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Marlon Byrd suspended for PEDs

Jun 25, 2012, 4:30 PM EST

Marlon Byrd AP AP

This is bigger than your normal PED suspension:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that outfielder Marlon Byrd has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Tamoxifen, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Byrd, a free agent, will be on the restricted list until August 20.

This is notable for more than the fact that Byrd is a bigger name than you usually see on the suspension list. Byrd has quite famously trained with former BALCO figure Victor Conte, who has claimed for years to have seen the light and to only work with legal and non-banned substances. It has led to much talk about Byrd being somewhat reckless in his choice of trainer and has caused many to speculate that Byrd was under closer scrutiny by the league due to his association with Conte.

Whether Byrd got the substance from Conte or whether it was an intentional thing or a situation of something being adulterated is not known.  But it’s certainly going to lead to more than just this suspension. Someone — likely Conte — is gonna have some stuff to say pretty soon, I’d wager.

UPDATE: The drug Byrd tested positive for — Tamoxifen — is an estrogen blocker, not a PED itself. It’s on the banned list, however, because it’s used by people who take steroids to mitigate the side-effects.

Bob Nightengale reports that Byrd has issued a statement regarding his positive test, apologizing, but saying that the drug was used for “a reoccurrence of private surgery he had years ago.” This echoes the statements of others who have been caught using estrogen blockers, most of whom have said it was for medical issues.

  1. bloodysock - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Wouldn’t he being serving the 50 game suspension upon signing with a new team?

    • bloodysock - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Never mind. He’s still actually under contract, so the Cubs come out ahead under this one since they picked up the majority of his salary and will save the 50 games worth of pay.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        Are the Red Sox also on the hook to Byrd for the MLB minimum? If so, they are minor beneficiaries.

      • stabonerichard - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        Those Cubbies catch all the breaks.

  2. xpensivewinos - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    When does the “enhanced performance” part kick in?????

    • sabatimus - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Exactly. This guy is all kinds of toilet.

    • winkandthegun - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Geez, imagine how bad he would’ve been if he WASN’T using

  3. randygnyc - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Encarnacion in Toronto is next.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      Randy is next. After Randy, Granderson.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Seriously Randy, Encarnacion has always had the power to hit home runs. He hit home runs in spurts bur overall was just too erratic. In the off season, he took batting lessons from the same guy used by Cano. So if you want to try to smear Encarnacion, you should be careful, because you are indirectly smearing Cano.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:52 PM

        So if you want to try to smear Encarnacion, you should be careful, because you are indirectly smearing Cano.

        Not necessarily, unless you are a fan of guilt by association.

        [note, not saying E5 is on ‘roids]
        E5 has had a huge power jump this year. Prior to this year (and SSS warning), his highest ISO across a full season was .215 in ’08 with the Reds (a .238 with the Jays in ’10 occurred, but only over 97 games). This year he has a .290 ISO (7th in MLB). That’s a huge jump, you have to admit.

        Granted it helps he plays his game in Toronto which is HR friendly, and his HR/FB ratio is double last year’s and the highest of his career (18.9%). The #s, most likely, will taper off, but yes he’s always had power throughout his career.

  4. bigjj86 - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Tamoxifen is an antagonist of the estrogen receptor in breast tissue via its active metabolite, hydroxytamoxifen. In other tissues such as the endometrium, it behaves as an agonist, and thus may be characterized as a mixed agonist/antagonist. Tamoxifen is the usual endocrine (anti-estrogen) therapy for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in pre-menopausal women, and is also a standard in post-menopausal women although aromatase inhibitors are also frequently used in that setting.[1]

    Some breast cancer cells require estrogen to grow. Estrogen binds to and activates the estrogen receptor in these cells. Tamoxifen is metabolized into compounds that also bind to the estrogen receptor but do not activate it. Because of this competitive antagonism, tamoxifen acts like a key broken off in the lock that prevents any other key from being inserted, preventing estrogen from binding to its receptor. Hence breast cancer cell growth is blocked.

    Tamoxifen was discovered by pharmaceutical company Imperial Chemical Industries[2] (now AstraZeneca) and is sold under the trade names Nolvadex, Istubal, and Valodex. However, the drug, even before its patent expiration, was and still is widely referred to by its generic name “tamoxifen.”

    People take it after they do a cycle of steroids. It helps to keep the gains and prevent gyno

  5. bigjj86 - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Tamoxifen is an antagonist of the estrogen receptor in breast tissue via its active metabolite, hydroxytamoxifen. In other tissues such as the endometrium, it behaves as an agonist, and thus may be characterized as a mixed agonist/antagonist. Tamoxifen is the usual endocrine (anti-estrogen) therapy for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in pre-menopausal women, and is also a standard in post-menopausal women although aromatase inhibitors are also frequently used in that setting.[1]

    Some breast cancer cells require estrogen to grow. Estrogen binds to and activates the estrogen receptor in these cells. Tamoxifen is metabolized into compounds that also bind to the estrogen receptor but do not activate it. Because of this competitive antagonism, tamoxifen acts like a key broken off in the lock that prevents any other key from being inserted, preventing estrogen from binding to its receptor. Hence breast cancer cell growth is blocked.

    Tamoxifen was discovered by pharmaceutical company Imperial Chemical Industries[2] (now AstraZeneca) and is sold under the trade names Nolvadex, Istubal, and Valodex. However, the drug, even before its patent expiration, was and still is widely referred to by its generic name “tamoxifen.”

  6. bigjj86 - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    They also take it after a cycle steroids and to keep gains and prevent gyno

    • marinersnate - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      It does what?

      • raysfan1 - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:02 PM

        Gynecomastia–I.e., breast enlargement .

        Guess he didn’t want to have to wear a “bro” like Mr Costanza.

  7. purnellmeagrejr - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    “This is bigger than your normal PED suspension:”Tios is a suspension of a ballplayer in the twilight of a mediocre career- – one who was hanging on to the big leagues by his fingernails – only to have MLB stomp on those delicate fingers!

  8. sabatimus - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    If anyone thinks the “steroid era” is over, they’re deluding themselves.

  9. badintent - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Stay classy Boston !! Yo churchbilblethumperdumper, we heard all the same BS about Jose Baustia too when he went off for 50+ Hrs 2 years ago. Memo to you. Jose Canceso hasn’t played in Toronto for almost 20 years , so he’s not sticking needles in Jays butts no more. Get over it. Leave the Theo Epstein stats rap to the experts at $$ ball.Oakland still sucks. I’m busy getting the MLB WCS hardware shiny here at Yankee Stadium 4 2012 !!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      So what if I told you that the Yanks were essentially using the tenets espoused in Moneyball well before Beane took over, and it helped them win the WS 4/5 years? Also you should reread my comment, because I basically end up defending E5.

      And, I’m a Yanks fan so maybe stick around awhile, find out who roots for what team, or just sit back lurking and stop making yourself look foolish?

      • badintent - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:15 AM

        Would like to see your hard copy proof that Yankees were run by comouter geeks instead of the General Steinbrenner. Don’t tell me Cashmen , that nut is too busy sleeping in tents.Being going to Yankee games since 68 so either grown up or head over to Citi field. Lots of you band wagoners play both teams. For the record, Joe Torre was more of a old school guy, went by his experience handling his players than by computer database sheets or bean counters.And he got the rings to prove it. All Brad Pitts has is a wacko for a wife.What’s up with her boobs anyway ? one movie they’re huge , the next , not so much.They get smaller, the lips get bigger. What up ??

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:24 AM

        Quick Moneyball tenets, OBP is highly undervalued and correlates strongest with runs scored, and DIPS theory is important for pitching. We get:

        ’96
        OBP – 4th Overall (4th in AL)
        FIP – 7th Overall (1st in AL)

        ’98
        OBP – 1st Overall
        FIP – 6th Overall (1st in AL)

        ’99
        OBP – 2nd Overall (2nd in AL)
        FIP – 5th Overall (1st in AL)

        ’00
        OBP – 9th Overall (5th in AL)
        FIP – 10th Overall (5h in AL)

        Or to put it another way, if you were a fan at that time you couldn’t go two games without hearing how the Yanks tended to take a ton of pitches, thus causing the starter to leave the game early so the Yanks could get into the opposing teams bullpen. They took pitches, leading to tons of walks. They also had a pitching staff that struck out a lot of batters and didn’t walk a lot of people (until ’00 when players started getting older).

        .Being going to Yankee games since 68 so either grown up or head over to Citi field

        Congrats, not sure what the second half of that means though.

        Lots of you band wagoners play both teams.

        … where does this come from?

        For the record, Joe Torre was more of a old school guy, went by his experience handling his players than by computer database sheets or bean counters.And he got the rings to prove it

        Luis Sojo 5 rings > Ted Williams 0 rings, am i right?

        And an organ grinder could have managed those late 90s Yankee teams to a WS. If Torre were such a genius, how could he lose the ’03 WS to the Marlins, while not having Rivera pitch in a pivotal Game 5, or lose a 3-0 series advantage to the Sox in ’04…

  10. neelyisgod - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Raised his average from .070 to .210 after the trade to the Sox. Hmm Big Papi was in a tear at the beginning of the year too.

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    another boston redsuk caught cheating, nothing new here

    • jaguar49 - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Nothing new with you making idiotic comments.

  12. toosano - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    They gave that to my wife for 5 years when she had breast cancer! WTF?

  13. randygnyc - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Badintent- I agree. Many old schoolers go by gut, dabble in generic stats and have no interest in newfangled metrics. I too have been going to Yankee games along time, starting in the mid 70’s.

  14. rico7207 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Ortiz should be next one caught. Watch the production go down now.

  15. williegy - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    MLB badly needs to eliminate PED use by players to protect it’s future. Unless they want a reputation like the WWE or Roller Derby they’ve got to make sure that fans know what they see on the field is real. Therefore, I’d propose a season long suspension (162 games) for a first offense by a player & a lifetime ban from professional baseball in the U.S. for any additional offense. I’d also strip a second offender of any individual records they may hold (like they do in track) & have frequent random drug testing for all players year round. If you make the penalties stiff enough & the testing frequent enough most PED use could be eliminated.

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