Remember Jennry Mejia? Mejia has been suspended not once, not twice, but three times for PED use. On the third strike MLB commissioner Rob Manfred gave him his lifetime ban for violating the league’s PED policy. One-time violators receive an 80-game suspension, two-time violators receive an entire season suspension, and if you violate the policy for a third time you get to watch baseball from your living room for the rest of your life.
Under the terms that the MLBPA and MLB collectively agreed upon however, after a two-year stint on the lifetime ban list a player can request discretionary reinstatement (MLB.com). Mejia was the first player ever to receive a lifetime ban for PED use. The first big name player to receive a PED suspension was Rafael Palmeiro in 2005 (who by the way is trying to make a comeback at the age of 53 with the Cleburne Railroaders – an independent league team in Cleburne, Texas).
Before his suspensions, Mejia was one of the top young arms in the game. With the Mets he sported a 9-14 record with a 3.68 ERA. The former starter turned closer Mejia has not pitched since July 26, 2015 where he picked up the win against the Dodgers.
Three years later, Mejia, who no doubt has been working out since at least he requested his reinstatement, will be 28 if he comes back.
The Mets certainly will not bring him to the show yet as they will likely start him out in the minors in a bullpen role to see where he’s at. Gomez Guess says he will not likely make the major league roster at all this year as Mejia has to prove himself to the commissioner (who is hoping he doesn’t relapse again), the Mets, and the fans that he can stay clean and healthy.
The Mets still have the rights to Mejia until 2020 who has been with the organization since 2007. The Dominican native told MLB that, “I have much work ahead but look forward to earning back the trust and respect of the New York Mets, the fans and especially my teammates”.
I for one hope he can win over everyone. Many people make mistakes, many people make three mistakes, this is an unprecedented event and only time will tell. I can speculate though that if for whatever reason Mejia relapses, a lifetime ban for PED use will not likely ever be reversed again. Who knows, maybe they will throw Mejia with the AA Mets affiliate the Binghamton Rumble Ponies with Tim Tebow. Do you think Mejia deserves the fourth chance he has been granted? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Rob Foldy
Photo Credit: USA Today
Video Credit: Pancake/MLB
Photo Credit: MiLB
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