Monday, June 16, 2014
Proof that fans don't care about PEDs
By David Schoenfield
The latest All-Star voting results were announced on Monday and right now your American League starting lineup would include Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz.
I think we know what those two have in common, but in case you've been circumnavigating the globe the past two years without Internet access, both served 50-game suspensions for PED use.
Ah, that's just Blue Jays and Orioles fans stuffing the internet ballot box, you suggest. OK, if that's the case then how come Adam Jones is only fifth among outfielders or why is Edwin Encarnacion just fourth among DHs? Where is Jose Reyes among shortstops? All those votes for Cabrera and Cruz aren't coming just from Blue Jays and Orioles fans.
Cruz's case is especially interesting because his suspension was the most recent and he's competing in a loaded position: Red Sox icon David Ortiz; the Tigers' Victor Martinez, who leads the AL in OPS and has as many as home runs as strikeouts; A's slugger Brandon Moss; plus Encarnacion.
And yet Cruz has the most votes, more than all but five other AL players.
My conclusion? Fans don't really care all that much about PED usage and PED history. Especially if it's somebody on your team putting up the big numbers.