Fans react to MLB drug suspensions - Dallas News |

Fans react to MLB drug suspensions

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Local baseball fans and even a minor league player say it's a dark day for baseball, following Major League Baseball's investigation of 13 players.

It was a small crowd at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie, watching players who still harbor big dreams.

Independent baseball players here make about $1,500 a month, but more importantly with the chance to get noticed by a scout and maybe get back on track to the major leagues.

"As you keep going up in the minors everyone gets better and better, so I see a lot of guys who might be tempted to keep going to that next level," Ryan Pineda, an AirHogs player, said.

Pineda was drafted and spent three years in the Oakland A's system.

He applauds baseball's crackdown on PEDs.

"I think the penalties should be stiffer though. You want to get to the point where everybody is scared to even try it," Pineda said. "I think the game is definitely a lot cleaner, and it's not that many people. But obviously there still are people, and unfortunately it's the ones who are like superstars.

Superstars like the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

Donald Hooton son Taylor, an aspiring Plano baseball player who was on steroids, committed suicide 10 years ago.

That led to the Taylor Hooton Foundation, to fight PED use.

In 2009 Hooton, stood beside Alex Rodriguez as he admitted prior use and committed to helping the foundation, which today cut all ties with A-Rod.

"This has been a very special relationship and it's sad that it's come to this," Hooton said. "[Rodriguez] is not the only guy that's involved in this stuff. There's a number of others in the pile - and baseball is certainly not the only sport."

Anthony Byington is a lifetime baseball fan who came out to watch the AirHogs. He's hoping his son Cooper can grow up loving a game free of performance enhancing drugs.

"I think a lot of the youth look up to the baseball players, and to see something like that really tarnishes the game," Byington said "It's cheating to think someone who's given all they have, to play the game in the sun every day, and then have the guy next to you, artificially-enhance that - it should be god-given talent, and you should be excelling with your god-given talent."

The Taylor Hooton Foundation has an event scheduled for this weekend at Yankee stadium. Rodriguez will not be part of it.

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