now, I don't know what Almonte's thought process was; I don't know the man and have never spoken with him. But I do suspect that for anyone, that promise of one big contract – one big contract which could change your life forever – has to be mighty attractive, hasn't it?

Which now has me thinking ...

I don't know if Boldenone would make me a better writer. Is it worth the risk? Probably not.

But merely the thought of increasing my readership into double digits IS rather tempting.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 03.15.2016