By Pat Loeb, Diana Rocco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo has accepted a 50-day suspension for his part in the scandal (see related story), another blow to fans who have stuck with the team through a disappointing season.
No matter how they felt about Bastardo, or doping, fans like Bob Saylor were disappointed to learn the reliever was using performance enhancing drugs, though Saylor tried to be understanding without condoning.
“I understand they need to play at the top of their game, but it really is unfair to other players and even the fans, it’s kind of like they’re lying to us. I almost feel a little bit betrayed because of it, but I mean I understand where he’s coming from, there’s a lot of pressure on him,” he said.
Other fans, like Dee Fass, took a harder line.
“You should try to do the right thing and stay fit on your own,” said Fass.
“It’s too lenient. They should all be banned from baseball,” said Phillies fan Robert Katz.
Some, like Wayne Meng, were ready just to put the whole thing behind them.
“It’s a waste of time to be concerned about it. Just move on and worry about the team’s prospects for the rest of the year,” said Meng.
At the Riversharks game at Campbell’s Field in Camden Monday night against Sugar Land Skeeters, the Sharks say their schedule can take its toll, but this is what they train for and each player is different.
“Every baseball player is faced with a choice to make, and for the vast majority of us, we would never choose to make that decision,” said pitcher Patrick Butler.
When we see things that they’re cheating and they get caught, they’re taking their chances, but it’s unfortunate, you know, because it looks bad on baseball, the game and us,” said pitcher Jon Velasquez.
The next time Bastardo will be eligible to play is the last game of the season on September 29th.
He is suspended without pay, which means he will be forfeiting about 25% of his $1.4 million salary.