(BaseballStL) -- Although most of the suspended players’ names linked to the Biogenesis scandal were known before the punishment came down, the St. Louis Cardinals and manager Mike Matheny can breathe a little easier knowing no curveball was thrown their way.
The names included three All-Stars: Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers and the San Diego Padres’ Everth Cabrera. It also linked Alex Rodriguez, who was handed down the stiffest penalty -- a ban through next season. Nine other players were suspended for 50 games for their relationship with Biogenesis.
But no Cardinals were named, as expected.
“We’re glad that none of our guys’ names were on that list,” Matheny said. “I’ve said it before, we don’t sit around and judge the people for the decisions they make. We try to support our guys, but we also try to encourage them to make good decisions in the short term and for over the long haul and the good of the organization.”
Matheny acknowledged Monday’s suspension news will go down in baseball history, albeit a black eye to the sport, but believes it’s another step in cleaning the sport that has been riddled with performance-enhancing drugs.
“I hope so,” Matheny said. “I think everybody felt like that was going in the right direction before and I think it’s always going to be a challenge because there’s going to be people trying to push it in new directions.
“It’s going to be a cat-and-mouse game, but hopefully guys give up on that realizing the risk is not worth the reward and they find a way to put that behind them as an option. I think it’s going to be hopefully where the game is going to be soon.”
Some would argue that today’s drug policy isn’t harsh enough on repeat offenders. For example, players who use PEDs have still been signed to multi-year contracts worth a lot of money.
The consensus in baseball appears to have shifted from turning the other way to tackling the problem with a more stiff approach.
“I think it takes big decisions, tough decisions in order to make big changes,” Matheny said.