Major League baseball players make more money in a single season than many of us make in a lifetime. Some get cocky with their big-money contracts and fame and believe they can do almost anything they want without concern of consequences. Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder Sterling Marte might be one of those athletes after being caught using a PED (performance enhancing drug). Major league Baseball has been cracking down on illegal drug use, so they just announced that Marte is being suspended for 80 games, which is nearly half a season.
It is rare for an all-star-level player to get busted for performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. Whether because they have more to lose or — as a cynic might say — because they have, by virtue of their higher salaries, access to better scientists, there are few like Rafael Palmeiro or Alex Rodriguez among the steady stream of names nabbed by baseball’s drug-testing program.
But Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte, who was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for steroid use, qualifies as a high-shock-value name. A two-time Gold Glove winner and a first-time all-star last season, Marte, 28, is in the prime of his career and signed a six-year, $31 million contract extension in March 2014. Had the Pirates followed through with plans this winter to trade Andrew McCutchen — whom they moved out of center field this year in part because Marte is better — Marte might have been considered the face of the franchise this year.
The 80-game suspension has already hit the Pirates hard. With Marte, they swept a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs, but after rolling into St. Louis to play the last place Cardinals, who just lost three straight to the New York Yankees, the Pirates lost all three games. The last two games were without Marte.