Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 8/5/13
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

Bills suspend assistant coach for first six games of 2015

Trent Richardson has 50-50 chance at making Raiders roster

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

WATCH: Dez Bryant throws punches at training camp

There's no need for Notre Dame to join a conference

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

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

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker