Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes told reporters in Houston on Monday that he was very much behind the penalties that Major League Baseball had levied on the players implicated in the Biogeneseis scandal. Indeed, Gomes said, he would support harsher penalties for first-time users than the current 50-game standard, and he expressed displeasure with the fact that Alex Rodriguez would be able to play while appealing his suspension that runs through the 2014 season.
“It doesn’t make much sense that he’s still playing,” Gomes told reporters of Rodriguez. “I don’t really care what the penalties are. If it’s first time caught, lifetime ban, it doesn’t affect me. I’m not doing steroids. I’m not trying to keep the penalties down because I’m thinking about doing it. … I don’t really care what the penalties are. I do think it should be steeper, but like I said the steeper the penalties go it still doesn’t affect me. I’m going to play this game out how I started, and that’s clean.”
Gomes said that he was uncomfortable with the idea that his Players’ Association dues might be going to pay for Rodriguez’s legal battle to appeal his suspension from MLB.
“We do pay dues that go to our union that pay for our union guys to battle for our insurance and our pension and travel around and make sure we’re doing OK. That’s where our dues go,” said Gomes. “I hope our dues don’t really go to his lawyer fees by any means.”
That concern notwithstanding, Gomes said that Monday represented a significant day in terms of allowing the game to move forward.
“I think it’s a good day in baseball like I said he got caught. I think it should be a good day in baseball to applaud the clean guys in the game,” said Gomes. “I saw some people saying it’s kind of a sad day in baseball. I don’t think it’s a sad day in baseball. For one I don’t think you’re talking about less than 1 percent of major league baseball players. That being said, it kind of shows, it’s just a real selfish act. So wight he suspension coming down, i think it’s a god day in baseball. These guys want to put the drug testing policy in. Two ways to look at it: it shows it’s working, ti shows guys are still willing to take the chance. Maybe the risk and reward of doing steroids and the suspension might have to get picked up if guys are still wiling to take the risk. I think it’s a good day in baseball.”