Baseball reverses second drug ban

Published May 15, 2012

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and the players' union agreed to drop the 100-game suspension imposed on Rockies C Eliezer Alfonzo for a positive drug test because of the same procedural issues that came up in the Ryan Braun case.

Alfonzo missed the final 15 games of last season and the first 33 of this year.

Braun's 50-game suspension was overturned in February by arbitrator Shyam Das after Braun's lawyers argued his urine sample was not handled in the manner specified by baseball's drug agreement.

The collector took Braun's sample on a Saturday and did not drop it off immediately at a Federal Express office. He testified that because it would not have been sent until Monday to the drug-testing laboratory outside Montreal, it would make more sense to store the sample at his home over the weekend than in a FedEx office.

"Alfonzo's grievance challenging his suspension raised issues that were nearly identical to those resolved in the arbitration involving Ryan Braun," MLB said. "It is not anticipated that any other future cases will be impacted by the circumstances raised in the grievances of these two players."

Meanwhile, Das, baseball's arbitrator since 1999, was told last week by management that he is being terminated. He remains an NFL arbitrator.

"Shyam is the longest-tenured panel chair in our bargaining relationship," union head Michael Weiner said. "For 13 years, from the beginning to the end of his tenure, he served the parties with professionalism and distinction."

Baseball's collective bargaining agreement says the arbitrator can be removed by the players' association or management at any time with written notice.

SUSPENSION: Former Orioles first-round pick Billy Rowell was suspended for 50 games for a second violation for a drug of abuse under the minor-league drug program.

ANGELS: RF Torii Hunter was placed on the restricted list amid reports that his son was arrested. The town of Prosper, Texas, issued a news release announcing Darius McClinton-Hunter, 17, of neighboring McKinney, Texas, was arrested in a sexual assault case.

CARDINALS: RH reliever Eduardo Sanchez was recalled from Triple-A Memphis, and LHP J.C. Romero was released.

METS: RHP Frank Francisco will remain the closer despite an 8.56 ERA and two blown saves, said manager Terry Collins, who suggested Francisco might be tipping his pitches.

NATIONALS: A day after Henry Rodriguez blew his third save in 11 chances, manager Davey Johnson said the right-hander would remain his closer. … C Sandy Leon left in the fourth inning after injuring his right leg in a collision at home plate during his major-league debut.

PADRES: RHP Tim Stauffer, out all season with a strained pitching elbow, was activated from the disabled list. LHP Josh Spence was optioned to Triple-A Tucson.

RANGERS: Bench coach Jackie Moore was released from an Arlington hospital after treatment for dehydration.

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter

We’ll send you news and analysis on the Bucs, Lightning, Rays and Florida’s college football teams every day.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

RED SOX: OF Darnell McDonald went on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain, joining four other outfielders on the DL for last-place Boston.

ROYALS: LHP Danny Duffy was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and may need season-ending surgery. RHP Nate Adcock was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.

TWINS: 1B Justin Morneau took some swings in batting practice and said his sore left wrist felt good. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday.

YANKEES: LHP Andy Pettitte, who was put on the major-league roster Sunday after missing the 2011 season, will be guaranteed his full $2.5 million from the club come Thursday.