[Update: MLB says they wanted to suspend Romero for the playoffs but instead allowed him to negotiate his way out of it. The claim is that the normal appeal process would have lasted longer than the postseason]
The Tampa Bay Rays won’t say it…Major League Baseball won’t say it…the mainstream media won’t say it…So we will. The Philadelphia Phillies cheated their way to the World Series title, and Major League Baseball let them.
JC Romero of the Philadelphia Phillies has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance. And despite his pleas of innocence, Romero tested positive for a substance that comes in a bottle with a warning label indicating that it may be a banned substance. And despite testing positive twice, he was still allowed to pitch in four of the five World Series games.
Romero tested positive twice prior to the World Series
Romero first tested positive on August 26 with the Phillies nursing a half-game lead in the NL East. The results of that test came back positive on September 23. The results of a second test came back positive on October 12, just ten days prior to the start of the World Series.
Two positive tests and yet Major League Baseball refused to immediately suspend a player participating in the postseason. Romero was granted an arbitration hearing without having to file an appeal. The arbitration hearing was held during the first two games of the World Series.
Supplement had clear warning
Romero intentionally used a supplement (6-OXO Extreme) which has a label that reads “use of this product may be banned by some athletic or government associations (including military).” We can’t speak for Romero, but we are pretty sure the label wasn’t referring to the US Badminton Association.
He tested positive twice. He was given an arbitration hearing. And he was still allowed to pitch in the World Series. A World Series in which he was the winning pitcher in two games. He appeared in four games, allowing no runs on just 2 hits and no walks. He struck out 4 in 4.2 innings.
Why was Romero not suspended after the first test? Why was he not suspended after the second test? Why did Major League Baseball allow an arbitration hearing without first suspending the player?
And if Romero is as innocent as he claims, why is he not appealing the suspension?
World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies*
Questionable substance on the brim of pitcher’s cap? Check.
Performance Enhancing Drug user? Check.
Would the Rays have won a fair World Series? We will never know. But we do know that Phillies fans love asterisks.
Phils’ Romero a casualty in baseball’s drug war [Philadelphia Inquirer]
J.C. Romero Rises Up For [Dumb] Puerto Ricans Everywhere [Deadspin]
Filthy Joe Blanton says that’s just filth on the brim of his hat [Big League Stew]
Phils or Phrauds? Y*u decide [Daily News]