HOUSTON -- The ax fell in Milwaukee on Monday when Ryan Braun reversed course on his previous claims of innocence concerning drug use and accepted a 65-day suspension that will see him play no more for the Brewers this year.
Braun's name was one of those caught up in Major League Baseball's pursuit of performance-enhancing drug users centered around the Biogenesis lab in Florida. Another of those named in the original papers was A's starter Bartolo Colon, but the team hopes the 50-day suspension Colon served at the end of the 2012 season and through the first five games of this year is all the time Colon will have to serve.
A's manager Bob Melvin said ``I remain consistent with my stance,'' when asked about Colon.
Simply put, Melvin believes that Colon has paid his price for dabbling in the world of PEDs and that should be the end of it.
It seems that Major League Baseball has bigger fish to fry and no one seems anxious to put Colon and Melky Cabrera, also suspended about the same time last year, through double jeopardy.
It's not a small matter for the A's. Oakland is 16 games over .500 and in first place in the American League West entering Monday's series-opener against the Astros in Houston. By himself Colon is 10 games over .500 (13-3) and if he were to be lost to the club, the A's would be in a world of hurt.
Yes, Brett Anderson is due back from his stress fracture injury sooner rather than later, but there's no way to know if he will be as effective as he was last year, much less if he'll be as effective as Colon has been this year.
Any uncertainty over Colon is certain to impact the July 31 trade deadline. The A's have been assumed to have enough pitching to use in a deal to beef up the roster, perhaps at second base, but if there's any belief that Colon might be taken away from them, the A's would see their depth strained to make any kind of impact deal.