Stop with the lame excuses.
On Saturday, Major League Baseball announced that Mets closer Jenrry Mejia would be suspended 80 games after testing positive for the steroid Stanozolol. Mejia issued a statement through the player’s union saying, “I know the rules are the rules, and I will accept my punishment, but I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.”
Mejia went on to add, “I have been through a lot in my young career and missed time due to injury. I have worked way too hard to come back and get to where I am, so I would never knowingly put anything in my body that I thought could hold me out further. I am sorry to the Mets organization, my teammates and the fans, as well as my family.”
Upon hearing the news, the Mets issued a statement as well:
“We were disappointed when informed of Jenrry’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support MLB’s policy toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the sport. As per the Joint Drug Program, we will have no further comment on this suspension.”
Not only was Mejia on the DL with elbow tightness, but now the closer is out until July and is not eligible for the postseason, if there is one for the Mets. I am sure that Mejia feels bad that he got caught. But the idea that he never knowingly put a steroid in his system is just plain stupid. There is too much money to be made in professional sports to not realize that some players are going to look for an edge. Mejia is a relief pitcher who is still looking to establish himself as a reliable closer. He knows exactly what he puts in his body day-in and day-out. Simply said, his body and his arm are his career.
He is not the first or the last that will use this defense, of course. Red Sox slugger David Ortiz defended his reputation on The Players Tribune website last month by saying, “I never knowingly took any steroids.” Ortiz tested positive all the way back in 2003 during preliminary drug testing.
I love baseball and I fully understand the popularity of the sport was rebuilt on the backs of steroid users in the late 90s. With that being said, own it if you do it. Don’t rationalize or tell me that you had no idea. Mejia had Stanozolol in his system and it did not just show up on its own. It was not slipped to you. You “knowingly” decided to do it. Own it.
If I choose to not go to the gym and eat like every day is Thanksgiving, then I will be fat. That is my choice and I will own it, for better or worse moving forward.
The suspension will cost Mejia $1.1 million and his reputation is toast. He decided to cut a corner and he got caught. He leaves the Mets with a hole in their bullpen that they now have to find an answer for. That is what I know after Mejia “unknowingly” did what he did.