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Carlos Ruiz suspended 25 games for amphetamines

Nov 27, 2012, 4:35 PM EDT

Carlos Ruiz AP AP

The Phillies just got another item placed on their offseason shopping list: a part time catcher to cover for Carlos Ruiz. From MLB:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has received a 25-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Ruiz is effective at the start of the 2013 regular season.  He will be eligible to participate in Spring Training, including in Spring Training games.

Matt Gelb reports that the substance was Adderall.

Ruiz hit .325/.394/.540 with 16 homers and 68 RBI in 114 games last season.

UPDATE: Carlos Ruiz has released a statement:

“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant. I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.”

  1. boredfriday - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Let’s get choice to the allstar. Everyone needs to cot for choice. Let’s go, let’s go let’s go. Vote Carlos Ruiz

    • ktourek - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      What?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Ryan Howard…iphone…autocorrect. It is a really stupid story. I’m sure you can google it.

    • xmatt0926x - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Can the MLB offices please tell us what substance borefriday is using?

      • yaryers - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        What he wrote was, verbatim, a Ryan Howard tweet that he blamed on autocorrect.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:02 PM

        Tweet in question:

    • protius - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

      • anthonyverna - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed

  2. Shafer's Dealer - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Maybe if Carlos wouldn’t have been holding out they might have finished over .500… dick move man.

  3. Jeremy T - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Why only 25 games? Are amphetamines on a separate list of banned substances from steroids, with their 50-game suspensions for first-time offenders?

    • Gardenhire's Cat - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      Yes, stimulants are treated differently from drugs of abuse and performance enhancing substances: http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/pdf/jda.pdf (see pg. 22)

      • Jeremy T - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        So going by that, this is already the 2nd time he’s failed a test for a stimulant. You would think, if it is indeed Adderall, that he’d be smart enough to get a prescription after the first time.

      • Gardenhire's Cat - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM

        MLB only considers a positive presence for a stimulant, specifically here an amphetamine, only if the level exceeds 250 ng/ml. My guess is that he has a prescription, but exceeded this level. I am not sure if a prescription would exempt his then “overuse” because >200 ng/mL is considered a toxic level for adults.

  4. sabatimus - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Nice to see Ruiz went the Hank Aaron route instead of the Barry Bonds route.

  5. kappy32 - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Amphetamines are becoming a problem in all sports. Chances are Ruiz got busted for Adderall use. Adderall is used for ADHD, but it is also commonly used by students & athletes to stay up, focus & have more energy. Adderall is becoming an epidemic in the NFL – at least 5 players suspended this year for Adderall without a prescription – and MLB is probably next. Damn, people, just go fake the symptoms of ADHD & go get a script. Once there’s a medical use for the drug, the league cannot legally suspend you. I read the MLB / MLBPA Joint Drug Program a couple times, I have it saved as a PDF on iBooks, and so long as you have a prescription from a valid medical practitioner, for a valid medical purpose, the MLB cannot suspend the player for use of that prescribed drug. It’s not that difficult.

    • mlp3180 - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      They can still be suspended if the Adderall detected in their systems is above the recommended clinical level, regardless of prescription status. Some of the guys you mentioned from the NFL actually have prescriptions to take it; but their clinical level is so elevated that it’s obvious they are abusing. The practice I’m more aware of is crushing several Adderall into food before a game; but with testing usually on Mondays, it’s not out of their systems by the time the piss man comes around.

      I’m not as familiar with the MLB testing guidelines, so perhaps you are right. But I would think any elevation above clinical levels for any doctor-prescription would raise red flags and start the suspension process.

    • yaryers - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      The NFL players who have been suspended are just claiming that the substance was Adderall. The NFL’s policy is all-encompassing of steroids and any other “performance enhancer,” including amphetamines. What the player actually tested positive for is kept confidential, so it is very easy for a player who gets busted for steroids or something similar to just claim they were using Adderall.

  6. csndrew - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I am a Phillies fan and I love Chooch, but how can anyone be surprised by this? Light-hitting catchers approaching their mid-30’s simply are not supposed to go from being 8-hole hitters to cleanup hitters.

    SEE: Daulton, Darren.

    • dino1730 - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Amphetamines are performance enhancing. Odds are he was using pain pills to reduce pain from his injury or simply relief the pin from the stresses of everyday catching, then probably became addicted.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        What in the hell are you talking about? He tested positive for Adderall not opiates. So, not quite sure where your pain pill thing came from.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      He has been significantly better than a “light hitting catcher” since 2009. Look at the stats.

  7. thephilsabide - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    It’s for Adderall. It’s not exactly physical performance enhancing. More mental. Not exactly sure why he was using it illegally when a doctor can easily prescribe it but maybe I’m missing something.

    • protius - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      You’re missing the reading the other comments part. Scroll up.

  8. mungman69 - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    He got caught taking uppers. You don’t get stronger taking uppers but they can help you through college.

  9. shanabartels - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    I don’t want to speculate wildly or make excuses for Chooch, but a lot of people who legitimately have AD(H)D — even those who are on medication, as the meds are not perfect — are not good about turning in paperwork. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had the medical exemption forms on his desk and he had been meaning to turn them in to the league office and hadn’t gotten around to it. Like I said, I know that sounds like crazy speculation, but it’s totally the kind of thing my dad (and a lot of other folks with ADD) would do. My dad has purchased things that offer money-back rebates and not gotten around to sending in the request for the rebate because he’s so bad about paperwork, even though he needs the money. He never finishes his taxes on time without asking for an extension from the IRS. Thankfully my medication works better than his so my procrastination habits aren’t quite that drastic, but I can relate to a certain extent.

    I’m just saying, we don’t know the whole story. Maybe Chooch really was just looking for a little extra edge and doesn’t have ADD at all. But the exemption forms are exactly the kind of thing that people who have ADD often don’t file when they need to. It’s self-defeating, but that is exactly why the medication is necessary.

    • mlp3180 - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      Isn’t that what the agent is for? If this was a legit diagnosis, I’m pretty sure his representation would make sure the paperwork was completed. They know the stakes even if he doesn’t or is too distracted to get around to filing the paperwork himself.

      • shanabartels - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

        Valid point.

  10. Francisco (FC) - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    The Phillies just got another item placed on their offseason shopping list: a part time catcher to cover for Carlos Ruiz.

    The Phillies already have two pretty good catching prospects they might want to try out at Spring Training. Why not give Sebastian Valle a look in April for a while.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:08 PM

      Kratz.

  11. hansob - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Weren’t there some NFL players pinched for adderall this last week? Paging Bob Ley…

  12. scotttheskeptic - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    I will now suspend my #51 jersey for 25 games.

  13. johnnyb1976 - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    That’s why he hit .320+ this season. Melky Cabrera is proud today

  14. gallaghedj311 - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Crazy mental focus. I popped a few adderall once and played free cell for 7 hours straight in between games of bong Yahtzee.. Ah to be 21 again

  15. scrap7681 - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    dino1730 needs some adderall…..he was obviously reading another article about pain pill addiction & posted a comment here.

    • protius - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      You need to quit snarking and scroll down and read my response to Mancave.

  16. randygnyc - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Yaryers is correct. Nfl has a policy not to publicize which drug a player is suspended for. So, players say adderall to garner sympathy. I have read recently, though, that it may be a masking agent for steroids. Anyone else read/hear that? Could be a way to minimize a potential suspension. It’s pretty simple to check. If Ruiz had a prescription for adderall or not. If not, it’s a felony too.

  17. xxakshunxx - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Too bad he doesn’t play for the Brewers.. Selig could just find some way to cover it up

  18. jimmywho14 - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Disapointing but not entirely surprising.

  19. Jonny 5 - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    That’s how it’s done. I tip my hat to Ruiz for just admitting it and moving on. At least it wasn’t steroids.

  20. schmedley69 - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    He probably unknowingly took a swig out of Victorino’s Gatorade bottle.

  21. smanzo11 - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Still love chooch

  22. dannythebisforbeast - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Probably switched victorinos with baby aspirin. That explains two things

  23. mancave001 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Amphetamines are performance enhancing. Odds are he was using pain pills to reduce pain from his injury or simply relief the pin from the stresses of everyday catching, then probably became addicted.
    ——————————–

    You apparently didn’t read the article. It wasn’t pain meds, it’s was Adderall.

    • protius - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Dino read the article, he just doesn’t express himself all that well.

      I think what he’s implying is that Ruiz used pain killers to “relief the pin from the stresses of everyday catching (sic)” and injury, etc. Pain killers tend to make one lethargic, so he turned to amphetamines to restore the energy he lost to the pain medication.

  24. pens5829 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Get Ryan Braun’s agent on the phone pronto.

  25. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    The fact that this was Ruiz’s second positive test means he is simply an idiot. RAJ was on with Jody Mac last night, and when asked about it, you could hear the anger in his voice. He was diplomatic about it, but if tone could kill, Ruiz would be dead.

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