Players kept quiet in past
Some players were naturally more cautious. Another Brewer, pitcher Tom Gorzelanny, told reporters this week that while the suspension was surprising, the focus should be on the future.
"He's our teammate, and you're going to defend him and going to be on his side," he said.
"He stood up and was a man about it and he took the heat. He's a great guy, he's a great friend. ... There's nothing else you can say about it. Now we move on," Gorzelanny added.
But even these type of comments fail to mask how far baseball players have come in their anger over PED use, said Robert Boland, professor of hospitality and sports at New York University.
"There's definitely less acceptance now than in the past among players," Boland said.
"A player like Chris Davis of Baltimore is having a great year [a league-leading 37 home runs, 97 RBI's and a .313 batting average] and it's a shame he has to deal with questions of whether's he's taking PEDs," he said.
For his part, Davis has said he's never taken steroids and has no reason to.
As for why MLB players are finally sounding off over PED use among their own, McDonnell said many have reached the breaking point.
"Ballplayers are simply tired of having their achievements and statistical accomplishments questioned and even diminished in the court of public opinion," he said.
Drug-testing rule have changed, as well, making things clearer for players. "It was very confusing for players during the 1990s and early 2000s as to what was legal and what wasn't when it came to PEDs," McDonnell said.
"There was also an emphasis on statistics like the home-run chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire, and salaries went up," he added. "So you had players competing against themselves and trying to get an edge."
"And, certainly, Major League Baseball did not take an active role in stopping PED use," McDonnell said. "They let it fester in an environment where people wanted to go and watch games with hitters slugging home runs."