Ryan Braun's suspension from Major League Baseball is fresh on the minds of a few local baseball players.
The slugger’s suspension was announced on Monday. A connection was found between the Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder and a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
It was another blow to the dreams of local athletes trying to make it to “the show”. The Redding Colt 45s are amateur athletes and they do not get paid. They play year-round between Redding and their individual college teams.
They said they work hard to make their baseball dreams a reality.
"This is what people do for a living. This is what us guys are trying to get to in order to make a living,” said Colt 45s catcher Alex Copeland. “When you go behind your bosses back, or you lie, you get fired. So that's exactly what they're doing [to Braun] and I believe that's what should happen."
Some of the players say things like this make them doubt their future chances.
"If these guys are only getting 60-game suspensions, why shouldn't I just take [PED’s]?” said pitcher Jordan Desguin. “If that means he got the National League MVP, he got all this stuff because of it, and this small little fine, this small little suspension. I just don't think it is right.”
While Braun will serve his punishment and accept the consequences, the lasting impression on these younger players is a harsh one.
They said it's hard for them to play the game cleanly when their fellow athletes may not be.
“They’re pretty much destroying it for me. It makes me feel like I have to cheat the game to make it to where they are at,” said outfielder Ariel Sanchez.
While Major League Baseball said Braun is a cheater, he may not be the only one. All eyes are now on New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.
ESPN reports indicate the evidence against Rodriguez is far beyond what MLB had on Braun.