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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Robinson Cano Reportedly Suspended for PED

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday following a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug, according to multiple reports, including Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

From what I’ve read Hector Gomez, a reporter in the Dominican, is the one who broke the story.

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:09 PM | 249 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, steroids

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   1. Esoteric Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5672740)
An absolute gut-punch for me, as a long-time (and vestigial) Mariners fan and a fan of Robby Cano. Have to think this will seriously derail his HOF case, not just because of the PED issue but because it will prevent him from accumulating numbers.
   2. Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5672741)
Mark Feinsand @Feinsand
Source confirms that Robinson Cano will be suspended 80 games for violating the league's joint drug agreement. Announcement expected today.

That's what you get when you don't pass the dutchie.
   3. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5672743)
80 games is going to keep him from accumulating numbers?
   4. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5672744)
Oh dear.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5672747)
80 games is going to keep him from accumulating numbers?
To give a major example, he's 35 and has 2417 hits. It's easy to see a scenario in which missing half a season costs him 3000.
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5672749)
I would have warned him not to shake hands with David Ortiz.
   7. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5672751)
Does he have to wait until the DL stint is over, I guess?
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5672755)
So do we think he'll go with:

a) "Somebody slipped me something!"
b) "I had no idea anything illegal was in the over-the-counter supplement!"
c) "I apologize to my teammates and fans because an unspecified mistake was made."
   9. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5672762)
Why? What was his motivation here? He's got his last big contract. He was going to make the hall. There's just no reason to do this.
   10. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5672763)
Dammit Robbie.

Insert sad emoticon here.
   11. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5672765)
Apparently it was furosemide, which is what they give horses as a performance-enhancer (under the trade-name Lasix). Maybe A-Rod recommended it.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5672767)
Apparently it was furosemide, which is what they give horses as a performance-enhancer (under the trade-name Lasix).

Or,

d) "Wait, what?? I thought I was just having Lasik!"
   13. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5672768)
Why? What was his motivation here? He's got his last big contract. He was going to make the hall. There's just no reason to do this.


Well, no reason except that he's slowing down, the aches and pains stick around longer than he used to, and he still wants to perform to as near a level as he could in his prime.
   14. rconn23 Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5672769)
He's not missing the HOF because of lack of counting stats. He doesn't need 3,000 hits to get in. If he doesn't get in, it will be because voters don't believe him on the PED issue. His contract lasts until 2023. Even with injury and declining performance, he'll probably get close to 400 HRs and surpass 3,000 hits.
   15. Shredder Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5672771)
Apparently it was furosemide, which is what they give horses as a performance-enhancer (under the trade-name Lasix). Maybe A-Rod recommended it.
It's also what we give my three month old son twice a day. It takes fluid off the body (and makes him pee a lot), but in his defense, he just had heart surgery a couple weeks ago, and is not starting for a professional baseball team.
   16. dlf Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5672774)
Apparently it was furosemide, which is what they give horses as a performance-enhancer (under the trade-name Lasix).


I know nothing about horses other than they are a good way to convert money into fertilizer, but I do know Lasix -- I've been on it in relatively low doses for years due to kidney problems and the resulting fluid retention. I have no idea how a strong diuretic is performance enhancing unless it is being used to cover something else.

Edit: Shredder - good luck to you and your son. I hate hearing of the serious illness of a child.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5672777)
Does he have to wait until the DL stint is over, I guess?


Apparently not. From the ESPN article:

MLB said Cano's time on the disabled list will count toward his 80-game suspension. Baseball's drug program doesn't distinguish between a healthy and unhealthy player. However, he will lose his salary -- $11.85 million of his $24 million deal for 2018, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell -- and is ineligible for the postseason and the All-Star Game.
   18. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5672778)
Same fans ripping him now on the radio out here in Seattle would have been ripping him for aging and not performing well the last few years. Sucks he got caught. Probably quite a few guys panicking right now that also took it as a masking agent.

Apparently not. From the mlb.com article:


How is that even a thing? Talk about stupid.
   19. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5672780)
It's also what we give my three month old son twice a day. It takes fluid off the body (and makes him pee a lot), but in his defense, he just had heart surgery a couple weeks ago


Yikes! I hope the little tyke is doing so okay.
   20. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5672781)
From Mike Axisa over at RAB


Former Yankee Robinson Cano has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a banned substance, MLB announced. He tested positive for Furosemide, a drug used to treat a medical issue, though it is on the banned substances list because it can be used as a masking agent. By rule, Cano is now ineligible for the postseason should the Mariners qualify (lol).

According to T.J. Quinn, MLB does not automatically suspend for diuretics, so the suspension means MLB was able to prove Cano used the substance to mask another drug. He tested positive before the season and dropped the appeal after going on the disabled list.


Here's the link to Cano's statement
   21. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5672782)
According to T.J. Quinn, MLB does not automatically suspend for diuretics, so the suspension means MLB was able to prove Cano used the substance to mask another drug. He tested positive before the season and dropped the appeal after going on the disabled list.


Wish he would have just admitted he used PEDs rather than issue that half assed statement.
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5672784)
He tested positive before the season and dropped the appeal after going on the disabled list.
That should absolutely, 100% not be allowed.
   23. Shredder Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5672786)
Yikes! I hope the little tyke is doing so okay.
Thanks. Surgery went really well. It's a pretty common defect among kids born with Down Syndrome. He has some other issues we're dealing with, but on the whole, he's doing good. He's 12 weeks old tomorrow, and 8.5 of those were in the hospital (5 weeks NICU, 2 weeks home, and 3.5 weeks back at the hospital), but he's home now. Feeding via a tube and getting some breathing support, but otherwise good. Bonus is that we qualify for nursing through my wife's insurance, so free babysitting for the foreseeable future!
   24. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5672788)
$11.85 million of his $24 million deal for 2018

Whoa. I mean, I could probably live - if I worked at it - on $12.15 million for the year, but... that's still an awful lot of money.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5672789)
Looks like he went with

b) "I had no idea anything illegal was in the over-the-counter supplement!"

Except substitute "prescription I got from a totes legit doctor in the Dominican!"

   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5672791)
Shredder, congratulations on the new arrival to your family, and all the best wishes for his health.
   27. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5672793)
If you're allowed to appeal, you have to be allowed to drop the appeal. I thought it was suspicious that this happened right after he went on the DL, but now it makes sense. I didn't know there was a secret appeal process for this. I'm surprised and impressed.

But . . . didn't some player, perhaps Manny Ramirez, have to finish a DL stint that couldn't count as part of his suspension, and then have to do the whole suspension? Has the policy changed?
   28. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5672797)
Except substitute "prescription I got from a totes legit doctor in the Dominican!"


I just actually read the statement I linked to in #20 and what a pile of bullshit.

That first paragraph is especially infuriating (and damning).

   29. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5672798)
IIRC it was something like Manny retired in spite, but made noises about wanting to come back some day to the game that he loves, only to find out that retiring doesn't erase your suspension and he'd have to serve it if he came back. And then he went to Taiwan. Or something like that.
   30. puck Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5672804)
have no idea how a strong diuretic is performance enhancing unless it is being used to cover something else.


That's exactly it. Something about passing lots of fluids through the body to help dilute signs of the PEDs.
   31. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: May 15, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5672806)
I should know this, but I don't...

How does a suspension work for the team i/r/t things like the 40 man roster? I presume that obviously, the Mariners get to replace him on the 25 man roster -- but does he still have to be carried on the 40 man roster? Or is he removed as ineligible?

Another interesting question - wouldn't apply to Cano, but if a younger player got busted... and assuming that my suspicion that he gets removed from the 40 man is correct, does the player accumulate service time during a suspension?
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5672807)
Something about passing lots of fluids through the body to help dilute signs of the PEDs.
So it was to make him literally piss like a racehorse?
   33. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5672808)
The Twitter link in #20 doesn't work for me, here's the Seattle Times version in case anyone else has issues.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5672812)
According to T.J. Quinn, MLB does not automatically suspend for diuretics, so the suspension means MLB was able to prove Cano used the substance to mask another drug. He tested positive before the season and dropped the appeal after going on the disabled list.

That's not really clear. There was a pretty strong tactical reason to drop the appeal and start serving the suspension while on the DL, so as to miss little or no playing time no matter how the appeal decision came down. If MLB had evidence that a player had used a prohibited PED, they'd suspend for that, not a diuretic "masking agent", so I' m not sure how MLB proves intent to mask when a drug is prescribed by a doctor.
   35. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5672813)
Shredder, congratulations on the new arrival to your family, and all the best wishes for his health.

Seconded. Glad to hear the good news.
   36. puck Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5672815)
According to T.J. Quinn, MLB does not automatically suspend for diuretics, so the suspension means MLB was able to prove Cano used the substance to mask another drug.


I wonder how they prove that. If they found the drug he was trying to mask, wouldn't they say he was suspended for that?

Oops, coke to Clapper.
   37. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5672817)
The Twitter link in #20 doesn't work for me, here's the Seattle Times version in case anyone else has issues.


Thanks. I ran into the same problem.
   38. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5672818)
There was a pretty strong tactical reason to drop the appeal and start serving the suspension while on the DL, so as to miss little or no playing time.

He's losing $11mil, and probably has no chance at the HOF now. If there's any chance this would be overturned on appeal, it's incredibly stupid to drop the appeal regardless of the injury (which wouldn't last the entire suspension anyway; and even if it did, still stupid to drop).
   39. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5672822)
How the #### is it in the CBA TO SERVE A DRUG SUSPENSION WHILE ON THE DL??????????????????
   40. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5672823)
If there's any chance this would be overturned on appeal, it's incredibly stupid to drop the appeal regardless of the injury (which wouldn't last the entire suspension anyway; and even if it did, still stupid to drop).
Dropping the appeal now is essentially a confession. He did it, he's not playing anyways (what the hell sort of DL allowance is that?!), and he can disappear off the radar in "rehab" until the public storm dies down a little.
   41. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5672825)

That's exactly it. Something about passing lots of fluids through the body to help dilute signs of the PEDs.


I wonder how the process works.

Do the players get a copy of the test results when they are notified they failed?

In this case, it seems very likely they didn't find the actual PED he was using, otherwise, they'd have just popped him for that. But since he was popped (and dropped the appeal) it's most likely because he can't prove he took it for any appropriate medical condition.

If that's the case, why not just claim you took it to mask the fact that you were smoking Cheech-and-Chong levels of weed, or using some other recreational drug?

Hell, he plays in Seattle, using the I-like-to-burn-one-down-in-the-offseason excuse might just make an even bigger fan favorite.
   42. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5672829)
The 60-day DL doesn't count against the 40-man roster, right? So in this case, he could go on that and stay on it as long as they want.

Isn't the so-called "drugs pf abuse" a different program?
   43. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5672831)
The 60-day DL doesn't count against the 40-man roster, right? So in this case, he could go on that and stay on it as long as they want.


Yes, correct - players on the 60 day DL get removed from the 40-man... HOWEVER - they do still accumulate service time.
   44. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5672832)
b) "I had no idea anything illegal was in the over-the-counter supplement!"

Except substitute "prescription milkshake I got from a totes legit doctor in the Dominican!"

The Papi defense.
   45. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5672834)
He's losing $11mil, and probably has no chance at the HOF now.

Assuming he retires at the end of his current contract, Cano is a full decade from his first Hall of Fame ballot. Presuming that the voters would disqualify him for a positive test for a prescribed diuretic deemed a masking agent, without evidence of PED use before or after, strikes me as rather speculative. Maybe more info will come out eventually, but if Cano continues to perform at approximately the same level with no further positive tests, HoF voters may not find the evidence so clear cut.
   46. karlmagnus Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5672843)
It makes no sense to allow Cano into the HOF and ban Manny, who is an exactly equivalent case as far as I can tell. Plus Manny was a much greater player, whatever WaR says. Never saw Cano high-five a spectator in the middle of a double play!
   47. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5672847)
Assuming he retires at the end of his current contract, Cano is a full decade from his first Hall of Fame ballot. Presuming that the voters would disqualify him for a positive test for a prescribed diuretic deemed a masking agent, without evidence of PED use before or after, strikes me as rather speculative.

On one hand, fair point. On another, I can see the results for a bunch of other guys in similar boats with stronger statistical arguments, including multiple guys who never failed a test. So sure, we can have a hypothetical argument about what could happen in some alternate universe.
   48. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5672849)
It makes no sense to allow Cano into the HOF and ban Manny, who is an exactly equivalent case as far as I can tell.


Manny was a MUCH worse case of PED abuse. The league covered for him and George Mitchell made sure he never suffered any obtrusive investigations because of his fiduciary duty to the Red Sox, but as soon as the guy left the team he couldn't piss clean to save his life. He was likely juiced up his entire career.
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5672854)
The league covered for him and George Mitchell made sure he never suffered any obtrusive investigations because of his fiduciary duty to the Red Sox, but as soon as the guy left the team he couldn't piss clean to save his life. He was likely juiced up his entire career.
Man, the conspiracy against the Yankees knows no bounds! I would have to assume that there's never been a case of a guy who played for the Yankees but didn't get popped until after he left.
   50. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5672859)
I should know this, but I don't...

How does a suspension work for the team i/r/t things like the 40 man roster? I presume that obviously, the Mariners get to replace him on the 25 man roster -- but does he still have to be carried on the 40 man roster? Or is he removed as ineligible?

Another interesting question - wouldn't apply to Cano, but if a younger player got busted... and assuming that my suspicion that he gets removed from the 40 man is correct, does the player accumulate service time during a suspension?

Suspended players go on the Restricted List, and are not on the 25 or 40 man roster. Whether restricted players accrue service time, depends on the reason for being put on the RL, but for drug suspensions, yes they do get service time.
   51. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5672867)
In this case, it seems very likely they didn't find the actual PED he was using, otherwise, they'd have just popped him for that. But since he was popped (and dropped the appeal) it's most likely because he can't prove he took it for any appropriate medical condition.

As a hypothetical, what if he COULD definitively prove that's why he took it? Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time seeing the MLB in that case being all "hey, no worries, all cool then!" Or is that what they actually do?
   52. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5672868)
The league covered for him and George Mitchell made sure he never suffered any obtrusive investigations because of his fiduciary duty to the Red Sox, but as soon as the guy left the team he couldn't piss clean to save his life. He was likely juiced up his entire career.

Man, the conspiracy against the Yankees knows no bounds! I would have to assume that there's never been a case of a guy who played for the Yankees but didn't get popped until after he left.


"I never thought there would be a PR downside to having our own guys run the investigation!"

Don't worry, nobody cares, sports are inherently frivolous and the league had a vested interest in having Boston serve as a bulwark against Yankee dominance. This was an easy choice for the Budshoviks and their cronies and they've suffered no adverse publicity, so chalk it up as a win for chicanery and move on.
   53. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5672870)
Don't worry, nobody cares, sports are inherently frivolous and the league had a vested interest in having Boston serve as a bulwark against Yankee dominance. This was an easy choice for the Budshoviks and their cronies and they've suffered no adverse publicity, so chalk it up as a win for chicanery and move on.
I gotta admit, you're quick on your feet with this stuff. It's impressive in its own way.

EDIT: By the way, I'm reading "The Game" by Jeff Passan now. I assume you've already read it because some of your posts read like near-verbatim quotes, but if you haven't, I would recommend it, with the caveat to see a doctor if your erection lasts longer than four hours.
   54. Booey Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5672871)
Dammit to hell. I always liked Cano. There's only a handful of current players I'd have been more disappointed to hear this about than Robby.
   55. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5672873)
Suspended players go on the Restricted List, and are not on the 25 or 40 man roster. Whether restricted players accrue service time, depends on the reason for being put on the RL, but for drug suspensions, yes they do get service time.


Huh.... that seems like it could be a fairly significant sop to pre-FA player. Or - for that matter - even a pretty significant sop to a FA-eligible player who is just looking to get pension eligibility.

Although, for the latter sort - I imagine they might be fungible enough that a team may just cut them loose and no one else is particularly interested in carry someone on the restricted list for half or a full season anyway.
   56. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5672883)
As a hypothetical, what if he COULD definitively prove that's why he took it? Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time seeing the MLB in that case being all "hey, no worries, all cool then!" Or is that what they actually do?


Someone (don't remember who, maybe Passan) tweeted out that players have tested positive for this substance and NOT been suspended but in this case they could prove Cano was using it to mask the other drugs.
   57. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5672885)
I feel for Cano, the Mariners and hell even the Yankee fans because while I've never been a fan of his he's a hell of a player. But I have to say, as a Red Sox fan I am so grateful to Yankee Redneck. His desperate and frankly pathetic obsession with the Sox warms my heart. It's a wonderful reminder of the three World Series titles, the back to back to division titles and all the great moments the Sox have had this century. Thank you YR, you are a treasure.
   58. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5672890)
Interesting, thanks, Jose.
   59. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5672892)
But I have to say, as a Red Sox fan I am so grateful to Yankee Redneck. His desperate and frankly pathetic obsession with the Sox warms my heart.


Now that I live in Boston I get to go to Fenway and hear the "Yankees suck" chants when the Sawks are playing Kansas and Oakland. This is the most Yankee-obsessive bunch of losers I've ever seen.

It's a wonderful reminder of the three World Series titles, the back to back to division titles and all the great moments the Sox have had this century. Thank you YR,


Thank Bud Selig, he was your boy and it shows your lack of character that you won't even acknowledge the obvious.
   60. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5672894)
My sense is that at least on the issue of PEDs the players and ownership are genuinely in a partnership on this stuff. I think that's a good thing.
   61. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5672895)
As a hypothetical, what if he COULD definitively prove that's why he took it? Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time seeing the MLB in that case being all "hey, no worries, all cool then!" Or is that what they actually do?

Someone (don't remember who, maybe Passan) tweeted out that players have tested positive for this substance and NOT been suspended but in this case they could prove Cano was using it to mask the other drugs.

I doubt it. That is not generally the standard for drug suspensions in any sport. Typically, you are completely liable for any substances in your system. The reason masking agents are on the list, is precisely because they make it difficult to prove other drug use. So exempting them without further proof, would be very strange. I would have to look over MLB's provisions in detail.

But I do know, you need a Therapeutic Use Exemption, for any prohibited substance. And I would assume any use, whether it is for a PED directly, or a masking agent, will require one in advance, and not after the fact.
   62. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5672899)
Assuming he retires at the end of his current contract, Cano is a full decade from his first Hall of Fame ballot. Presuming that the voters would disqualify him for a positive test for a prescribed diuretic deemed a masking agent, without evidence of PED use before or after, strikes me as rather speculative.

On one hand, fair point. On another, I can see the results for a bunch of other guys in similar boats with stronger statistical arguments, including multiple guys who never failed a test. So sure, we can have a hypothetical argument about what could happen in some alternate universe.

I'm certainly not going to defend anti-PED zealots who don't need evidence - rumor will suffice - to vote against an otherwise HoF-deserving player, but the "never failed a test" victims mostly played before the testing regime was put in place and subsequently strengthened. Those projecting how HoF voters a decade from now will deem a single failed test for a prescribed diuretic, without evidence of actual PED use before or after, when a DL stint made accepting the suspension tactically advantageous, seem to be just suggesting their own preferred outcome. As others mentioned, some voters seem rather flexible on such matters - possibly willing to give David Ortiz a pass despite voting against others with similar evidence against them. There could be a lot of changes over a decade, and those assuming things will look the same as they do today do so at some risk.
   63. bookbook Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5672900)
Eh. It’s actually a diuretic, which as noted above, is legitimately prescribed all the time for all sorts of medical conditions. Do I think Cano is dumb enough to take a diuretic without checking all the arcane details of the drug program? Sure. He’s a baseball player, not a fricking lawyer.

What I, for the life of me, can’t understand is why baseball teams do so little to protect their investments. Every multi-million dollar player should be surrounded by handlers (lawyers, nutritionists, social media blockers) all offseason. The Mariners May have just lost themselves the playoffs. I blame the team.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5672901)
More than likely he was in the midst of the appeal process and then broke his hand and decided that he was probably going to lose the appeal anyway, and dropped the appeal, the suspension happens immediately once the appeal is over. At least that is my understanding of how this thing works.
   65. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5672904)
The Mariners May have just lost themselves the playoffs. I blame the team.


That's the sad part, they were playing much better than had been anticipated.

So what's next? Gordon back to 2nd? Easier to replace an outfielder than a 2B.
   66. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5672905)
Thank Bud Selig, he was your boy and it shows your lack of character that you won't even acknowledge the obvious.

You forgot revenue sharing. And BLM.
   67. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5672912)
As a hypothetical, what if he COULD definitively prove that's why he took it? Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time seeing the MLB in that case being all "hey, no worries, all cool then!" Or is that what they actually do?

Someone (don't remember who, maybe Passan) tweeted out that players have tested positive for this substance and NOT been suspended but in this case they could prove Cano was using it to mask the other drugs.


Ahem, see post #20.

   68. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5672915)
Hey guys, it was Mike Axisa quoting TJ Quinn! What would you do without me? (thanks Count, didn't realize it was HERE that I read that).
   69. Walt Davis Posted: May 15, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5672950)
As CFB notes, dropping the appeal isn't an admission of guilt, it's an admission he thought he was going to lose the appeal ... maybe because he's guilty or maybe because these appeals are very hard to win under any circumstance. As somebody up there noted, it would seem that he should have at least had a TUE so even legit use or accidental use would result in a suspension (as I understand it). There are many aspects of these drug agreements I don't like but at this point, the athletes are well-informed and have to recognize a need to have anything their doctor prescribes tested and/or only go to guys who are real specialist sports doctors.

On DL time counting ... on the DL, you're still (potentially) on the 40-man, you're still accumulating ML service time so it's perfectly logical. Besides if the outcry is strong enough, history has shown the union will bend to pressure and the next JDA won't let you serve suspensions while on the DL. As noted above, this is distinct from the Manny Ramirez situation where he retired and so wasn't on any active roster. Still if I recall, he ended up getting some credit for time served (i.e. the suspension was reduced but not eliminated).

On testing ... I don't think we have much choice but to recognize that the testing isn't that hard to avoid. Braun only got tripped up once. ARod used for at least three years without a positive test. Other Biogenesis clients avoided detection (and some didn't). And Biogenesis doesn't seem to have been using state of the art stuff that was undetectable by the tests. Whether it's better masking, small-dosage regimens or (quite possible) being suckered by conmen into using small, undetectable dosages that also aren't doing you any good I don't know but it seems the only ones who get caught by testing are the ones who mess up the routine.
   70. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5672957)
You forgot revenue sharing. And BLM


Curiously, both can be considered to have been Russian-backed concepts.
   71. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5672975)

Now that I live in Boston I get to go to Fenway and hear the "Yankees suck" chants when the Sawks are playing Kansas and Oakland.


Sox fans have always had a soft spot for the Jayhawks.
   72. Khrushin it bro Posted: May 15, 2018 at 06:41 PM (#5672991)
How will this effect his HOF chances???

Oh wait you guys already covered that.
   73. Adam Starblind Posted: May 15, 2018 at 06:54 PM (#5672996)
positive test for a prescribed diuretic deemed a masking agent, without evidence of PED use before or after


The diuretic masking agent is evidence of PED use. That's why it's prohibited. Not because it's cheating to enhance your performance at peeing.
   74. Internet Commenter Posted: May 15, 2018 at 06:57 PM (#5672997)
Why? What was his motivation here? He's got his last big contract. He was going to make the hall. There's just no reason to do this.

Cano wasn't highly-regarded as a prospect (never even made BA's top 100). Maybe he's been using his entire MLB career and doesn't know how to play any other way? Maybe he tried to play clean in 2008 and realized that would cost him a fortune? Maybe he started using in 2016 due to fan backlash for not living up to his contract? I think there are plenty of plausible explanations on first glance.
   75. Accent Shallow is probably a hologram Posted: May 15, 2018 at 07:22 PM (#5673005)
Maybe he tried to play clean in 2008 and realized that would cost him a fortune?


I think 2008 was just a hideous March/April, with a perfectly reasonable season the rest of the way:

March/April: .151/.211/.236 (22 OPS+)
May/October: .297/.326/.448 (~100 OPS+)

So absolutely a down season, he was never able to dig himself out of the hole, and the Yankees almost certainly lost games in March/April that they would have won if Cano had hit to his 2007/2009 level, but . . . I don't think you can really draw any conclusions from that.
   76. eric Posted: May 15, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5673009)
it seems the only ones who get caught by testing are the ones who mess up the routine.


Ding ding ding. That's why I hate the phrase "post-steroids era" and anything similar. It assumes a lot that is likely not true. I would imagine the percentage of players using PEDs to some degree in today's game is nearly as high as it was when the players were untested.
   77. Brian C Posted: May 15, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5673034)
esides if the outcry is strong enough, history has shown the union will bend to pressure and the next JDA won't let you serve suspensions while on the DL.

I think it's a dumb thing to worry about, to be honest. If DL time didn't count, Cano would just drop the appeal and not go on the DL even though he's hurt. Or guys already on the DL would be activated as soon as they're eligible and then serve the suspension while healing.

I know a lot of people are easily triggered by the idea of someone, somewhere, getting away with something, but the tangible effect of making this change seems like it would be almost nil. I would assume that the money is as big if not bigger deal to most players than the time served anyway.
   78. dejarouehg Posted: May 15, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5673089)
Ding ding ding. That's why I hate the phrase "post-steroids era" and anything similar. It assumes a lot that is likely not true. I would imagine the percentage of players using PEDs to some degree in today's game is nearly as high as it was when the players were untested.


Couldn't agree more. Funny, you hear members of the media repeating so many of the same comments now that they did in the hey-day of PED overload - that small guy has impressive power, I can't believe that guy hit an "oppo," look at the number of players with more than 20 hr.....yet they don't say, "wait a minute! Is this groundhogs day?"

No, they attribute this to launch angle. What utter nonsense.

To be fair, and I haven't checked records, but it feels like players seem to be thriving less post-33/34 years old now than they did back then.
   79. eric Posted: May 15, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5673125)
To be fair, and I haven't checked records, but it feels like players seem to be thriving less post-33/34 years old now than they did back then.


Well, I think we have to remember that steroid use went completely unchecked for decades before. Then once Canseco basically showed you could be a muscle-bound behemoth and prosper at the game, many others followed suit and we had the true steroids era.

But once testing was implemented, then the players had to change their tonic of choice, and alter dosages, and only use concoctions that can be masked, etc. I imagine "everyone" is still using, but ultimately it's less effective than during the unconstrained period. So perhaps there is some benefit to testing, but I doubt it's changed much the actual percentage of users.

Disclaimer: I have no knowledge of steroids outside what I read/see on TV, and the only MLB player I've ever met was Boog Powell whose hand I got to shake when I was about 12. Thus, this narrative is completely a "this is what makes the most sense to me" invention of my own imagination.
   80. Panic Posted: May 15, 2018 at 10:58 PM (#5673221)
The diuretic masking agent is evidence of PED use. That's why it's prohibited. Not because it's cheating to enhance your performance at peeing.


No it's not. It's evidence Cano is an idiot.
   81. Ray (CTL) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 11:18 PM (#5673235)
Dammit Robbie.

Insert sad emoticon here.


As ever with PEDs, this doesn't change my opinion of his career or his character at all. Nor do I need the HOF voters to tell me whether he's worthy. This is a complete nothingburger to me.

I'm hopeful that one day people will realize that no evidence has been shown that PEDs have any actual effect on baseball performance. Regardless they're part of the era the game is played in.
   82. The Duke Posted: May 15, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5673238)
His Hall chances are gone. Maybe he’s been using for years to pump up his numbers and finally got caught . Who knows

Is this a drug normally prescribed for high blood pressure - seems like a wonky explanation?

I like the 80 game suspension and missing the playoffs. It’s an appropriate penalty

Why in the world would teams not ask to vet all prescribed drugs? They can’t force you to discuss it but they could certainly ask.
   83. eric Posted: May 15, 2018 at 11:32 PM (#5673242)
Why in the world would teams not ask to vet all prescribed drugs? They can’t force you to discuss it but they could certainly ask.


Call my cynical, but I basically assume all teams are complicit in whatever PED use there is. They understand the risks, but know their players are only as good as they are with the chemical help they get. Any help will be of the kind of "don't get caught." And if you are, here's your excuse, and we'll shake our heads and act shocked, shocked that anyone is engaging in such behavior on this team to the press.

Robbie forgot to take something at the prescribed time, that's all.
   84. Ray (CTL) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 11:35 PM (#5673245)
He's losing $11mil, and probably has no chance at the HOF now. If there's any chance this would be overturned on appeal, it's incredibly stupid to drop the appeal regardless of the injury (which wouldn't last the entire suspension anyway; and even if it did, still stupid to drop).


I'm not sure Cano cares about the same things you guys care about, re his reputation and the Hall of Fame. I remember when the Yankees were trying to re-sign him and sportswriters made all sorts of arguments about how he could become an All Time Great Yankee and have a plaque in monument park next to Jeter et al. Cano didn't say much -- he never does -- and simply signed with the Mariners. He showed no sign that he actually cared about any of that. His apathy stuck in the craw of a lot of local media and Yankees fans who themselves were easily moved by such arguments and were offended that he appeared not to be.

He's made hundreds of millions of dollars. He's one of the greatest 2B to ever play the game. And at this point the list of great players *not* in the Hall of Fame due to "steroids" is big enough that it's not a dishonor to be on it. Bonds, Clemens, ARod, McGwire, Palmeiro, Ramirez...... these are great players, some are all-time greats. And no amount of putting Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame changes that; actually it highlights the absurdity of all of this.
   85. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 16, 2018 at 01:37 AM (#5673268)
So what's next? Gordon back to 2nd? Easier to replace an outfielder than a 2B.


Apparently, yes. The Mariners weren't planning on moving Dee Gordon back to second to cover a short term injury, but this one is long enough for them to ask Gordon if he'd agree to it, and he's said yes. Gordon Beckham will cover for a few days until Dee Gordon feels comfortable enough to play second, but Dee will then will take over the position until Cano returns.
   86. Walt Davis Posted: May 16, 2018 at 01:40 AM (#5673270)
Bonds, Clemens, ARod, McGwire, Palmeiro, Ramirez

Poor Sosa -- gets lumped with these guys when it costs him votes, gets left off this list of guys when they're being honored. :-)

Aging and roids is tangential at best. McGwire finished at 37, Sosa declined badly at 34 and was essentially done after 35, Palmeiro hung on as a decent player but the bat declined after 37. Aaron, FRobinson, Mays, Killebrew, Schmidt, McCovey have similar or better aging patterns. If you're an HoF-quality player, you are generally still very good at ages 33-34 and good (in reduced playing time) at ages 35-37 and then it's a crap shoot.

Between expansion, demographics (low US birthrates post baby boom), improving medicine/training/surgery, possibly competition from other sports, etc. it's likely that the ML talent level was declining through the 90s and early 2000s and there was less quality young talent coming into the game. In those circumstances you would expect players to last longer.

It was also the first era with (some) extremely long contracts for superstars. Palmeiro's contract with Texas ran through his age 38 season -- he was gonna play unless he really, really sucked. At ages 39-40 he had a little less playing time and was a little less productive than Beltran just was. And of course, go far enough back, and the money just wasn't that good and it may not have been worth it to stick around.

Players aged 34-37 and at least 2000 PA, by decade (age 34 year), # and median WAA (not WAR)

1955-64: 4
1965-74: 10
1975-84: 16
1985-94: 23
1995-04: 30
2005-14: 28

It's been trending up, it flattened out for one decade. There doesn't appear to be anything particularly outlandish about the performance of those guys in the 1995-2004 era except for Bonds of course (28 WAA). The median WAA was about 1-2 and Edgar, Walker and McGwire were the other big performers with 11-15 WAA. Eyeballing it, that looked similar to the other decades.

Bonds's performance was of course freakish. But Aaron's career best OPS+ came at age 37 and his career best ISO at 39 (beating age 37 by a single point); Ted Williams 2nd best OPS+ came at 38 and he posted a 179 at 39 and a 190 at 41; Mays had 6 WAR at age 40. It's what all-time greats do sometimes.

It could be that roids helped ease the aging curve; or it could be they didn't; or it could be they help a bit but add nothing more than a couple of hundred at-bats. But if they can help slow the aging process than can we please declare them a miracle drug and start studying them seriously cuz I could use some.

   87. catseyepub Posted: May 16, 2018 at 06:45 AM (#5673279)
I recall Cano as having failed a drug test back in 2012.
   88. dlf Posted: May 16, 2018 at 06:56 AM (#5673281)
Is this a drug normally prescribed for high blood pressure - seems like a wonky explanation?


Diuretics are prescribed for a ton of things, including high blood pressure. Two of the effects of diuretics - the elimination of extra fluids in the body generally and the reduction in salts retained in the blood - can help treat hypertension. Personally, I'd guess that Cano's agent just googled uses of Lasix and since this one popped up, pretended that it was the reason it was being prescribed rather than as a masking agent (I've long assumed a huge swath of players are still on some PED regimen) but the explanation itself is not unreasonable.
   89. bfan Posted: May 16, 2018 at 07:45 AM (#5673289)
I'm not sure Cano cares about the same things you guys care about, re his reputation and the Hall of Fame. I remember when the Yankees were trying to re-sign him and sportswriters made all sorts of arguments about how he could become an All Time Great Yankee and have a plaque in monument park next to Jeter et al. Cano didn't say much -- he never does -- and simply signed with the Mariners. He showed no sign that he actually cared about any of that. His apathy stuck in the craw of a lot of local media and Yankees fans who themselves were easily moved by such arguments and were offended that he appeared not to be.


Actually, Cano was prescient. During the period of his Seattle tenure, Seattle has passed New York as a city of consequence.
   90. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2018 at 08:20 AM (#5673292)
Personally, I'd guess that Cano's agent just googled uses of Lasix and since this one popped up, pretended that it was the reason it was being prescribed rather than as a masking agent

Lasix is prescription-only. I would hope that there is some sort of pharmaceutical registry for players' doctors to use. If I'm a player, I wouldn't want to get a tetanus shot or a tube of preparation H without clearing it from the league first.
   91. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:03 AM (#5673300)
I'm not sure Cano cares about the same things you guys care about, re his reputation and the Hall of Fame. I remember when the Yankees were trying to re-sign him and sportswriters made all sorts of arguments about how he could become an All Time Great Yankee and have a plaque in monument park next to Jeter et al. Cano didn't say much -- he never does -- and simply signed with the Mariners. He showed no sign that he actually cared about any of that. His apathy stuck in the craw of a lot of local media and Yankees fans who themselves were easily moved by such arguments and were offended that he appeared not to be.


Well put
   92. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5673306)
During the period of his Seattle tenure, Seattle has passed New York as a city of consequence.


#6org
   93. Colin Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5673309)
I know it's easy to assume Hall voters will continue to take a hard line on PED users, but I'm expecting some argumentative gymnastics when Andy Pettitte hits the ballot next year and loads of voters struggle to find a way to let him in. I'm hoping that having to address with one of their favorites will soften their outrage a little for others.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5673315)
I would imagine the percentage of players using PEDs to some degree in today's game is nearly as high as it was when the players were untested.

That makes no sense.

Any basic theory of incentives suggests that once there is testing and severe penalties in place (this is costing Cano $12M), use will go down. Will it go to zero, of course not. But if it was 50% during the height of the steroid era, maybe it's 25% now. I'd bet even less.
   95. BrianBrianson Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5673327)
The diuretic masking agent is evidence of PED use.

No it's not. It's evidence Cano is an idiot.


"Evidence" is not a synonym of "proof".
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5673331)
"Evidence" is not a synonym of "proof".

Proof is not required under the MLB drug agreement. The substance is banned. It's Cano's burden to prove he was taking it legitimately.
   97. BDC Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5673333)
Aging and roids is tangential at best

Thank you for this observation! It's practically engraved in the common memory that the years c2000 were rife with guys still playing great at age 40,. But the subset of position players playing regularly in their 40s who were any good, in those years, consists of Barry Bonds (in somewhat limited playing time), and Edgar Martinez and Rickey Henderson, who are not prime steroid suspects. Now, you did have guys like Steve Finley who struggled on into their 40s, but they (a) often aren't high on the suspect list either; (b) weren't very good; and (c) can have their longevity explained by other factors, like the exponential rise in salaries. (Finley hauled himself out there at age 40+ in part because he could make more as a replacement-level player than he'd ever made before as a star.)

Whatever they were (and it's reasonable to assume they had some effect on power, because so many big-HR guys used), steroids were not the Fountain of Youth.
   98. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5673346)
This guy I know INSISTS that The Big Red Machine was the first PED clubhouse and that Joe Morgan, George Foster, and Pete Rose all were users. I am flabbergasted at the way people are able to speculate wildly about these things without any evidence other than some statistics. The fact that it bothers me so much probably says more about me than it does about him but it really does get under my skin. I don't want to see anyone taking drugs to get an edge, but these things often devolve into a witch hunt. Everyone gets whipped into a frenzy every time someone else is caught as if it is proof that everyone else is using steroids too. In any event, it is a sad day for MLB, for the Mariners, and for their fans.

   99. bunyon Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5673359)
Well, the evidence Rose used is that he was living with a steroid dealer, wasn't it? (I don't know why anyone would necessarily extend that to the whole clubhouse).

Whoever actually used, I am absolutely certain the steroid era began well before people think it did and it will continue on, basically, forever.
   100. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5673361)
Personally speaking, when he comes up for a vote (I don't have my vote yet, but I'll be well over 10 years in BBWAA at that point), I would give him a demerit for explicitly breaking a rule like this if his case was borderline, more or less a tiebreaker. If he's signficantly over the line, it wouldn't be enough to make him a no for me. I consider post-2004 use to be a completely different matter than before.

And no, Fay Vincent had zero power to make a rule with the memo. Even he didn't think his memo was enforceable on actual players; it would essentially have allowed him to suspend Pat Gillick or Jim Riggleman for steroid use.
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