In January 2004, Major League Baseball announced a new drug policy which originally included random, offseason testing and 10-day suspensions for first-time offenders, 30-days for second-time offenders, 60-days for third-time offenders, and one year for fourth-time offenders, all without pay, in an effort to curtail performance-enhancing drug use (PED) in professional baseball. This policy strengthened baseball's pre-existing ban on controlled substances , including steroids, which has been in effect since 1991.  The policy was to be reviewed in 2008, but under pressure from the . Congress , on November 15, 2005, players and owners agreed to tougher penalties; a 50-game suspension for a first offense, a 100-game suspension for a second, and a lifetime ban for a third.
As the recent wave of positives shows, even the increased length of penalties hasn't been enough to deter everybody; for some players, the risk-to-reward ratio still makes sense if a spot in the majors or a chance at a multimillion-dollar contract is on the line (more on that momentarily). In the wake of Gordon's suspension, A's reliever Sean Doolittle was among those who suggested even steeper penalties should be in play, telling the San Francisco Chronicle 's John Shea , “Whatever the punishment, 50 games before and 80 now, isn’t enough for the players to roll the dice for a huge payday because they know if they come out of it, they can sign another multiyear, guaranteed contract. And of course they’re getting paid off the numbers they put up while they were cheating. How do we stop that from happening?”
The Atlanta Braves have raised the bar for mascot reveals. The Braves held Chopfest, their annual fan event, at SunTrust Park on Saturday, and the festivities were highlighted by the debut of the Braves’ new mascot, Blooper. The furry character didn’t just walk down some stairs, wave hello and take off, though. No, the Braves put on some “Back to the Future”-esque stunt, and the results were both bizarre and hilarious. Watch Blooper pop out of the “Character Builder 3000” in the clip below: 👋👋👋 Blooper! Welcome to @Braves Country! Watch the new #Braves mascot debut at #ChopFest . /7AZ3iVFWfA — FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) January 27, 2018 Get hype! OK, maybe Blooper looks a little like the Phillie Phanatic (OK, maybe he looks a lot like the Phillie Phanatic), but he’s definitely better than Homer the Brave, who was as generic of a mascot as you’ll ever see.