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Monday, June 25, 2012

MLB: Marlon Byrd suspended 50 games for testing positive for PEDs

Marlon Byrd, an 11-year Major League veteran who was released by the Red Sox earlier this month, received a 50-game suspension Monday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Byrd is currently a free agent, so he will be placed on the restricted list for the duration of his suspension, which will begin immediately and will be in effect through Aug. 20. It will result in the loss of 50 days of pay.

The outfielder, an All-Star with the Cubs in 2010, tested positive for Tamoxifen, the Commissioner’s Office said.

Esoteric Posted: June 25, 2012 at 05:23 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, chicago, cubs, nationals, philadelphia, phillies, rangers, red sox, texas, washington

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4166282)
It's been quite the downward spiral for Marlon. Always seemed like a great guy, but I grew to loathe watching him hit in 2011 and earlier this year with the Cubs. It was like he couldn't wait to ground out and get back to the bench.
   2. Chip Posted: June 26, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4166298)
Maybe he has breast cancer - I know women who have taken this as part of their chemo regimen following surgery.
   3. Marcel Posted: June 26, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4166308)
Wait, why is he being allowed to serve his suspension as a free agent when Manny had to sign with a team before he could start serving?
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4166312)
Wait, why is he being allowed to serve his suspension as a free agent when Manny had to sign with a team before he could start serving?


My guess is that Manny's punishment was never official? Or maybe because he retired instead of being released?
   5. Chip Posted: June 26, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4166314)
I assumecif you retire you're no longer in the union. Whereas Byrd is still covered by the CBA, even if not currently under contract.
   6. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: June 26, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4166317)
That's like getting your driver's license suspended for causing a wreck for the duration of the time that you're lying in a hospital bed recuperating. Actually, that probably happens, so never mind.
   7. Harry Caray Posted: June 26, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4166333)
As a Cub fan I'd like to know if this saves us btwn 1.5-2 mil this year since these suspensions are unpaid. He was making 6.5 mil this year and the Cubs were to pay most of the remaining money owed to him this year.
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 26, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4166334)
Wait, why is he being allowed to serve his suspension as a free agent when Manny had to sign with a team before he could start serving?


The same Manny who got could have served out his suspension and then retired (as opposed to Byrd, who was a FA first)? And the same Manny who got his 100-day ban shortened to 50 games? As victims of unfairness go, he doesn't.

MLB had to take this action, otherwise any FA who tests positive could end up with a de facto lifetime ban.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: June 26, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4166389)
Didn't see this one coming. I wonder if this was a case where, out of desperation after his horrific start (and probable recognition of declining skills), he just started using to try to hang on?

I didn't realize the Red Sox had released him already. To make up for it, we'd be happy to give you Alfonso Soriano at a discount price! Or you can have Michael Bowden back.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 26, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4166395)
I grew to loathe watching him hit in 2011 and earlier this year with the Cubs. It was like he couldn't wait to ground out and get back to the bench.


Interesting. He was horrible for the Sox too but I always thought he was playing with a lot of energy and desire. Did the Aceves beaning just mess him up? It looks like he was having a pretty decent season last year until that happened. He would certainly not be the first player whose career spiraled down after getting beaned.
   11. DEF: Not a threesome Posted: June 26, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4166397)
I assumecif you retire you're no longer in the union. Whereas Byrd is still covered by the CBA, even if not currently under contract.


Isn't Byrd technically still under contract? He's been released, and isn't on a roster, but he did sign a guaranteed contract for the 2012 season. That's why if he were to sign with another team, it'd be for the minimum (because of the already existing contract)
   12. bunyon Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4166402)
Along the lines of 11, the excerpt says he will lose 50 games of pay. I assume that is the difference. He will not be paid for almost a third of the season. That's a pretty healthy punishment, I'd say.

I'd also say this would be incentive for a team to get a guy to fail a test if they want to release him. The Sox save some money here.
   13. Sunday silence Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4166405)

The same Manny who got could have served out his suspension and then retired (as opposed to Byrd, who was a FA first)? And the same Manny who got his 100-day ban shortened to 50 games? As victims of unfairness go, he doesn't.

MLB had to take this action, otherwise any FA who tests positive could end up with a de facto lifetime ban


for someone who does not normally follow the ins and outs of suspensions and roster stuff, this quote is a little confusing. when you say "this action" you are referring to Byrd as a free agent under suspension? Not sure what the defacto lifetime ban is referring to.

(thanks)
   14. Russ Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4166406)
If he had reported the Tamoxifen before the test with a note from his doctor, would he have been OK?

This is why any leaks in the drug testing program at MLB are so serious and why it's not just a slam dunk case of "We don't want our players on steroids, so they should just submit to being tested." A completely plausible explanation for this is that Byrd didn't want his cancer publicized, didn't trust that the details of his treatment wouldn't be leaked by MLB, and so he rolled the dice to see if he could pass the test. I'm not saying this is what happened, but it's not implausible and it makes me very sad that players might be confronted with this sort of choice.

   15. zonk Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4166430)
As a Cub fan I'd like to know if this saves us btwn 1.5-2 mil this year since these suspensions are unpaid. He was making 6.5 mil this year and the Cubs were to pay most of the remaining money owed to him this year.


That's a good question... since the Cubs shipped money to the Sox to pay him, do they get a refund? Feels like they should... or maybe split the savings 50/50 or something.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4166442)

If he had reported the Tamoxifen before the test with a note from his doctor, would he have been OK?


Depends. Was it a MOB DOCTOR - Wednesdays at 10/9 Central, on CBS!
   17. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 26, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4166477)
Tamoxifen is a luteinizing hormone analog. It's banned for the same reason that Manny's hCG is -- it is used to re-start testosterone production after a steroid cycle.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: June 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4166495)
for someone who does not normally follow the ins and outs of suspensions and roster stuff, this quote is a little confusing. when you say "this action" you are referring to Byrd as a free agent under suspension? Not sure what the defacto lifetime ban is referring to.


If a player fails a test (or, the result of a failed test is released) while he's a FA, and he has to be on a roster first before a suspension can begin, then he's in the position where it's possible no team will give him an opportunity to play. Since he's first got to serve a 50-game ban even before he can suit up, he could be deemed not worth the effort. It could be the end of a marginal player's career, a guy like Marlon Byrd, and I don't think that's the intent.

   19. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4166608)
Interesting. He was horrible for the Sox too but I always thought he was playing with a lot of energy and desire. Did the Aceves beaning just mess him up? It looks like he was having a pretty decent season last year until that happened. He would certainly not be the first player whose career spiraled down after getting beaned.


This is an interesting possibility. His 2011 splits are odd:

pre-beaning 308/346/419 .376 BABIP 36:5 K:BB in 182 PA
post-beaning 255/311/380 .281 BABIP 42:20 K:BB in 300 PA

The beaning was May 21, and he missed all of June. It's certainly possible that he lost something with the beaning. The problem is that if you look at his monthly splits, it looks like his collapse occurred quite suddenly but somewhat after his return from the DL. Was the good part of the season a BABIP mirage? Did he screw himself up somehow, maybe from worrying about the strikeouts? Is it just small sample fluctuations?

Split          PA BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS BAbip
April
/March   111  3 20 .287 .306 .361 .667  .352
May            71  2 16 .344 .408 .516 .924  .422
July          100  6 14 .323 .370 .495 .865  .364
August        114  7 17 .250 .301 .346 .647  .279
Sept
/Oct       86  7 11 .182 .256 .286 .542  .185 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/26/2012.
   20. Dan Posted: June 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4166629)
The beaning was May 21, and he missed all of June. It's certainly possible that he lost something with the beaning. The problem is that if you look at his monthly splits, it looks like his collapse occurred quite suddenly but somewhat after his return from the DL. Was the good part of the season a BABIP mirage? Did he screw himself up somehow, maybe from worrying about the strikeouts? Is it just small sample fluctuations?


Did he have any kind of collision that might've given him another concussion after coming back? Like a collision at home or with an outfield wall or something? Or even a diving catch attempt that jarred his head? Seems like he was recovering well from the beaning until something else happened, just by looking at the stats.
   21. Brian C Posted: June 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4166639)
He would certainly not be the first player whose career spiraled down after getting beaned.

He also wouldn't be the first somewhat-above-average-but-not-really-a-star player to hit a wall in his 30s, either.

I'm not saying that the beaning didn't play a part in his decline, as it's certainly possible that it did, and at any rate it certainly didn't help him. I'm just saying that, if he put up the same numbers over the past two years even if the beaning had never happened, I don't think any of us would think it was all that much of a surprise.
   22. Clemenza Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4167542)
HBO's Real Sports aired a segment about 18 months ago on Byrd because he was the only MLB player known to be affiliated with Victor Conte. Surprised it wasn't mentioned in the story above.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6127757
   23. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4167611)
Along the lines of 11, the excerpt says he will lose 50 games of pay. I assume that is the difference. He will not be paid for almost a third of the season. That's a pretty healthy punishment, I'd say.

I'd also say this would be incentive for a team to get a guy to fail a test if they want to release him. The Sox save some money here.


According to today's Chicago Tribune,

The Cubs aren't getting any financial relief from Marlon Byrd's 50-game suspension for taking a banned substance, despite the team having to pay most of the remaining money on Byrd's $6 million salary when he was traded to Boston. The Red Sox would've gotten out of paying Byrd for the 50 lost games had he still been on their roster, but since he was released two weeks ago, Byrd gets all the money he was owed, despite being suspended. [Cubs GM Jed] Hoyer declined to discuss Byrd's situation, other than saying he was "still trying to get to the bottom of the situation."


That seems weird, if his suspension can be served while he's unemployed, but he's still getting paid for it.
   24. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4167662)
Yeah, not much of a suspension, is it?

It's like kids being suspended from school. Most view it as a freaking vacation.

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