Monday, January 5, 2009

MLB suspends J.C. Romero 50 games for "negligence"

The Phillies will now be without two key pieces of their roster for the start of the 2009 season. The one we already knew about was Chase Utley, who had offseason hip surgery and will miss at least the first month of the regular season. Now it looks like the Phillies will also have to do without their lefty bullpen ace for the first two months. Talk about a rocky start for the defending champs.

Major League Baseball will announce tomorrow that J.C. Romero has been suspended for 50 games for "negligence". Apparently Romero bought supplements that the league originally approved of but has now decided are banned substances. He will also lose 1.25 million dollars of salary.

The weird thing about the situation is that Romero isn't being accused of taking an illegal substance. Instead, he is being punished for buying a product that MLB was never clear was actually a banned substance. It all sounds pretty fishy to me, and J.C. feels wrongly accused and has plenty of strong words on the situation that you can read if you click here.

This is certainly a tough situation for Romero to be dealing with. Apparently he could have made a deal to reduce his suspension to 25 games but he refused it because he didn't feel he did anything wrong.

For the Phillies, this means they will be without a key bullpen piece for nearly a third of the season. In his absence, the Phillies probably won't go and make any drastic moves. Scott Eyre will likely be the main lefty option out of the pen and the Phils could easily use someone like J.A. Happ as the second lefty.

Losing Romero hurts the Phillies but you have to look bigger picture in this situation. MLB might be doing something seriously wrong, and illegal, by suspending a player who really did nothing that was against the rules. Let's hope Romero is so fired up from this suspension that he dominates the league after he sits out for 50 games.


Jason said...

Retroactively suspending players for using a substance that gets banned after the player tests positive for it is a very dangerous precedent being set by the MLB. Even if I were not a Phillies fan, I would find this to be completely ridiculous and I hope Romero takes this higher than an arbitrator, and fights until this gets overturned. It just seems way too ridiculous to not be overturned by a level headed judge.

EnriqueFed said...

I do find it odd that Romero has decided not to appeal this suspension. It definitely seems like he has a good case if he's telling the truth. Maybe it's a pride issue with him.