Yes, I am aware A-Rod has admitted to using steroids…

…no further notification via email, telephone, megaphone, et cetera is necessary.  In my opinion, this whole steroid scandal (not just A-Rod, the whole thing) is far worse for baseball than the baseball strike ever was.  It’s another example of a dishonest "few" (and I use that term lightly) casting a shadow of suspicion on everyone who has played the game in the last decade.

I see only two solutions: (a) lift the ban, in which case players take their chances with the side-effects, but the playing field is leveled in the sense that apples can once again be compared to apples; or (b) enforce strict testing, in which case all players are required to take regular tests that show that they are not using.

If the league decides against course (a), then I would add one final item:  if you are caught cheating, you’re done, period.  Giving "first time" and "second time" penalties seems ridiculous.  People don’t "accidentally" cheat.  If we are disappointed in these players and want to show that we won’t tolerate this kind of behavior, we’ve got to put some teeth into the policies.  This wouldn’t affect A-Rod, since he claims he was using between 2001-2003–before baseball had any rules with respect to steroid use.  But it would send a message going forward.  And if players today were looking for someone to blame for why they have to constantly be tested and why they’re done if they get caught cheating, they need look only as far as the Yankees third baseman.