Whenever a player gets busted for taking illegal substances to boost his performance, his individual achievements and accolades immediately come under scrutiny. This was the case with Ryan Braun, whom Matt Kemp said should be stripped of his MVP award after he was suspended for PEDs.
Sometimes, however, one player’s indiscretions can taint the success of his entire team.
Johnny Damon was a teammate of Alex Rodriguez‘s when the Yankees won the World Series in 2009. Rodriguez was a force throughout that postseason, batting .365 with six home runs and 18 RBIs, and New York lost just four games en route to its first title in nine years.
But if that production was synthetic, Damon said Wednesday in an interview on MLB Network Radio, the team’s championship would “absolutely” be diminished.
“I really haven’t gotten to think that far, but if that’s how he was able to hit in the postseason, like he did that year, then yeah, absolutely,” Damon said. “Then you start going, ‘Was anybody on [the other] team cheating?’ There’s just so many different factors that determine if a team wins, and A-Rod was a huge determining factor. He was the MVP of the ALCS, so he played a pretty huge part.”
Rodriguez has been suspended 211 games by Major League Baseball and is currently appealing his punishment.