Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon will miss the next 80 games of the MLB season after testing positive for two different types of steroids. Yes, that Dee Gordon.
You'd never guess it by looking at the guy, but the 5'11", 171-pound reigning NL batting champ, who could hide behind the foul poll if he turned sideways, was geeked up on both clostebol and synthetic testosterone.
If ever you needed proof that PEDs aren't only the provence of barrel-chested sluggers, this is it. Every baseball player, regardless of size, is driven to be better. And every baseball player would benefit from taking banned substances.
The guys we often think of when we think of steroids in baseball are the giants, guys like Bonds, McGwire and Sosa. There are guys who went from All-Stars to all-timers by sticking needles in their butts. But Gordon's story is different. He looked like a fringe major leaguer just a few seasons ago. He could run, but he couldn't hit, and at around 140 pounds there was always the risk of a strong wind carrying him away.
For Gordon, it appears, steroids were the difference between life as nobody and life as an All-Star, the difference between bouncing around the country in the major and minors signing a $50 million deal, like he did this off-season.
From Gordon's perspective, using made sense if it made that much of a difference for him, especially if he thought he could get away with it. And really, that's the only explanation here. Gordon released a statement that said he unknowingly injected the substances. Don't believe it. For a professional athlete, their body is their livelihood. They know what they're taking.
The real bummer here isn't so much Gordon's downfall—he still gets his money and he'll get a chance to repair his image—it's the shadow this casts over the rest of baseball.
A high profile player getting popped for steroids increases scrutiny on everyone else, especially those who, like Gordon, have made dramatic improvements over the course of a few years. Baseball had moved on from an era when every player who out performed expectations was accused of cheating. Gordon appears to have brought it back.