I was surprised to read that Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana was served an 80-game suspension for using the PED Stanozolol, because I didn't know Major League Baseball had a drug testing program.
I'm used to track and field, where 10,000-meter silver medalist Galen Rupp was tested 19 times in the first six months of 2013, and popular website Letsrun.com regularly calls out juiced athletes in no uncertain terms, i.e. "drug cheat Justin Gatlin" as a part of his name, like a title.
I'm used to Lance Armstrong being dragged back and forth over hot coals by journalists and Boy Scouts alike because he was evil and arrogant and lied and cheated and hurt lots of people.
I'm not used to headlines that read "Santana's loss a huge jolt" (my goodness, what will we do without him?) and "Twins show support for Santana but prepare to move forward," and other unknowable bullshit in which softheaded people natter about how the benching of this overpaid, ethically bankrupt, puppy-kicking, collection plate-nicking bozo is going to make 24 flaccid losers well and truly losers. Rather than being outraged, as they should have been, that this dude just took the entire organization from behind and is now wiping off his dick with some hundred dollar bills, it's being reported as a somehow unavoidable tragedy. Of course he had to take the pharmaceuticals! This plant-level intellect could not read the memo that said, "Drug testing on Wednesday! A light lunch to follow!"
Further cementing the insane idea that Santana's soiling his temple with PEDs was not an incredibly stupid choice but rather an act of god visited on their savior, veteran journalist Patrick Reusse juxtaposed this arrogant, cheating boil's one-half season suspension with Kirby Puckett's career-ending loss of vision. Seriously? A halfwitted know-nothing who 1) chooses to take an illegal substance, 2) doesn't care enough to avoid a clearly delineated easy easy drug test, and 3) denies knowing how this nasty, muscle-building, pitch-enhancing steroid ended up in his body in concentrations that singed the drug tester's eyebrows is mentioned in the same sentence as a Hall of Famer who tragically went blind in one eye after a long, upstanding career? Well, probably Puckett's loss was worse for the Twins because it was, like, forever, so that, like, really sucked. For the Twins.
I blame myself. I don't get out enough. I should read more. I should be inured to the farce of a "drug testing program" that's run by the MLB Players Association and the Commissioner of Baseball.
But I'm not.
Where's the outrage? This guy took $55M and used it to stuff chemicals down his gullet, and what, we support him (because he's very disappointed, that he got caught)? We get hand-wringing—now what are we going to do?
Santana's a cheating bum whose morals would not fill a thimble. Until the Twins, and MLB, acknowledge that, and make a gesture of seriousness toward drug testing, they'll always be losers, regardless of their record.
photo credit: Getty Images