Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

 

One of the biggest stars in Major League Baseball has been suspended for violating the league’s joint drug prevention and treatment program.

Seattle Mariners All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano was issued an 80-game ban Tuesday after testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic, which can be used as a masking agent, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

“Recently I learned that I tested positive for a substance called Furosemide, which is not a performance-enhancing substance,” Cano said in a statement. “Furosemide is used to treat various medical conditions in the United State and the Dominican Republic. This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment. While I did not realize at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful.

“For more than 15 years, playing professional baseball has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life. I would never do anything to cheat the rules of the game that I love, and after undergoing dozens of drug tests over more than a decade, I have never tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the simple reason that I have never taken one.

“Today I decided to accept MLB’s suspension. This is the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life, but ultimately the right decision given that I do not dispute that I was given this substance. I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the Mariners organization.”

Cano is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured right hand after he was hit by a pitch. The suspension can be served while he’s injured, but he will not be eligible to play in the postseason should Seattle qualify. The Mariners currently sit 1 1/2 games back in the American League West division.

“Robinson made a mistake. He has explained to us what happened, accepted the punishment, and has apologized to the fans, the organization, and his teammates,” the Mariners said in a statement. “We will support Robinson as he works through this challenge.”

The 35-year-old Cano signed a 10-year, $240-million contract in 2013, and his unpaid suspension will cost him nearly $12 million.

An eight-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger, and two-time Gold Glove winner, Cano is one of the most decorated second basemen in the majors.

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Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was arrested Tuesday morning for domestic assault, according to a police report acquired by Steve Buffery of The Toronto Sun.

Toronto police confirmed the 23-year-old right-hander was arrested and charged with assault on a woman, The Athletic’s John Lott reports.

The woman involved in the incident appears to be Osuna’s girlfriend, according to Hazel Mae of Sportsnet, although Toronto Police Services Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu told Lott they are withholding details to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

Osuna has been released and is scheduled to appear in court on June 18.

The right-hander was placed on administrative leave by MLB, the Blue Jays announced.

“We are aware of the incident involving Roberto and fully support the decision by the Commissioner’s Office to place him on administrative leave,” the team said in a statement. “We are taking the matter extremely seriously, as the type of conduct associated with this incident is not reflective of our values as an organization. As this remains an ongoing investigation by Toronto Police, the Club will not comment further on the matter.”

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons spoke about Osuna’s arrest with reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

“Hopefully, there’s nothing there,” Gibbons said, according to Lott. “I love the kid, not because of what he’s done for us on the field, but because of who he is and my relationship with him over the years.

“Really, in society in general, there’s got to be a zero-tolerance policy. You’ve got to protect the vulnerable and those that can’t protect themselves a lot. But hopefully when it’s all said and done, he’s back with us, it’s behind him and things turn out fine.”

As with most domestic violence cases involving MLB players, the commissioner’s office must now conduct an investigation similar to the ones involving Aroldis Chapman and Jose Reyes in 2015, Jeurys Familia in 2016, and more recent cases involving Derek NorrisAddison RussellSteven Wright, and Miguel Sano.

As per league policy, the commissioner will decide on discipline, with no minimum or maximum penalty, after the investigation is conducted.

Giancarlo Stanton has left any feelings of ill-will toward the Miami Marlins and their ownership back in South Beach.

The New York Yankees slugger will welcome his former team to the Bronx on Monday when the clubs open a brief two-game series. Stanton spent the first eight seasons of his career in Miami before new ownership headed by Derek Jeter opted to trade him and the bulk of his record-setting contract to the Yankees.

Stanton’s final days in Miami were certainly rocky. He rejected two trades that would have sent him to either the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals. Both Jeter and Stanton admitted they never spoke to each other after the initial sale of the team, and Stanton said the organization was a “circus” at times in a farewell Instagram post. But despite everything that happened over the last six months, Stanton says there’s no animosity between him and Jeter.

“I mean, I don’t think there’s any crazy bad blood besides what (the media) stirred up,” Stanton told reporters, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. “I mean, we were very honest with each other in our meetings – and that’s the business side of it – but there’s no bad blood on this side.”

Despite the Marlins coming to town, Jeter has already stated that he won’t be accompanying them.

“It would be an awkward situation for me to actually go to Yankee Stadium,” Jeter said last week. “I knew it was going to be a story one way or the other, so I might as well get out in front of it and say I’m not going.”

Jeter was last at Yankee Stadium in May when the team retired his No. 2.

The 2018 season is only 18 days old but the Tampa Bay Rays are already going to need a miracle if they hope to win their division.

With their 10-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday – the club’s fourth in a row – the Rays have fallen to 3-12 on the season and reside in the basement of the American League East. If that wasn’t bad enough, the division-leading Boston Red Sox won a fourth straight game Sunday, and now hold a 10-game lead over the Rays in the division.

TEAM W-L PCT GB
Red Sox 13-2 .867
Blue Jays 9-5 .643 3.5
Yankees 7-7 .500 5.5
Orioles 5-11 .313 8.5
Rays 3-12 .200 10

After an offseason selloff, the Rays weren’t expected to challenge for a playoff spot – let alone the division – but the club’s three wins in 15 games have left many shaking their heads. Tampa Bay has just one win in seven tries at home this season, rank in the bottom third of the league in almost every offensive category, and are the first team with a double-digit deficit in a divisional race in 2018.

It wasn’t until mid-August last season before the Rays fell at least 10 games back.

There was a concerning number of empty seats around baseball Monday, and the Miami MarlinsBaltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians were front and center amid the poor attendance.

Miami only drew 7,003 fans to Marlins Park against the New York Mets on Monday. The rebuilding Marlins, who didn’t have any problems with weather, couldn’t get butts in seats despite being greeted with the presence of MLB star Noah Syndergaard on the hill for New York.

During a frigid downpour in Baltimore, the Orioles only drew 7,915 fans against the Toronto Blue Jays, which was the lowest attendance in the history of Camden Yards, with the lone exception being April 29, 2015, when fans weren’t allowed into the park because of civil unrest due to the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

Cleveland fell short of the 10,000-fan mark despite being one of MLB’s best teams and a dominant 13-strikeout performance from ace Corey Kluber against the Detroit Tigers. It was only 33 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cleveland (25,285, 22nd overall), Baltimore (25,042, 23rd overall), and Miami (20,395, 27th overall) were among the worst-attended teams in MLB last season, according to ESPN.

The All-Star Game is coming back to Chavez Ravine.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will officially be awarded the 2020 version of the event Wednesday, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

It will be the first time in 40 years that the Dodgers have hosted the All-Star Game, last holding the event at Dodger Stadium July 8, 1980.

The Dodgers have hosted the All-Star Game three times since moving to L.A. Two took place at Dodger Stadium and one at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1959. The Brooklyn Dodgers also hosted the event in 1949 at Ebbets Field.

The 2018 All-Star Game will be played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., with 2019’s iteration taking place at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

 

In 2010, former single-season king Mark McGwire, who hit 583 career home runs, admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs, including during his incredible 70-homer season in 1998.

Some 20 years later, Big Mac thinks he could’ve done it all without the extra help.

In an interview with Jayson Stark of The Athletic, McGwire – now the San Diego Padres‘ bench coach – said he still would have broken Roger Maris’ record and hit 70 homers without using steroids.

“I just know myself. I just know,” he told Stark. “I was a born home-run hitter. I mean, unfortunately, I did (take PEDs). And I’ve regretted that. I’ve talked about that. I regretted it. I didn’t need to. That’s the thing. Didn’t need to.

“But I know. Deep down inside, I know me as a hitter. And I know what I did in that box. And I know how strong my mind is. And I know what kind of hitter I became. And yes. Yes. Definitely.”

McGwire was already one of the most feared home-run hitters in the game before 1998, when he and Sammy Sosa captivated the public with their home-run chase that many believe helped restore baseball’s place in American sports following the 1994 strike. It was McGwire who passed Maris first, blasting No. 62 on Sept. 8 of that year en route to 70. Sosa eventually lost pace but still slugged 66. McGwire would only spend three years as the home-run king before Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001.

Nine years after his retirement, McGwire finally admitted to using PEDs during his career and expressed regret about doing so. Despite the admission, he never received more than 23.7 percent of the vote in his 10 years on the Hall of Fame ballot.

The 53-year-old not only repeated to Stark his regrets about having doped, but added that he wishes MLB’s drug-testing program had been in place during his career to act as a deterrent.

“Unfortunately, there wasn’t any testing,” McGwire said. “There wasn’t anything going on (to keep the sport clean). The game has done a terrific job of doing what they’re doing now. I commend them for doing it. I think we all wish (testing) went on when we had played. But unfortunately, it didn’t.”