The NBA Playoffs had 4 games last night. Kobe Bryant put on a thrilling performance outdueling the young hotshot Kevin Durant to lead his Lake Show to a commanding 2 0 lead. Why didn’t the Thunder superstar Durant take the final shot for his team? The Hawks took care of business and beat the Bucks up inside to also take a commanding 2 0 lead. The Suns put on an offensive exhibition and evened their series with the Blazers at one apiece. Steve Nash, the ageless wonder had 16 assists! And then finally, in probably the only shocking outcome of the night, the Celtics beat the Heat without KG. And they did not just beat them, they massacred them by 30! What the heck happened to the Heat?
But the real big news of the day dealt with the MLB. And it did not have to do with a walk off home run or a 20 inning game, but the juice. Edinson Volquez, the young and very talented Cincinnati Red pitcher tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Edinson is the first player in the League to be suspended on the Major League drug program since Manny Ramirez last May. Volquez is in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery and was not expected to be back until at least July or August. Well now, he is technically suspended 50 games. Interestingly enough, his 50 game suspension will be taken while he is in the rehab process anyways. So he will not have to miss any games that he was actually going to be able to play in.
Now many would say, what kind of punishment is this then? Well I mean the guy is still losing a third of his entire year salary. The guy does make 445,000 a year, which is not much by Major League baseball standards, but still a hefty salary for the typical American. And now he will forfeit a third of that. So even though he still will make more money this year than most Americans, how would you like to lose a third of your yearly salary? Secondly, his name is now forever tarnished. Regardless of the excuses he makes, he will always be known as a guy who used performing enhancing drugs. Another one of the juicers. This is a shame for a guy with so much potential and ability.
For those of you who do not know the history of Mr. Volquez. The Reds received him in the infamous Josh Hamilton trade with the Rangers. Many thought this was a horrible move by the Reds, but then Volquez started putting up big numbers. In 2008, he went 17 and 6 with an ERA of 3.21, making the All Star team. Since, he has been riddled by injuries and the Reds were hopeful of a big time return in the middle of this season.
Now Edinson is not denying using the illegal supplement in this instance. Which is always a good start. Honesty is a virtue. But he is claiming that he was using it for fertility reasons so him and his wife could start a family. This is where he went wrong. Everyone in America knows that he had Tommy John surgery last year. Everyone in America knows that performance enhancing drugs generally speed up recovery time decreasing time that players have to spend out of the lineup. I have never heard of someone using steroids for fertility reasons. I am not sure if his agent or publicist told him to say this, but it comes off really bad. Because now he is coming off as a liar. Nobody ever wants to be known as a liar.
We live in a time where many players have juiced and broken the MLB rules. Those who have been honest are the ones that have been most easily forgiven. Edinson needs to just admit that he was using the juice to speed up his rehab process and let America move on. As much as I want to believe the guy, I need to see some medical evidence of how this was supposed to help him and his wife in starting a family.
So a few questions for you guys. Am I wrong and is Edinson actually telling the truth? Can Edinson ever gain the public’s trust again? Will he ever return to All Star status and help the Reds win a divisional crown?
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.