Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, last year’s National League batting champion, has been suspended for 80 games for violating MLB’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Quite a Major League kick in the shins and deflator after the Marlins just swept the Dodgers four games in L.A.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced the suspension while reporting that Gordon tested positive for “exogenous testosterone and Clostebol,” two pharmaceutical no-nos. Gordon will be eligible to return to the team July 29 when the Marlins play the St. Louis Cardinals in Miami. Gordon, his agent, and the Miami Marlins said the things you would expect them to say about this. These remarks after players are caught juicing have become so predictable that Crash Davis might include them in future lessons on baseball clichés.
I’ve no patience or sympathy for skilled players who seek further advantage over their competitors through chemistry. But it’s particularly sad to see Gordon caught up in this. He has been one of my favorite players, not just for his obvious baseball skills (he and Ichiro could compete for the sobriquet, the Sultan of Slap), but also for his upbeat personality and, it seemed, for his integrity. He always played the game hard and joyfully, making him all the more fun to watch. This is a bit like finding out that Tinker Bell, in her off hours, is a hooker.
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