MIAMI -- With growing speculation that Alex Rodriguez could be disciplined by the end of the week, it once again raises awareness of potential performance-enhancing drugs scandals.
Recently, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun accepted his season-ending suspension. Now, the Yankees are preparing for the likelihood of being without A-Rod for an extended period.
"As baseball players, we just want a level playing field," Marlins closer Steve Cishek, the team's union player representative, said. "If there is one good thing that's come out of this, it is the people who took the drugs were caught. They're being punished for it. Now, we all get to move on from it. Hopefully, if anyone else is doing the same thing, they get caught as well."
There is the possibility of a number of players being disciplined as a result of investigations into the Biogenesis scandal.
"Everyone wants to be treated fairly and play this game fairly and have the same advantages as everyone else," Cishek said.
According to Cishek, threats of suspensions should alert all players to be more careful when taking supplements. The right-hander noted players should closely read NSF-certified labels to see if products contain any banned substances.
"Now that all this has happened, it might start increasing the amount of players checking out NSF labels, making sure they are taking the right products, just in case of a mistake," Cishek said. "It's happened to teammates and friends in the past, where they were taking stuff, not thinking it was a big deal, and the next thing they know, they have a 50-game suspension. That was completely by accident. Minor League testing is pretty strict. It's unfortunate something like that will happen."
Seeing high-profile players being punished is an eye-opener for everyone in the game.
"People who were part of this need to be punished. That's just the way it is. That's why the system works," Cishek said. "It's getting old. We thought we got past the steroid era. Now, it's like more people are starting to take drugs that we don't know about yet. We just have to trust the system and hope it all works out."