Baseball’s history of suspensions


Significant suspensions in baseball history:

“Black Sox”

White Sox players Eddie Cicotte, Claude “Lefty” Williams, Chick Gandil, Charles “Swede” Risberg, Buck Weaver, Happy Felsh, Fred McMullen and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson were banned for life in 1921 by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis for throwing the 1919 World Series. The group initially faced criminal charges but were acquitted, prompting Landis to issue the suspension.

Pete Rose

Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, received a lifetime ban in 1989 for gambling. Rose was offered several lesser deals but chose the lifetime ban because it came with the option of applying for reinstatement after a one-year interval. He was never reinstated and remains ineligible for the Hall of Fame despite his myriad accomplishments.

George Steinbrenner

Yankees owner Steinbrenner was banned for life in 1990 after he hired gambler Howie Spira to dig up dirt on outfielder Dave Winfield. Steinbrenner was reinstated in 1993, but his absence from the Yankees operation allowed Gene “Stick” Michael and others to begin assembling the core of New York’s dynastic teams that won four World Series in five years.

Steve Howe

The 1980 National League Rookie of the Year was banned for life during the 1992 season after seven suspensions for drug use. He was reinstated by an arbitor following the season, pitched through 1996 and died in a car crash in 2006.

Alex Sanchez

The Rays outfielder was the first player to be suspended for performance-enhancing drug use on April 3, 2005. He served a 10-game suspension, the standard penalty for a first-time offense at the time.

Rafael Palmeiro

After wagging his finger at a congressional hearing on steroids in baseball and denying he had ever used PEDs, Palmeiro was suspended for a positive test of a banned substance on Aug. 1, 2005. He served a 10-game suspension.

Manny Ramirez

Ramirez seemed revitalized by a trade to Los Angeles in 2008 and the slugger signed a lucrative two-year deal with the Dodgers before the 2009 season. But he was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance on May 7, 2009. Ramirez served a 50-game suspension, the new penalty for a first-time offense under the revised collective bargaining agreement.

Manny Ramirez (2)

Ramirez lost most of his power after a trade to the White Sox in 2010 and signed a make-good deal with the Rays that offseason. He played just a handful of games before being suspended 100 games on April 8, 2011, for his second violation of MLB’s joint drug agreement. He retired following the suspension but has since played in Taiwan and tried comebacks with the Athletics and Rangers, failing to make the majors with either team.

Melky Cabrera

Cabrera seemed on his way to a batting title in mid-2012 and won the All-Star Game MVP award. But the Giants outfielder tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended 50 games on Aug. 15. He missed the rest of the season and was not added to any of the Giants’ postseason rosters. He signed a two-year deal with the Blue Jays before the 2013 season and was later named as a client of the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic in Miami which allegedly supplied athletes with PEDs.

Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal

Colon, a pitcher for the A’s, and Grandal, a catcher for the Padres, were issued 50-game suspensions in 2012 for taking banned substances. They were later both named as clients of the Biogenesis clinic but, along with Cabrera, are unlikely to serve an additional suspension. Colon re-signed with the A’s before the 2013 season and Grandal, in his second season, remained with the Padres.

Ryan Braun

After successfully appealing a positive test before the 2012 season, Braun accepted a 65-game ban on July 22 that will keep him out for the remainder of the 2013 season. Braun was named in documents for the Biogenesis clinic and was the first client of the alleged PED operation to cut a deal with MLB and accept punishment.