An era has ended in Major League Baseball.
And that era is the steroid era.
The MLB's new program of testing for performance-enhancing steroids is up and running. Baseball has caught its first scapegoat.
The player in question is not Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi or Sammy Sosa, but a virtual no-name player for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Alex Sanchez has only four home runs in the big leagues and led the American League in bunts last season. His punishment, if found guilty for steroid use, is a 10-day suspension from the league.
While it is nice to see MLB trying to crack down on the biggest scandal to hit since Shoeless Joe Jackson, the simple suspension of a no-name player is not much of a punishment for tampering with America's pastime.
For baseball to bring back the fans it has alienated over the past year, it has to prove that it is serious about putting an end to cheating and that cheaters will be punished appropriately.
Baseball fans do not need or want to see a big name get caught under the pressure of the steroid abuse scandal, but they deserve to know that MLB is serious about getting steroids out of the game permanently.
Otherwise, handing out a 10-day suspension to Sanchez will prove to be less of a punishment and more of a 10-day vacation on the sunny beaches of Florida.