Hank Aaron believes MLB needs to be more severe when handing out suspensions for banned substances.
By RYAN KARTJEFS Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE — Henry Aaron can see the progress commissioner Bud Selig has made with his comprehensive testing programs to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). But Aaron, at a benefit for his Chasing the Dream Foundation on Wednesday, said that he believes the punishment for such violations in today’s game should be much more severe than it is currently.
"I think in some ways, I think the commissioner has cleaned up the act in some ways," Aaron said. "I’m a little bit disturbed about some of the things that are happening now in baseball. I see a few players, even in the minor leagues, getting involved and some steroids. How are we going to fix this? What’s going to happen?"
Just recently, NL batting leader and Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera and Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon were suspended 50 games for failed tests in relation to PED use.
But in answering a question from a fan about the steroid era, Aaron lobbied for a more intense suspension for steroid offenders.
"I think it’s got to be a little bit more severe as far as penalties are concerned," Aaron said. "I think 50 games is not enough. I’d like to see 100 games really. I think the second time, they need to just ban the player from baseball."
Aaron’s answer sent the crowd into a standing ovation.
With 755 career home runs, Aaron returned to Milwaukee — the birthplace of his illustrious baseball career — for his 9th annual "Evening With Hank Aaron," a benefit to raise money for his Chasing the Dream Foundation.
Aaron even offered his opinion on his former town’s team, as he’s gotten a few chances to watch this year’s Brewers. He said that the team has just had a tough season all-around in Milwaukee.
"It’s just baseball," Aaron said. "They’ve got a lot of young kids, and I think they’re going to do just fine. You just have to give them a chance."