Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Philadelphia-phillies
As you all know, Phillies left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo accepted a 50-game suspension today for his involvement with Biogenesis, a sports nutrition firm now known for producing and selling banned substances to Major League Baseball players. The series of suspensions are unprecedented: players were confronted with overwhelming evidence and accepted suspensions instead of being suspended for failing tests. And as you all may also know, I went on record in the winter that the Phillies should have explored signing Alex Rodriguez in the event he would have had his contract with the New York Yankees voided and that I was very disappointed that no players from the supposed Steroid Era of baseball were elected to the Hall of Fame this year. I am not a steroid apologist or a defender of those who used steroids. I will never use the phrase “everyone was doing it” but I do believe the epidemic was and likely is too expansive to include or exclude players in the Hall of Fame. What makes this all the more confounding is that my favorite team, the team I write about, and sometimes think about in my sleep, has had quite a few players in their Major and Minor League ranks suspended for violating MLB’s “Drug & Treatment Prevention” policy. Each suspension, admittedly, puts strain on my love for my favorite team, even though like so many other credentialed media, I often shrug and say “meh” when the topic arises. My favorite Phillies team has always been the 2009 squad. The 2009 team was a World Series winner that wasn’t picked to repeat and, in some publications, wasn’t picked to win their own division. To begin the season, they had to replace a 2.3 fWAR outfielder and survived injuries to a closer who was perfect a season before. During the season, they were forced to go twelve starting pitchers and five catchers deep and won the National League pennant despite the fact that Eric Bruntlett played in 72 games. With Bastardo’s suspension today, he is now the third player from the 2009 Phillies to be suspended under MLB’s “Drug & Treatment Prevention” policy. J.C. Romero and Carlos Ruiz were the first two from the 2009 squad to face suspension. Romero’s positive test came from 6-OXO Extreme, a product he purchased at GNC. Ruiz’s suspension came from a positive test for Adderall. By joining those two players on the list of players who have been suspended under the “Drug & Treatment Prevention” policy, the 2009 NL pennant-winning Phillies now have an MLB-record three suspended players from a pennant-winning team. Let that sit in. Those tongue-in-cheek comments about A-Rod cheating so bad that the Phillies should be given the 2009 World Series? You’ll have to take them back, even if he and Francisco Cervelli joined that list today. With their suspensions, the 2009 Yankees only had two – the Phillies had three. Even though Andy Pettite admitted taking performance enhancing drugs, he was never suspended for such. The 2000 Yankees read like a Who’s Who of the Mitchell Report and yet… the 2009 Phillies still are the reigning leader in pennant winners with three suspensions under the “Drug & Treatment Prevention” policy. While each case has nuances that lead you to believe each player’s suspension may have been an isolated incident, including Romero suing the maker of 6-OXO and settling with them for an undisclosed sum out of court, the truth is, the Phillies have a longer track record than most teams in this early era of performance-enhancement testing. Bastardo is the sixth Phillie or Phillies’ minor leaguer since 2009 that has tested positive for a prohibited substance under the new policy, easily leading all of baseball. The others? Infielder Freddie Galvis last year and then-Phillies minor leaguers Kevin Frandsen in 2011 and Pablo Ozuna in 2009. The next closest teams? The Giants and Yankees with three. Until today’s suspensions, the Phillies accounted for 18.18% of Major League baseball’s suspensions since 2009. So what does all of this mean? The Phillies, at best, need better communication with their players and athletic staff and a better understanding of prohibitive substances to prevent positive tests. They need to keep their players off prohibited substances and on the field, which helps the players stay healthier in the long term, keeps the fans happy, and prevents the embarrassment of positive tests. I never realized what a large issue this may be within the Phillies organization until Bastardo’s suspension. Hopefully, this issue will open some eyes in the front office and they will come up with a better plan to keep their athletes on the field and off of the suspended list.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yu Darvish on notion he quit on Rangers: ‘That’s BS‘

Tiger Woods' agent refutes drug suspension claim

Bryce Harper says he needs to ‘step up’ this season

Report: Chiefs place franchise tag on Justin Houston

What a Marcus Mariota trade might look like

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ndamukong Suh to hit free agency, no franchise tag

Report: Rasheed Sulaimon was accused of sexual assault

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Nick Young rips ESPN anchor over Iggy Azalea insult

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

Could Holly Holm be a worthy challenger for Ronda Rousey?

Gronk spikes Lombardi Trophy cake on his bro's head

In defense of Geno Smith

Lynch opens up to the media….in Turkey

Building a program: Kennesaw State's first spring practice

Did Duke ignore Sulaimon sexual assault allegations?

Ten takeaways from this week's NFL offseason action

What to expect on franchise tag deadline day

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.