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Outside The Confines: Careers up in smoke

An Athletic article takes aim at MLB’s outdated rules on marijuana.

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Paw Sox Quietly Depart From Pawtucket Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

If we were to make a list of the things a baseball player could do to ruin their career, the first that would come to most of our minds is take PEDs. Many a promising career, or a Hall of Fame worthy legacy, has been utterly destroyed by the decision to take steroids. Worse still, the decision to do it more than once.

Then, of course, there is the constant discussion of the light suspension punishments players receive when they’re being punished for incidents of domestic violence. These “punishments” are often much, much lighter than those for steroids, and rarely do much to damage the potential Hall of Fame chances for a player, in spite of character and integrity being considered integral to voting (see Ken Rosenthal’s Hall of Fame ballot below).

But these punishments are, bizarrely, nothing compared to what used to happen for a minor league players found to have been using marijuana. While MLB removed pot from its list of banned substances prior to the 2020 season (with the caveat players should not show up to games high), the damage had been done to many careers already, and Brittany Ghiroli takes a deep dive into how the policy did a lot more harm than good before it was put to rest. (The Athletic subscription required.)

And now, onto the rest of links, while we still wait, ever so patiently, for free agent signings.

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.