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Steroid Suspensions Throw MLB Playoff Hopefuls Into Panic

The steroid scandal in Major League Baseball has been hanging over the league for the better part of the past decade, and despite evidence of dozens of players using the illegal performance enhancing drugs, the hammer had not come down on these players. Until the past two weeks.

After spending years collecting evidence of PED use among its players, MLB handed down the penalties this past week, and the announcement left several teams without their top stars heading down the stretch of the 2013 season.

The biggest name to fall came last week, when former MVP Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the season. The suspension was not contested by Braun, who will now try to repair his image before he begins play next year in Milwaukee.

Braun's Brewers have long been out of playoff contention, but that was not the case with some of the other players suspended as of Monday. Texas' Nelson Cruz, Detroit's Jhonny Peralta, and the Yankess' Alex Rodriguez were all suspended Monday, with their teams fighting to play in October.

Cruz' loss was expected to be the biggest blow before the Rangers acted quickly and traded for Alex Rios on Friday. Rios had been one of the bright spots for the Chicago White Sox before he was dealt yesterday.

The Tigers will have a much tougher time replacing Peralta. The Detroit shortstop played in the All-Star Game this season, and his defense has been among the best in the league in 2013. Detroit has a few young players in their organization that could fill the void, although early reports have Detroit filling the spot from the Major League roster.

As for Rodriguez, he will become the only one of the 12 players suspended to appeal the suspension. The Yankees third baseman was hit the hardest, with a 211 game ban that would take him through the 2014 season. Rodriguez is coming back from a season-long injury, and has vowed to fight the suspension handed down by the league. He will be allowed to play in games until an arbitrator rules on the appeal.

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