Dee Gordon suspension shows cheaters come in all sizes

The reactions came fast, in about the time it would take Dee Gordon to steal a base. After Gordon was suspended late Thursday night for using performance-enhancing drugs, this refrain often was heard: Look at Gordon’s hitting coach with the Miami Marlins: Barry Bonds. Sluggers like him are the steroid cheaters, not speedsters like Gordon.

“I’m surprised because look at what kind of player I am,” the suspended player said. “I’m a leadoff hitter. I never hit any home runs.”

That was not Gordon speaking. That was Angel Sanchez, the first player suspended under baseball’s drug policy, in 2005. Sanchez got a 10-game suspension.

The players’ union repeatedly has agreed to toughen penalties since then. Gordon got an 80-game suspension, six days after Toronto’s Chris Colabello got one too.

With owners and players in the early stages of negotiations for a new labor agreement, the issue of whether the punishment is tough enough to deter the crime threatens to divide the players’ union.

Detroit’s Justin Verlander tweeted late Thursday night that players who test

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