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It has been about a week since reports spread like wildfire through fantasy baseball circles suggesting that MLB was close to suspending as many as 20 players in a performance-enhancing drug scandal connected to Florida's Biogenesis Clinic. How close? Well, it hasn't happened yet . . .
On the evening of June 4th, fantasy owners of Ryan Braun, in particular, were apoplectic, with rumors of a 100-game suspension. Likewise, a rumored 100-game suspension appeared set to wipe out any possibility that Alex Rodriguez could become the late-season sleeper that some of us believe he can be after returning from the disabled list sometime next month.
Among others reported to be caught up in the Biogenesis scandal: Bartolo Colon, who has fantasy value this year thanks to seven wins, a 3.14 ERA and 1.09 WHIP; and Everth Cabrera, the MLB leader in stolen bases. At least 15 more names have been connected with the scandal, several of them with fantasy value.
Fantasy owners spent the first few days after the initial reports considering their options - who they should pick up as replacements for suspended players, and whether they should trade away a player whose absence could cost them a league championship. So, what should you do?
How about nothing?
It's time for cooler heads to prevail, as it has become apparent as we have gained some distance from the first reports of scandal that MLB is not as close to handing out suspensions as was suggested.
I have to think the league is pretty unhappy that news of potential suspensions broke when it did because to suspend as many as 20 players before the All-Star break would cast a pall over the rest of this season.
I think MLB will do whatever it can to further drag out a Biogenesis investigation, as well as the process of mulling what kind of suspensions to give.
I'll be very surprised if anything formal is announced before the World Series, and even then, I'm wondering if rumors of 100-game punishments are just way off-base.
The league claims it will come down hard on drug cheaters, and it should, but I don't think it has the stomach for that size of suspension unless a player is caught red-handed, and not for the first time.
MLB will have to deal with this scandal at some point, and the result could make huge waves in 2014, but for the rest of this year, your fantasy baseball course should remain unchanged.
* USA Today has replacement ideas for the Biogenesis-tainted, if you insist on a contingency plan.
* Bleacher Report has waiver wire ideas.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
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