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Major League Baseball yesterday announced 50-game suspensions for a dozen players related to violations of of the sport's drug policy, specifically as it relates to performance enhancing drugs provided by Florida's Biogenesis clinic.

None of the suspensions are being appealed, and the players will begin serving them immediately. They will keep the players off the field through the end of the regular season, though they could be available if their teams make the postseason.

The players involved are: Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo; San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera; New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli; Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz; Padres pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, (currently playing in Double-A ball); Houston Astros pitcher Sergio Escalona (currently playing in Double-A ball); Yankees outfielder Fernando Martinez, (currently playing in Triple-A ball); Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero (currently playing in Triple-A ball); free agent pitcher Jordan Norberto; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta; New York Mets outfielder Cesar Puello (currently playing in Double-A ball); and Mets infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin (currently playing in Triple-A ball).

At the same time, MLB suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 games for violating league policy on the use of performance enhancing drugs and for conspiring to obstruct the league's investigation. Rodriguez is appealing the suspension, and can play until the appeal is heard, probably during the off-season; if the suspension is upheld, it will cost Rodriguez more than $30 million in salary.
KC's View:
I listened to A-Rod's press conference last night before the Yankees-White Sox game, and the word that immediately came to mind is "weasel." It is noteworthy that he never denies using performance enhancing drugs ... his position seems to be that he is the victim of a conspiracy of MLB and the Yankees to somehow invalidate his inflated salary.

My feeling at this point is that the scenario has to play out, and I suspect that A-Rod will only be more humiliated when the arbitrator rules against him. He seems more disreputable and dishonest every time he opens his mouth.

Furthermore, I hope that MLB is able to negotiate with the players union for even harsher penalties. I'm thinking a minimum four year suspension on the first offense, and a lifetime ban on the second offense.