“Don’t take candy from a stranger.”

“Don’t eat the brownies from that strange hippie kid that sits outside the dorms at 3 AM.”

“Don’t answer the door unless you know who is knocking.”

4 out of 5 children surveyed have had these statements pounded into their brains by their mothers since they were small children. Doctors instruct their patients to avoid operating heavy machinery after taking certain medicines. Even farmers have to be careful of what they give their cows to avoid contaminated milk (i.e. Lawsuits).

So, with all these “common people” taking careful measures to avoid putting harmful substances into their bodies, why do professional athletes turn a blind eye to the possibility of jeopardizing their careers? Since 2009, 11 MLB players have been suspended for banned substances, two of them were suspended twice (Bonus points if you can name them both!).

“Oh, wait! You have a random pill for me to add to my supplements? I don’t need to know what it is, it can’t be anything bad, right?” Wrong.

Hello, 50-game suspension!

At this point, the player appeals the suspension, issuing a statement that he was “unaware” that the banned substance was in the pain-relieving cream he was using. Riiiiiight.

The next player to get suspended argues that he and his wife were attempting to start a family, so the doctor prescribed him a drug to help get things going. But the player didn’t know that the medicine would cause his testosterone levels to jump an ungodly amount. Of course he didn’t!

And then you have the player with a cold: sore throat, stuffy nose, the whole nine yards. He digs through the medicine cabinet at home and takes some of his kid’s cough syrup. Wait, you mean to tell him that children’s cough medicine has “trace amounts” of a drug he’s been suspended for in the past? You don’t say!

Are these players really that naive, or are they just stupid? Are they just careless, as Marlon Byrd claims is the reason for his failed test?

Or maybe they know exactly what they are doing, and to cover it up they hire a friend to create an advertisement to make the product look like the real thing.

The disconnect between these players’ brains and reality is really unfortunate. Sure, there may be ways to get around a drug test or two, maybe even three! But what about the tenth? The fifteenth? These players cannot outwit the professionals in the lab any more than the lab professionals can outplay the players on the field! Do they really think they can find loopholes forever? People live for those positive drug tests.

It’s like my dad told me when I got my first speeding ticket: “What do you mean it was the first time you’ve sped?! Nobody ever gets caught the first time!!”

If a teenaged girl, who has her dad wrapped around her little finger, could not sweet talk her way out of getting grounded for a speeding ticket, how do these ugly mugs think they can get away with cheating at a game that millions of people love?

They can’t. They may have stolen our hearts early on, but we’re not for sale now.

I’ll take the light-hitting, base stealing, Chevy Camaro driving certain center-fielder over those other “hulking heroes” any day. At least the little guy plays the game the right way.

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Katie Cernek is a regular contributor to VFTB. She grew up as a Cubs fan in rural Wisconsin and fondly remembers hearing stories of Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo. You can find Katie on Twitter @heyitskatiec