Braun suspension: Mariners feel ‘cheated’

SEATTLE — The expansive spiral of deceit that has chased Major League Baseball for more than a decade received a new chapter Monday.

Major League Baseball suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, without pay for the remainder of this season for violation of the league’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The news filled every flat screen in the Seattle Mariners’ clubhouse at Safeco Field. It also was being watched in the Cleveland Indians’ clubhouse.

Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders, who pitched against Braun while with the Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks, was irritated by Monday’s news on multiple levels.

“I think we all feel a little bit cheated,” Saunders said. “What we don’t get is why good players like the (Alex) Rodriguezes and Brauns have to try to be even better than what they are. They’re already the elite of major league players without using that stuff. When they use that stuff, then it just makes them even better. I don’t know why they even do it.”

MLB has increased suspensions for players who fail drug tests as it continues to search for a forceful deterrent. In Braun’s case, the suspension is for 65 games, but for someone who has been hurt this season and whose team is out of contention, that punishment appears light to Saunders.

“I talked to a lot of the guys, and we think the penalties aren’t harsh enough, really,” Saunders said. “They should step up the penalties even more. That will really set the telltale sign that if you cheat and do get caught, you’re going to lose a lot of money.

“Braun’s deal that he made or whatever, it’s going to last 65 games. To me, it’s not enough. Next year he’s making even more money. I think it should have been a year’s suspension, at least.”

When players cheat, they’re not only cheating the game, but also other big leaguers, according to Saunders.

“From a player’s standpoint, from a guy who does it the right way — and I can’t speak for other players, but I can imagine how they feel — they’re taking money out of other players’ pockets, really, from what they’re doing,” Saunders said. “It’s hurting the game. It’s hurting the fan base. It’s also hurting other players. It’s just not right, and the penalties should be stiffer.”

Wedge goes to hospital

Mariners manager Eric Wedge had “dizzy spells” during batting practice and was taken to a hospital for observation.

Wedge had to be helped off the field by several players. The Mariners’ medical staff assessed him, and according to general manager Jack Zduriencik, Wedge felt much better by the end of the exam.

Zduriencik stressed that Wedge’s hospital trip was precautionary and said he expected him to be back today.

Bench coach Robby Thompson managed the team Monday.

Miller honored

Seattle shortstop Brad Miller was named the American League Player of the Week after a blistering post-All-Star Game start.

Miller is the first Mariners rookie to receive the accolade since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989 — the year Miller was born.

In three games against the Houston Astros, Miller hit .385 with four runs scored, two home runs, seven RBI and a 1.346 OPS (on-base plus slugging).

Morse update

Michael Morse went through running drills Monday afternoon at Safeco Field and looked so good he was sent to Tacoma. He was in the Rainiers’ lineup as the designated hitter Monday night. He is expected to play five innings in the field Tuesday.

Wedge said he didn’t have a specific timetable for Morse’s return.

More in Sports

No. 15 WSU looking to bounce back against Colorado

The Cougars are ‘determined to improve’ after suffering their first loss to the season against Cal.

Everett High team shakes things up, discovers ways to win

The coach’s challenge and the players’ response has the Seagulls on the verge of the playoffs.

Seahawks’ Clark reflects on teammate Avril’s injury

The young defensive end and protege of the veteran sees how suddenly careers can change.

Stanwood wrestler Phillips commits to North Carolina

The senior verbally commits to join the Tar Heels after receiving interest from other major programs.

Silvertips struggling to turn shots into goals

Everett is creating more scoring chances than its opponents but needs to convert chances into goals.

POLL RESULTS: Huskies suffered the more disappointing loss

By nearly a two-to-one ratio, poll voters regarded last weekend’s UW loss as worse than WSU’s.

Thursday’s prep stars of the night

Elizabeth Perenchio, Edmonds-Woodway volleyball Perenchio, a junior setter, dished out 44 assists… Continue reading

BLOG: Some WHL tidbits from a day between games

The Everett Silvertips skated Thursday following a Wednesday loss and in anticipation… Continue reading

Thursday’s prep sports results, recaps and links

Here are Thursday’s prep sports results, links and recaps: CROSS COUNTRY Cascade… Continue reading

Most Read