New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia became the first player to be banned by Major League Baseball for a violation of using performance enhancing drugs last month. In a story published Friday by the New York Times, Mejia claims he is actually the victim of a witch hunt by Major League Baseball and did not receive an adequate show of defense by the players’ union on his behalf.
According to Mejia, he should only have ever been found guilty of failing one drug test, instead of the three that ultimately led to his lifetime ban from baseball.
“I felt there was a conspiracy against me,” Mejia told the Times‘ Ben Berkon. “I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.”
Let’s hit the pause button right here for just one brief moment. Why in the world would Major League Baseball and the players’ union willingly conspire to bring down the career of Mejia? This makes almost no sense right off the bat, unless there is something we do not know about Mejia. Was he a spy working within the baseball world? Was he trading league secrets from within? What could MLB possibly have against Mejia that would lead the league to find a way to ban him for life, other than Mejia failing not one drug test, not two but three?
OK, let’s hear Mejia out though, because there are always two sides to a story.
“The association should have done more,” Mejia said, adding that he thought the union “should have been there to defend me — because that’s what they’re there for. They should have found something to appeal for.”
OK, that may be a fair accusation. Maybe the players’ union could have done more. If Mejia did, in fact, feel he only should have failed one drug test, but instead was found to have failed three, it seems there could be a case to be made here if Mejia is truly innocent. And while we do live in a world in which we are to be innocent until proven guilty, MLB and the players’ union have found Mejia guilty three times. Personally, I think that is hard to counter.
At this point, it is difficult to believe Mejia’s side of the story until he has some concrete evidence to back this claim up. In the meantime, the reliever can apply for reinstatement in one year. But the minimum penalty under MLB’s collective bargaining agreement is for two years, so the soonest Mejia can see a major league field is 2018.