In 2003, Mike Morse took steroids in the minors. Two years later, he was suspended – for 10 days.
That pales in comparison to the suspensions that players face today. Half a season. An entire season. A lifetime ban. The stakes, without question, have gotten much higher.
Is Major League Baseball on the right track with its harsher penalties, or have the punishments actually gotten too punitive?
“I think they’re doing a great job,” Morse said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It’s a great job. There’s some things they need to work on. There’s some things – especially like (the TUEs) – they do need to crack down on some of that stuff.”
TUEs, for those not in the know, are therapeutic use exemptions.
“Sometimes the wrong people can get the prescription from, say, the team doctor and this and that,” Morse said. “Every team only gets a certain amount of these TUEs, which is an exemption to take a certain thing. Well, it never (becomes) public who’s taking what. But say that you really needed a TUE because your head’s all over the place while you’re playing and you don’t even know how many outs there are and you really need it. But say there’s another guy, maybe like a superstar or somebody that’s taking it for the wrong reasons, but you can’t take it because the team has all theirs covered. Stuff like that, I think they need to kind of crack down on. Besides that, it’s good. The game’s flushed out the bad and is pretty good.”
Morse, 34, played in the majors for 11 years – from 2005 to 2016 – and won a World Series with the Giants in 2014. While some players still test positive for steroids, Morse believes that Major League Baseball has more or less gotten rid of the PED riffraff.
“They’ve done the job,” Morse said. “You don’t hear about that stuff that much anymore. It’s a different era. If you look at how the game is and how it’s evolved, guys are throwing over 95 and you got a lot of young kids with good bats. It’s almost like if you were playing in the early 2000s, your time’s almost up. It’s almost like you’re getting flushed out. You’re getting a new wave of players in and a wave of prospects and that’s how the game goes. I think this wave knows from the last wave what can happen if you do mess around and do something bone-headed like that.”