A month into the 2016 season, and suddenly everything is coming up PEDs. Last week, in the wake of the Dee Gordon suspension, I argued with my colleagues Justin Bopp and Michael Bradburn that baseball does not have a PED problem right now, and that concerns about two players (Gordon and Chris Colabello) getting caught was pointless hand wringing. After all, we'd only seen 11 players caught since the start of the 2014 season.
Since then, we've seen Josh Ravin get suspended. We've also had to endure Stephen A. Smith's irresponsible speculation about Jake Arrieta. But, if T.J. Quinn of ESPN's Outside the Lines is to be believed, we could be seeing even more suspensions coming soon.
"Major League baseball is expected to announce in the next few days that another player has tested positive for the steroid Turinabol, a drug that was commonly used by East German athletes in the 1970s. The positive test is one of a handful being processed...meaning it's all but certain that more announcements will follow."
Apparently, the impetus for the increased number of positives is an improvement in the testing process that allows MLB to detect PEDs in the bloodstream more than a week after a player cycles off. Unaware of the test's new sensitivity, fewer players were able to cheat the system.
As of right now, the identities of those players who tested positive are a mystery (#MysteryCheater!), and one that I don't have any interest in speculating about. It's impossible to tell who is using based on performance on the field, and I won't sully clean players by inventing rumors (unlike some idiot TV yellers without a shred of integrity).
This much is clear: A bunch of dominoes are about to fall, and PEDs were apparently a much bigger issue in the league than I thought they were a few days ago. And if this problem is big enough, perhaps Justin Verlander is right, and more needs to be done to root these substances out of the game permanently.