Dan Meyer on Mut & Merloni: For PED violators, 'reward was too great for the risk'

August 06, 2013 - 7:36 am

Former major league pitcher Dan Meyer, who made news Monday when he tweeted his frustration with losing out on a roster spot to a player who was suspended for PEDs, joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday morning. Meyer, now 32, was attempting to earn a spot in the Phillies bullpen in the spring of 2011 when he was cut and fellow lefty Antonio Bastardo made the squad. Bastardo was one of the 12 players who accepted 50-game suspensions from MLB on Monday. That inspired Meyer, now out of baseball after being released by the Orioles in March, to send out his tweet that went viral.

  "I wasn't quite expecting that [attention]," Meyer said. "I've sent 150 tweets out in my life, and nobody ever responds. And then this one decides to totally take off." Meyer, a onetime minor league teammate of Lou Merloni, said many people have reached out to him to tell him they agree with his opinion. "I've gotten an overwhelming response of support from guys," Meyer said, adding: "I've had a lot of guys contacting me I haven't talked to in years saying they really liked what I had mentioned, what I had said, and how people were thinking it and nobody was saying it." Meyer, a first-round pick of Atlanta in 2002 who spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Braves (2004), Athletics (2007-08) and Marlins (2009-10), acknowledged that his failure to make the Phillies wasn't due completely to Bastardo beating him out, but he noted that other players were affected as well. "I didn't necessarily go out and win that job, I didn't go out and lose it. And that's on me," he said. "But there were other guys in camp that had great camps that were left-handed pitchers. How are those guys affected? You take one month of the big leagues away from them, you're talking 40, 50 grand and good health insurance. That matters to a lot of people." Added Meyer: "If you played the game and you've dealt with the 5 a.m. minor league flights and you've gone thought the grind, you'll see guys throughout your career that you go: How is this guy not in the big leagues? If that guy who is a clean player has one opportunity taken away from him from a player who was doing it the wrong way, is that fair? I think that's one opportunity too many." Meyer said the punishment for violating the rule is not enough to dissuade many players. "The risk-reward is just not equal," he said. "You see guys who -- 50 games for a chance at tens of millions of dollars? It's worth it to try it for some guys. I don't see what's going to hold them back if they have the ability to do it. '€¦ I think something's got to be harsher. The reward was too great for the risk." To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
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