By: Paul DiSclafani
Those were the words spoken by Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson and echoed by many Mets fans.
Jenrry Mejia, the promising 28 year-old closer of the Mets, becomes the first baseball player permanently banned from the sport for continuing to use Performance Enhancing Drugs. Mejia tested positive a third time in the last 10 months, this time for the anabolic steroid Bolderone.
Under baseball’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” policy, he joins Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other players that have disgraced the game by selfishly trying to put themselves above it. They all thought the rules didn’t apply to them. They all thought they would never get caught.
They were all wrong.
“We were deeply disappointed to hear that Jenrry has again violated Major League Baseball’s joint drug prevention and treatment program,” a statement released by the Mets said, “We fully support MLB’s policy towards eliminating performance-enhancing substance from the sport. We will have no further comment”
Although once again Mejia denies the allegations and test results, his agents and the players union declined to comment. He may be stupid, but they are not.
Although many media and fans across the nation may be shocked by what happened, Mets fans didn’t seem too fazed by it. After all, their shock and awe at Mejia’s mental capacity came last August when he tested positive for the second time, just a few weeks after returning from the first suspension.
If you remember, Mejia’s problems started on Opening Day in 2015 when he couldn’t get loose in the late innings. He was later placed on the DL in an eerily similar situation to the 2014 season opener that allowed Mejia to become the Mets primary closer, where he converted 28 saves in 31 chances. In that 2014 opener, Mets closer Bobby Parnell blew the Opening Day save and went on the DL, opening the door for Mejia to become the primary closer. In 2015, Jeurys Familia assumed the closer role vacated by Mejia’s injury and pitched the Mets all the way to the World Series.
But while on the DL in April, Mets fans and management were shocked when Mejia was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol and he didn’t return until July. He appeared in only 7 games after returning from the suspension before the bomb dropped that he had been suspended again, this time testing positive for not only Stanozolol again, but Boldenone also.
At the time, his teammates, fans and the media all were amazed that an athlete that had just returned from a PED suspension would jeopardize his career and let down his teammates and be suspended again. This time it would cost Mejia not only 162 more games, but his credibility. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
To try to figure out what would push an athlete to try this again is beyond comprehension. The talk of the town is why he would use these particular PED’s? Of course, he might have had a better chance of NOT getting caught if he used HGH or some other synthetic steroid that dissipates quicker in the body and is harder to detect, but Mejia went old school.
TJ Quinn from ESPN said that these two steroids are “unsophisticated, easily detectable, career suicide. Taking Boldenone/Stanozolol is like trying to shoplift an elephant. Someone’s gonna notice.”
But is that the point? Are we upset with Mejia because he didn’t do a better job at not getting caught? Didn’t anyone notice that Mejia was getting lit up in Winter Ball in his first couple of starts (16.2 innings, 10 ER) and then he somehow seemed to magically get it together in four of his last 5 starts (21 innings, 5 ER)?
Maybe his entire career was built on using steroids and he just couldn’t really compete without them. Maybe that makes this a sad, sad story with no happy ending.
Alderson said, in a statement, what every Mets fan was thinking.
“I think, not surprisingly, there’s a tremendous amount of disappointment, I think to some extent, anger, to some extent, amazement that this could happen so soon after a previous suspension was completed. This is the consequence of making bad choices.”
And that is exactly what this was, a choice. A bad choice. A very bad choice.
There is no addiction to using steroids, like drugs or alcohol. There is only an addiction to fame and fortune. For Jenrry Mejia, that addiction cost him a career.