Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sports

NL batting champ gets PEDs ban

RECOMMENDED READING


MIAMI — Reigning NL batting champion Dee Gordon of the Marlins says he unknowingly took the performance-enhancing drugs that led to his 80-game suspension but will accept the penalty.

The announcement of the suspension by Major League Baseball came shortly after the Marlins' win over the Dodgers on Thursday. MLB said Gordon tested positive for exogenous testosterone and clostebol.

"Though I did not do so knowingly, I have been informed that test results showed I ingested something that contained prohibited substances," Gordon said in a statement released Friday. "The hardest part about this is feeling that I have let down my teammates, the organization, and the fans. I have been careful to avoid products that could contain something banned by MLB, and the 20-plus tests that I have taken and passed throughout my career prove this.

"I made a mistake, and I accept the consequences."

The 28-year-old led the majors in hits and stolen bases last year. He batted .333, became an All-Star for the second time and won a Gold Glove at second base. The big season helped him earn a $50 million, five-year contract he signed in January.

He and Marlins manager Don Mattingly were together with the Dodgers for four years, but the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Gordon didn't become a regular in Los Angeles until 2014. Gordon, the son of former major-league pitcher Tom Gordon, was traded to Miami in a seven-player deal in December 2014, and Mattingly became the Marlins' manager this season.

"Dee is always a guy we felt could play, but at that point he was 145 pounds soaking wet," Mattingly said during spring training. "Now he has turned into a man. He has put some physical strength on him, and he's a different player."

The suspension came only months after steroids-tainted home run king Barry Bonds joined the Marlins as their hitting coach. Mattingly said the Marlins will continue to support Gordon: "I feel like Dee's one of my kids, to be honest with you, because I've known him so long."

Initial reaction around the majors was mixed. Cubs 2B Ben Zobrist said the bigger the star, the more upsetting the news of a drug suspension. "People are going to keep trying to find a way around just the hard work and everything that goes into this game," Zobrist said. "It's just the nature of man, I believe."

Gordon played during his appeal, which angered Tigers RHP Justin Verlander, who said on Twitter that performance-enhancing drug news was "killing me. If u test positive u need to not play. You shouldn't be allowed to effect (sic) games while appealing."

The suspension was the second in eight days for a player coming off the best season of his career. Last week, Chris Colabello, an undrafted former independent-leaguer who hit .321 for the Blue Jays last season, was also suspended 80 games.

BRYANT UPDATE: Cubs 3B/LF Kris Bryant had an MRI exam that revealed a minor right ankle sprain, the team announced.

Comments

Call Missouri jinxed, but Michael Porter Jr. injury is its own story

Please repeat after me: There is no such thing as jinxes, hexes, ghosts or cartoonish black clouds looming with personalized curses for select targets.Honest.But, boy, are there coincidences — even if some say there is no such thing as those, either....
Updated: 5 hours ago

Giants are NFL’s most disappointing team this season, but Broncos are close

The New York Giants made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season under the guidance of coach Ben McAdoo, setting high expectations for the 2017 campaign. They pushed those expectations even higher with the addition in free agency of...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

TAMPA — For Cambridge Christian, last Friday’s Class 2A region final against Indian Rocks Christian represented a hurdle that the Lancers couldn’t quite clear a year ago. For one Lancer in particular, it was the Golden Eagles themselves that brought ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA — Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sunday’s game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Browns welcome Gordon to practice

Browns welcome Gordon to practice

CLEVELAND — Every day he stays committed and sober, Josh Gordon takes another step toward playing again in the NFL. The long walk and wait are nearly over. The wide receiver, who squandered millions in potential earnings and derailed a promising care...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

TAMPA — The Bucs face the defending NFC champions twice in their final six games. As they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn is enjoying quite a two-week run.Clayborn, 29, had six sacks Nov. 12 in a ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA — It’s the biggest football game in USF history.It’s two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. It’s USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. It’s the best these two programs ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Chip Kelly is not the best candidate for Florida job

For the sake of a beleaguered and bedraggled fan base, here’s hoping Chip Kelly becomes the next head coach of the Florida Gators even though I think he’s not a great fit — culturally, geographically and philosophically — at UF.Gator Nation needs som...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lane Kiffin knows speculation about his future grows with each victory

BOCA RATON — Lane Kiffin already knows what profession he will choose once his coaching career ends.Kiffin, in his first season at Florida Atlantic, thinks he is destined to join the sports-media ranks. It will provide him opportunity to switch roles...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Strong’s slip about UCF’s Griffin seen as motivation for Knights

Strong’s slip about UCF’s Griffin seen as motivation for Knights

TAMPA — While saying nothing to purposely fan the flames of the USF-UCF rivalry during his weekly news conference Tuesday, Bulls coach Charlie Strong provided fuel for the Knights’ best player.He used the H-word when discussing Knights senior outside...
Updated: 6 hours ago