SEATTLE - Fans around Safeco Field for the Mariners game Monday were eager to hear the news of MLBs suspensions in the latest doping scandal. They learned current Mariner Jesus Montero accepted a 50-game suspension and that former Mariner Alex Rodriguez is fighting his 211-game suspension.
“Baseball's trying to keep the sport on the up and up and I'm all for that,” said Gary Haarsager, a longtime Mariners fan from Ballard.
Mariners fans had different reactions to the A-Rod situation.
“MLB let it go on too long and then they're picking on one individual who's making big bucks,” said Anna Head. “They knew it was going on for decades.”
“Thankfully, he's not with the Mariners and we don't have to deal with that,” said Haarsager, who believes the punishment is beyond the suspension. “I think he's gotten it already because he'll never be in the Hall of Fame.”
But the Mariners do have to deal with Jesus Montero, one of 12 MLB players who accepted 50-game suspensions. Montero is an infielder who’s spent a lot of time in the majors with the Mariners but is currently in the minor leagues. Evidence of his affiliation to the Mariners is plastered on the side of Safeco Field along First Avenue. He’s one of several players whose name and picture are displayed.
Details of what Montero admitted to have not been made public, but he and the others were tied to the Biogenesis clinic in Florida which was accused of peddling performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
The Mariners released a brief statement saying they “are disappointed that Jesus Montero has violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.” And the team wrote “Our organization fully supports the Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game.”
“Obviously, he knows he did something wrong or he wouldn't accept it,” said Mariners fan Ryan Highland.
While A-Rod fights MLB over his 211-game suspension, the longest non-gambling suspension in MLB history, Montero and the 11 other players will start serving their 50 games.