Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Book 'Em Danno

Two Nationals Minor Leaguers were suspended for violating the minor league drug policy.

Shortstop Josh Labandeira received 15 games and catcher Ramon Castro received an ungodly but deserved 105-game suspension.

Castro's was so long because he is accused of multiple violations including what they're terming as 'trafficking'

According to the Patriot-News, none of the suspensions were for steriods, per se, but for amphetamines. (Somewhere, Mickey Mantle is shaking his head)

Amphetamines have been common for years, as anyone who has read "Ball Four" can attest. The cavalier attitude towards them is exemplified in the P News article with a quote from a 'source': "It was greenies, that's all."

That being said, I have zero sympathy for either player. Because they lack a union, the minor leagues have a much tougher drug policy, which includes amphetamines, unlike the Major League policy.

Labandeira and Castro knew what they were doing was against the rules. They knew they'd be tested regularly. Yet, they did it. Now they're living with the consequences. Which, for two people who have a tenuous grasp on professional careers will only serve to loosen that grip.

Labanderia is spinning masterfully, spewing all the right cliches now:
I was aware that I was violating the policy. It's part of being a man, you have to be willing to suffer the consequences....Today the ruling was final, there is nothing I can do about it...It's one of those things, it's unfortunate. Every day is a learning situation, this is one of those things you don't do again.

It's easy to stand up and be a 'man' when you get caught. Of course he's probably not going to do it again.

But isn't part of 'being a man' playing by the rules in the first place?