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Today’s hot, fresh drug suspensions, right out of the oven!

Sep 10, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

syringe

On a slow news day, I hit “refresh” on my gmail inbox every ten seconds, waiting for the near-daily MLB drug suspension press release to come in. And today we have a troika:

Free agent Minor League right-handed pitcher Frank Diaz has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.  The suspension of Diaz will be effective immediately upon his signing with another Major League organization.

Cincinnati Reds Minor League third baseman Ernest Vasquez and right-handed pitcher James Walczak have each been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.  The suspensions of Vasquez and Walczak, who are currently on the roster of the Single-A Dayton Dragons of the Midwest League, will be effective at the start of next season.

Frank Diaz — assuming it’s the same Frank Diaz — has been in the Mexican League since 2009, so I’m not sure when he’s been testing. But he was once an Expos minor leaguer, and that’s retro-cool!

I had trouble tracking down Ernest Vazquez. Baseball-Reference.com has a Niko Vasquez with an a/k/a of Ernest in the Reds organization. Let’s assume that’s him, even though he didn’t play for Dayton this season. If not, apologies to Niko.

James Walczak — listed as Jamie — is a 15th rounder whose pitching lines suggest that the Painesville, Ohio product may not see much beyond the bright lights of Dayton, so I suppose his using was understandable.

Anyway, who’s calculating their WAR to determine how many wins to deduct from the Dayton Dragons, Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz and whatever the hell team Vazquez played for this year?

  1. xmatt0926x - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Are we at the point as baseball fans where we are again suspicious that there is a large amount of players who are taking PED’s? I think that when the offensive stats decreased as a whole in the majors that a ot of people thought the testing had taken root and things were going to change for the better. To me it seems the problem is rearing it’s ugly head more and more recently with testosterone as opposed to steroids. Do we even care anymore?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      I think that when the offensive stats decreased as a whole in the majors that a ot of people thought the testing had taken root and things were going to change for the better

      The problem is that thinking the offensively explosion was largely due to steroids was pretty indefensible to begin with. Offense took off in the ’93-’94 seasons, before the supposed “steroid” takeoff. Also, while “offense” overall has gone down, it’s a bit misleading because strikeouts have risen significantly. So if you look at stats like Home Runs per Contact, we’re back up to the higher end years during the “steroid era”.

      • bigxrob - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        People were using steriods before some determined line that people use as the “steroid era”. Your statement makes it sound like like you think one year 0% of players used steroids and the next 90%.
        I generally agree with your statements, but please explain the how Barry Bonds became the greatest hitter of all time after he passed his age 35 season.
        (here’s a hint: think steroids)

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        (here’s a hint: think steroids)

        What’s more likely, that one of the best players in a generation got an added boost from steroids to make him even better, or that he was the product entirely of steroids?

        See if you believe the former, then you understand that steroids likely helped, but weren’t the main reason behind the offensive explosion. However, if you believe the latter, please explain all the players who took roids and still performed horribly.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        And to note, I understand that there wasn’t a clear line when year A, no one used and year B, everyone started taking. The problem is that many think ‘roids became a problem during the ’94 season and beyond, when studies have shown that offense actually jumped a year or two earlier. There’s also been multiple studies that have shown similar large jumps of offense that had nothing to do with ‘roids. Simple things like changing the ball’s structure can lead to a large offensive explosion.

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