[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]

 
 

79 Comments

  1. Ghost of Quinton McCracken says:

    the Rays won game 2 and ame 4 was a blowout.

    But Romero shutdown the Rays for the final 4 outs of game 3 after the Rays had tied the game.

    and in the famous game 5, it was Romero that shutdown the Rays for 4 oouts after the Rays had taken a lead on Rocco’s home run.

    WHY IS THIS NOT A BIGGER STORY? because Romero says he is innocent? they ALL say they are innocent.

  2. Possum Avenger says:

    Usually I agree with your take prof, but this reeks of sour grapes.

  3. The Professor says:

    every athlete in the world knows you have to be careful with over the counter supplements. and he goes and takes one that has a warning label and he KEEPS taking it after the playrs association informed him it contained a banned substance.

    he failed two tests. the guy is a cheat. and MLB slow-played their hand so they wouldn’t have to suspend a player during the playoffs.

    why is this OK?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Supplement DID NOT HAVE A WARNING on it. If you do a bit of research, you will find that OXO only added the warning recently (i.e., after Romero and another MLB player tested positive). At the time Romero purchased the supplement, there was no warning on it. He presented the bottle at his arbitration hearing as proof. The labeling has since been changed. Please do your research.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Rays never had the lead in Game 5. Rocco’s homer tied the game.

    Romero test negative for any banned substance before the World Series.

    Stop crying about being the 1st loser and try to attending a game in April or May.

  6. The Professor says:

    i did do research. the bottle has a warning label.

    and what of the warning he had received from the players association? he ignored that one also.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Romero tested positive twice, but he did NOT receive any notice that he had failed test #1 before he peed in the cup for test #2. He was informed of the first positive three days AFTER he had urine taken a second time. Once he was informed of the positive result, he stopped using this supplement. And he was off of for many weeks before the postseason. Romero was tested once again before Game 1 of the World Series and was found to be clean.

    So perhaps you can say Romero cheated earlier in the year, but he had no chemical help at all while mowing down the Rays. Like mentioned earlier… sour grapes.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Again, the bottle has a warning label on it NOW. It did NOT when Romero purchased it months ago.

  9. Ghost of Quinton McCracken says:

    He tested positive while the Phillies were in the pennant race. Who is to say they even make the playoffs if he is properly suspended. and just because he stopped taking it doesnt mean he couldn’t still be benefiting from the effects.

    you think Bonds and Giambi’s muscles just disappeared the day they stopped roiding?

  10. The Professor says:

    i have updated the story to reflect the bottle may not have had a label at the time. but right now all you are giving me is what Romero said. i have yet to see a story that says the label was added later.

    besides, he was warned by the player’s association and still took it.

    if he is so innocent why is he not appealing or suing like the NFL guys?

  11. The Professor says:

    as Ghost said. just because he stopped taking it, doesn’t mean he wasn’t still “on” the stuff.

    besides. my point is only that he shouldn’t have been playing at all. he should have been suspended whether he was on the stuff or not. he should NOT have been on the WS roster.

  12. James says:

    why is anybody surprised that major league baseball tried to cover something up?

    you would think they would learn their lesson, but they never will.

  13. Anonymous says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3812334

    The Bottle:

    The arbitration hearing was held Oct. 22 in Tampa, the first day of the World Series. Curiously, the bottle of the supplement MLB had purchased contained the label warning: “Use of this product may be banned by some athletic or government associations.” However, the bottle Romero had purchased and brought to the hearing contained no warning.

    Timing of tests, and when he was warned by MLBPA:

    On Aug. 26 and Sept. 19, Romero was tested, as all players are, randomly. On Sept. 23, players’ association counsel Bob Lenaghan informed Romero he had tested positive.

    “I immediately stopped taking all supplements, although I had no idea it was the cause of the positive test,” Romero said.

    He spoke to Michael Weiner at the MLBPA and told him he did not know the cause of the positive test. On Oct. 1, Weiner told Romero that the specific supplement was indeed the cause of the failed test and that because it was purchased over the counter in the U.S., he believed the case would be dropped.

  14. Phuck the Phillies says:

    why was Romero tested twice if they didn’t have the results of the first test? players are not tested so often unless they have a previous positive and as far as I know Romero has never been suspended before. sounds to me like they knew the first test was positive but wanted a B sample to double-check

  15. The Professor says:

    anon,

    he was WARNED prior to the tests. that is why he is being suspended and that is why he is not appealing. and that is why he is an idiot.

    my beef is more with MLB and why they did not follow proper procedure for suspending him. no other players (as far as i can tell) have been given this many opportunities to delay a suspension without having to first file an appeal.

  16. Anonymous says:

    They divide all urine samples into both A and B before testing; the second test was not to get a confirmation, but was another random test.

    The delay between the August 26 test and the September 23 reveal of results of that test is simply that tests aren’t exactly done that same day or anything. There is a bit of a backlog, and the procedure takes a few days to complete even when they get to it.

    So, Romero has NO IDEA that he failed the August 26 test. THAT is why he kept on taking the supplement. He was NOT informed by the MLB or the MLBPA until after he had already peed twice. This is NOT a case of Romero keeping right on using something after testing positive for it, or being warned. The two positives were really for the same event.

  17. Ghost of Quinton McCracken says:

    anon,

    I am confused. does that make it ok? he was told before the test to stop taking it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Prof, I guess what I am not understanding is where you got the info that he was warned beforehand.

    As far as the procedure goes, actually, MLB followed its procedure to the letter. The entire process – the testing, the hearings, etc. – is all supposed to be kept secret until it has all played out. This is so that a potentially innocent player does not have his name dragged through the mud when a hearing would possibly clear him. This same delay was evident in the Rafael Palmeiro test a few years ago, too.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Exactly who from the MLBPA told him to stop taking it before the tests? Where is that info?

  20. The Professor says:

    i am getting the info from the basic agreement between the union and MLB. everytime a substance is added to the banned supplement list it has to be agreed upon by both sides. every time it is added, the union informs all the players.

    if he had the substance before it was banned, it is his responsibility to make sure the substance isn’t in anything he is taking. EVERY player knows this.

    this is why he failed the arbitration hearing and why he is not appealing the suspension.

  21. Phuck the Phillies says:

    dude is losing over a million bucks. if he had a case he would be suing the shit out of the league.

  22. Anonymous says:

    OK, at least that sounds more reasonable. My reading of your comments was that you were saying that some guy from the MLBPA specifically called up Romero and told him “that OXO is banned, don’t use it” and he kept right on doing it. If THAT was the case, he would have no leg to stand on.

    Failure to check the list is still Romero’s responsibility, no doubt. But that is a far cry from saying “he was WARNED”.

    Again, from the ESPN Article:
    ————————
    “What they now say I should have done was call the drug hot line,” Romero said. “But I had it checked out by nutritionists, and I was following the guidelines laid down by the players’ association in spring training.”
    ————————

    His story is that he felt he did follow their guidelines. And there is some evidence that it is the MLBPA who screwed up, not Romero. Same article:
    ————————
    In Romero’s arbitration hearing that was held in Tampa, Fla., during the first two days of the World Series, it was claimed that, in early July, the National Center for Drug Free Sport had notified MLB of questions about the supplement Romero had purchased. Somehow, MLB and the players’ association never got that straight, according to Romero.
    ————————

  23. Anonymous says:

    As far as Romero suing… he can’t. Part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is that most of these things, such as suspensions, cannot be appealed to the courts.

  24. The Professor says:

    i just find it hard to believe that of the 700 major league baseball players, Romero was the only one taking this supplement and the only that failed to stop taking it when he was supposed to.

    maybe his agent didnt help. maybe the union didnt help. but ultimately Romero is responsible and he knows that the list is updated all the time, not just spring training.

    but whether or not he SHOULD be suspended does not seem to be much of an issue, especially if he is not appealing and he was turned down by an independent arbitrator. again, my big beef is why he was not suspended when he tested positive.

    if this is the normal manner in which these suspensions are handled then I will drop my argument. but looking back on older cases, it seems as if MLB dragged their feet on this one. and Romero is not the first player to be suspended for using something he thought was OK.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t think drug associations don’t make mistakes with their lists, or if you don’t think clean, honest athletes ever mistakenly take something, just Google and read about Zach Lund, a skeleton (like bobsledding) athlete. The federations admitted he was not a cheat, and yet they suspended him anyway.

    I’m not saying Romero is necessarily like Lund, but the federations don’t always keep their lists of banned substances straight, they are always behind on the new ones on the market, and even honest athletes can and do get snared up because the rules are just so Byzantine. And that is exactly why the process is supposed to be kept secret until complete – because the “drug testers” know there is quite a bit of f-up factor in this whole process, yet most people believe that everyone accused is automatically guilty.

  26. The Professor says:

    i know the Lund story pretty well.

    but Romero is not the first baseball player claiming he didn’t know what he was taking. why does he deserve special treatment?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with the idea that he is getting special treatment. Romero presented a defense, as he is entitled to do. The arbitrators said that the defense was not good enough, so they suspended him. That is the process, and it played out just as it should. No special treatment.

    Yes, I disagree on your “dragging their feet” position. The process takes time to complete. We don’t usually make a person start serving a punishment (suspension) until he is found guilty.

  28. The Professor says:

    “We don’t usually make a person start serving a punishment (suspension) until he is found guilty.”

    since when has baseball done that?

    the usual process is to suspend the player, pending appeal. the appeal process *usually* occurs AFTER the suspension. in this case, it happened before.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Drug suspensions are dealt with in a MUCH different manner than suspensions for charging the mound or the like. In incidents like that, there is no need to protect the player since the incident was on TV for all to see. But the CBA specifically deals with drug suspensions much more discreetly, since even a whiff of controversy can taint a player’s reputation for life. Both MLB and the MLBPA make damn sure that they are right about it before it becomes public knowledge.

    But even the “standard” suspension model (charge the mound) you mention isn’t a perfect analogy. A person from the Commissioner’s office does the suspension, so there is involvement and a review of facts before a suspension. A player is not automatically suspended just because the umpire (the accuser) recommends it. Plus, the player does ‘de facto’ get his day in court before the punishment, since all he has to do is file an appeal of the suspension. Once this is done, a SECOND hearing is held, this time with the player present, before any punishment is served.

    The whole problem here is that most people see that the positive test is the same as a guilty verdict. It is not. It is merely an accusation. It is no different that an umpire submitting a game report detailing an incident. The umpire, nor a positive test, is enough in and of itself for a suspension. A hearing of the facts is required before any suspension is levied.

    The arbitrators find the fault. You cannot suspend someone just via an accusation, which is all the positive test is.

  30. Anonymous says:

    seems alwfully fishy that they couldn’t find an arbitrator prior to the World Series, which just so happened to allow them not to suspend Romero during the playoffs. nice and tidy and convenient and full of shit. typical Bud Selig

  31. Gus says:

    For the Romero defenders on the thread, how do you square Romero’s defense with the identical defense of the Yankees Sergio Mitre who failed his test and had his hearing each a month before Romero. You mean both these guys are shopping the GNC and BOTH got the bottles without the warning labels and BOTH read the labels? Looks to me like Romero copied Mitre’s exact defense after being caught with Andro in his body. Also unexplained is how a product with supposed “trace” (per Romero’s defense) elements of Andro gets picked up by the tests. Also unexplained is why on his prior year failed drug test he was taking his wife’s fertility medicine (usually a masking agent I believe). Looks very, very bad for the Phillies, MLB and Romero.

  32. Anonymous says:

    “You mean both these guys are shopping the GNC and BOTH got the bottles without the warning labels…”

    Yes, there were probably thousands of those bottles without labels, since that is the way the company was shipping those bottles at the time.

    “Looks to me like Romero copied Mitre’s exact defense after being caught with Andro in his body.”

    So if the exact same thing happens twice, and they both say so, this is evidence of some kind of problem with Romero’s defense? If two guys get screwed in the same way by the same mis-labelling, by your logic, they are required to defend themselves with two different theories. What kind of logic is that?

    “Also unexplained is how a product with supposed “trace” (per Romero’s defense) elements of Andro gets picked up by the tests.”

    Easy explanation: the tests can detect trace amounts. EVERY test is looking for trace amounts. There are hundreds of different substances in everyone’s blood and urine at any time, including yours and mine. With this number of substances, they must all, by definition, be trace amounts.

    “Also unexplained is why on his prior year failed drug test he was taking his wife’s fertility medicine (usually a masking agent I believe).”

    They were both taking fertility medicine while trying to conceive, just like thousands of other people. Only in the bizzarro-world of athletic drug screening do substances like those equate to someone trying to cheat (again, check out Zach Lund).

    Was Romero trying to job the system? Really I am not defending him personally, as he certainly may have been. But a lot of people think these drug cases are slam-dunk things, and they just are not.

    “Looks very, very bad for the Phillies, MLB and Romero.”

    Looks bad for Romero, certainly. Why the team and MLB fall into your “looks bad” category, though, I cannot see. Contrary to the wild “MLB tried to hush it up” conspiracy theories, the process played out exactly as it should.

  33. Gus says:

    On Process:

    So I guy should be suspended in a fashion that allows him to determine the championship in the same year he has admiteddly cheated. No sport that independently allows doping enforcement allows that. Compare the Olympics, Touur de France. All kick you out first. This was George Mitchell’s point. The fox can’t be in the henhouse He, MLB, the union and the Phillies all worked the system.

    On similar explanations:

    Well it sure works out if the first guy gives you cover. I’ll also need to see the labels in question to see the difference (could he have peel off the warning label?). A dog ate my homework defense. More to the point, when there is a system in place to clear drugs, no player in his right mind would take anything without clearing it (even shopping at a GNC seems unlikely and implausible and downright stupid when your trainer can get it for you approved stuff for free).

    On fertility treatments: I’ve never heard of men taking fertility drugs except in cases of masking steroids. I suppose it could be true, but one more thing you have to buy if you believe Romero.

    Uneven playing field: Finally, no matter what, if the andro is in your system, you have enhanced your performance and shouldn’t be allowed to compete because Romero (even if you believe his far-fetched explnation) isn’t on a level playing field, flat out. he’s been andro’ed. His arm isn;t falling off like the other Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers and Rays relivers The argument that he produced clean urine for the playoffs is ridiculous. He benefited from Andro, the Phillies benefited from a player who admitted he was fatiguing and looked for a performance enhancer and the guy was a critical difference in the ultimate event in the sport. It is a crass betrayal of the rules upon which the sport is played. The plea bargining and delaying of his penalty is terrible, no matter how much Mr. Anoynmous (Romero agent? lawyer? Romero’s hired gun PR firm?) wants to spin the story his way.

  34. The Professor says:

    see the update…

    in short, MLB says they wanted to suspend Romero for the playoffs but did not. they basically gave him a choice. 25 with the playoffs or 50 without.

    just goes to show how afraid MLB is of the union. they should have just slapped the 25 on him and then see where the chips fell.

  35. Gus says:

    The update proves the point, I suppose, that MLB’s testing system is a farce if it can’t keep a guy who is cheating in August off the field in October because he lawyers up. So the next time the Rays are in the hunt, the message is stay clean through Aug. 15th and then roid up for the stretch run.

    For most Rays players, the money earned in post-season bonuses and payouts would exceed the 1/3 season suspension penalty the following year. Beyond idiotic.

  36. Possum Avenger says:

    Prof you are misinterpreting the story that you linked to in the update.

    What the story says is that the appeals process for all banned substances is lengthy and consequently would have lasted BEYOND the world series. That is the rule in the CBA. MLB wanted to suspend him before the playoffs but because of the CBA and the rules of the appeal they could not suspend him. Thus, they tried to keep him out of the world series by saying they would lower the suspension to 25 games he did not appeal. They had no ability to unilaterally impose a 25 game suspension because this would have violated the CBA. They did the best they could to keep him out of the WS but they were unable. The rules are the rules. To try to say the WS victory is tainted because of it does nothing for me. If you want to blame something/someone blame the CBA, but I don’t think it is reasonable to imply the commissioner’s office was dragging its feet since there is evidence to contrary.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Your statement about August vs October shows the difference of opinion between the two of us, as well as the difference between fair policies (MLB) and unfair ones (Tour de France). The difference in fairness is due process.

    In my view, suspensions should only take place after the player has had a chance for a fair hearing. This is the American Way, and is the more sound policy based on the very shoddy record of drug testing over the years in all sports (cheaters not caught, and innocent athletes falsely punished).

    In your view, the player should be suspended right away, putting the burden of proof on him, instead of the other way around. This is waht the Tour de France, Olympic sports, etc., do. It’s the equivalent of shoot first, ask questions later.

    What is obvious to me as an understandable and fair delay in order for the process to play out, you are seeing as some sort of nefarious activity.

    Again, a positive test is only an accusation; it is not proof of anything by itself. It is merely evidence. Very strong evidence, yes, but no more than that. Likewise, we don’t send people directly to prison, even if their crime is on videotape. You’ll never convince me that we need not wait for the hearings to be held before we suspend a guy.

  38. The Professor says:

    PA,

    who is in charge? MLB or the players? If MLB wanted to suspend him, they should have just suspended him. there is no reason an appeals process has to take 2 months.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Possum Avenger, you are absolutely right. The 25-game offer was not something that could be done by MLB on its own; Romero had to agree.

    The 25-game was just a plea bargain offer, as in “we’ll knock one-half off your sentence if you plead guilty.” MLB has no right to suspend Romero like this unless Romero goes along with it.

    If Romero would have taken the deal, he would have save himself about $625,000 worth of salary lost, which tells me that he thought he had a good case.

  40. Anonymous says:

    “who is in charge? MLB or the players?”

    Both. That’s they whole point of a contract; they both have rights and responsibilities.

    “If MLB wanted to suspend him, they should have just suspended him.”

    That would have been a violation of a labor contract, hence illegal.

    “there is no reason an appeals process has to take 2 months”

    You won’t get an argument out of me on this point, but this tells statement (as well as others) lead me to see that your anger needs to be directed towards the CBA, not Selig (oh, God, did I just defend him?), Romero (him too, jeez), or MLB in general.

  41. Gus says:

    Due Process if for when we put people in jail or take away a property right. There is no due process when it comes to the rules of the game (if so, the Rays have a nice appeal coming of that game 5 strike zone). If the union wants to have a sport where people believe they have a fair competition, it is going to have to come to an agreement with MLB on a system that can keep the cheats from stealing the title and paying the price after the fact. Appeals, etc. have to be done with extreme speed.

    As to the money argument, Mr. Anonymous, I suspect the player pool in the Phillies clubhouse will reimburse Romero for the $625K he loses next year (it is just 2 playoff shares) — not to mention the ability of the Phillies to pay him more money in the future as a payback for the title he brought them. He’s a world champion. He’ll be able to sell used cars and whatever else in Philly and Puerto Rico the rest of his cheating life. You can’t get that back. And baseball can’t get back the 2008 World Series. I’d go for the alternative — a speedy resolution of his case, and if he can prove his innocence on appeal, than good for him. He hasn’t tarnished the Phillies (or the Rays) title in the process and he gets his money (the only property right in question) in the end.

  42. Anonymous says:

    you people ignore the fact that his october 1st test, the one taken after he found out he had tested positive, came back negative. Sour grapes.

  43. The Professor says:

    that doesn’t mean he never did anything wrong. my point all along is that he tested positive and should have been suspended. He should have never been allowed to play in the world series.

    and as somebody said earlier. even if he stopped taking it, doesn’t mean he wasn’t still reaping the benefits, whether it be bigger muscles or extram stamina.

    let’s say he was using it earlier in the year for stamina. maybe he was less tired in the World Series because he didnt have to exert as much in June and July and August.

    and then there is the idea that how do we know the Phillies make the playoffs without Romero playing as well as he did? we don’t

    the dude cheated and got away with it. it is not sour grapes

  44. Anonymous says:

    But officer, after you clocked me going 110 and hitting that old lady, I slowed down. You can’t give me a ticket.

    idiot Phillies apologists.

  45. Possum Avenger says:

    “Who is in charge?”

    Clearly MLB is in charge, but as you know there is a complex interaction between unions and employers in all work sectors. Don’t you think GM would like to unilaterally cut all of its workers salaries and stop paying out legacy costs? Absolutely, but since there is a union this is not possible. Similarly, MLB wanted to suspend Romero but they could not because it violated their agreement with the union. Your problem seems to rest with the strength of the MLBPA union and the CBA. I will not argue against the notion that MLBP have one of, if not the strongest, unions in the country. It is the way it is. Also, do to the “star” power of many, the MLBPA has huge amounts of leverage which goes toward explaining the “union-slant” of the current drug testing policy in the CBA. Thus, if you want to blame someone you should blame the union. In which case all MLB players share equal responsibility.

    “Why would an appeals process take so long?”

    The defendant is allowed the right to 1) go over the evidence against him and 2) gather evidence and formulate arguments in his own defense. This is how fair judicial systems work.

    I agree that some modifications of the CBA should be made concerning suspensions due to banned substances, but to claim the World Series title deserves an asterisk seems completely over the top. Further, to imply that the Phillies did not earn their title is pointless and nonsensical.

  46. Scott says:

    Best post of the new year! I don’t get on other sites and comment much but I gotta give it to you here. Romero is just the start of it by the way, test half that team and the roidar will go through the roof.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Its funny that most folks here wish to cash judgment on J.C., yet no one knows what effect it had on him, and whether or not he is actually guilty of anything.

    If you read the story, the substance wasn’t banned when he first purchased it and subsequently got it checked out by two or three sources in the MLB, all of which approved.

    And if you did further research, you’ll find out that GNC didn’t start putting a warning label on until recently.

    Yes, the players should be held accountable, but Romero did his due diligence in this regard, and he still gets 50 games.

    Until it can be proven that he was helped by the product down the stretch and in the playoffs, then it is all speculation and rumor.

    And for the Rays fans: Don’t call Romero or the Phillies cheaters, because you all know that it could have happened to any of the Rays players who are, most assuredly, double checking their supplements to make sure that they aren’t banned.

  48. The Professor says:

    yeah. but it didnt happen to any of the Rays. Because they were smart enough to check what they were putting into their bodies. and apparently Romero did not do his due diligence or he would not be missing 50 games next season.

    the case was already heard by an independent arbitrator. he is guilty. end of story.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Also worth noting that Romero only tossed 59 innings in 2008, less than Brad Lidge (who missed time due to an injury), Clay Condrey, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin, while having a higher WHIP than all but Condrey.

    Furthermore, Romero isn’t anywhere near the top 10 in innings pitched among relievers in 2008.

  50. Bill says:

    Here is a response by a Philadelphia blog to this post.

    http://www.phightinphils.com

  51. Gus says:

    Romero tied his career high in apperances (81 freakin games!) and despite this heavy workload in his 30s was (wait for it) at his absolute best in his last 16 apppearances of the long year (in which he had a tired arm in July by his own admission), giving up just one run over that time frame, including giving up 0 runs in 8 postseason appearances.

    Not that having the andro-esque substance in his body (which NOBODY disputes) may have had any beneficial effect!

    You’ve been caught red-handed Phillies. Romero had an illegal substannce in his body. it was known to all parties, he was a key factor in their post season run and in the world series (making 4 very effective appearances in 5 games, winning two of them). Trophy caries an asterik like Marion Jones’s. Enjoy.

  52. Anonymous says:

    wow, this is laughable…your “team of destiny” got whipped by a TEAM of 25, not 1 pitcher who takes essentially the same stuff they all do…im sure cliff floyd and some other grizzled vets pop greenies like its their job…grant balfour prob drinks koala piss…is that legal?

    2008 World Series Losers: Tampa Bay Rays…hey, at least you got some more hits than usual

    enjoy PtB…he is a gamer and will be missed.

  53. The Professor says:

    it always makes me laugh when people justify getting caught by saying others were probably doing it also.

    how come only your guy got caught?

    half-million visitors last year. the “hits” around here are just fine, thanks.

    and you enjoy Ibanez. glad we didnt sign him.

  54. Anonymous says:

    J.C. Romero taking a substance that wasn’t banned when he purchased and subsequently asked MLB personnel having anywhere from no effect to a lot of effect in the World Series vs…

    Longoria, Pena, Crawford, Upton: 13-77, .168 BA, 7 RBI
    (As a point of reference, Ryan Howard hit .286 with 6 RBI)

    OR

    A starting rotation with a 4.20 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched.

    Perhaps you should stop looking for excuses and accept the fact that your big hitters couldn’t do anything during the entire series, and besides James Shields, your pitching staff was unable to keep the Phillies off of the scoreboard.

    But ago ahead, keep making excuses for why you lost the World Series.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Hey Gus, isn’t it fair to say that appearances is a poor number to judge the workload of a pitcher?

    After all, a pitcher could have 100 appearances for a season, but he could come in for one out every time, which would work out to less than 40 IP.

    Yes, J.C. was in 81 games this season, but he only pitched 59 innings, which isn’t a “heavy workload” as you put it. Count the number of relief pitchers who have had more innings pitching in 2008 than J.C. Romero.

    You’ll need all your fingers and all your toes.

  56. The Professor says:

    i guess people should stop making excuses for Maris or Ruth not hitting 70 home runs. apparently they should have been roiding also.

    enjoy that asterisk

  57. The Professor says:

    anon,

    so Romero had ZERO to do with the title? is that your excuse? the overall strength of the bullpen had nothing to do with winning the world series? and Romro had nothing to do with said strength?

  58. Gus says:

    I think for a reliever, appearances is probably the No.1 baramoter becuase it reflects the number of times you warm up (he actually was up another dozen or times when he didn’t come in the game) and come in the game. By the time Romero had resurrected his career (his ERA was over 6.00 in 2006), he wasn’t racking up a ton of innings as a somewhat of a lefty specialist, but he was in virtually every other game for the Phils in 2008. He hadn’t pitched in that many games in 7 or 8 years. For a team whose greatest strength was its bullpen, Romero was a key guy. Its undeniable. He pitched a ton of games (tied for fourth most in the league, trailing the Mets Feliciano (86)). I don’t know why you JC’s defenders can’t concede the obvious. He was a KEY player. He had PEDs in his system late in the season. He went from a guy on the fringes of baseball 2 years ago (30 years old with a 6+ ERA is no way to go through life son) to a world series hero (he pitched half of a Don Larsen no-hitter over 4 games).

    One other point I haven’t seen covered. He had the chance to do the right thing and take the MLB plea bargain and not taint the Phillies title. Instead, like most people accused in this situation, he chose the selfish route, knowing that no matter how it came about, he was pitching in the playoffs with the benefit of PEDs ingested up through mid-September and that this would come out if he lost his appeal (a likely result given that he was copying Pidro’s eact defense). You reap what you sow Jose. You can’t replay the Series, you can’t ever make it a level playing field again.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Gus, you say that Romero had “resurrected” his career, which is only true if you cherry picked his statistics (which you did.)

    In 2004 and 2005, Romero had an ERA under 4.00 during both seasons. That’s not awful for a relief pitcher. In 2003, it was 5.00. In 2002, it was 1.89 in 81 innings, which is pretty darn good for a reliever, especially over that many innings.

    Now, how exactly is he resurrecting his career in 2007 if he posted solid number prior to that?

    Furthermore, any other player in the MLB would have appealed the process so that they could play in the World Series.

    You can’t single him out for being “selfish,” as you put it.

    He felt as if though he was wronged, and hence, he appealed. What would you have him do? Admit guilt when he believes there is none? Or fight the injustice that he believes was brought onto him?

    The bigger issue is that the MLB and player’s union left him out to dry. How do you tell someone that a product is legal and okay to take, only to retroactively tell him that the same product is now banned and he is going to get a suspension for taking a product that was, at the time, perfectly legal by the rules of the game.

    That’s like asking a musical artist if it’s okay to copy their music onto a CD and give to a friend. They tell you that it is okay, only to have you arrested 6 months later and tell you that the process is now illegal, even though, at the time, it was legal.

    Obviously, these are apples and oranges, but the concept is the same.

    Romero followed the rules, and they were changed after the fact, for which he is being punished.

    You can talk about fairness to the Rays all you want, but where is the fairness when it comes to players, and not just J.C., who are being mislead, and therefore punished because of the incompetence of the MLB?

  60. Gus says:

    The New York Times reported several other players called the drug hotline maintained by MBL and got the warning on this EXACT product. He chose not to make the call, not to have his agent call, choose (if you believe him, and I have a hard time doing so) to buy supplements on his own (as opposed to getting them from the Phillies trainer). That is reckless behavior for an MLB player even if you believe his version of events.

    I would hope most players knowing they had cheated, no matter if it was inadvertant, would withdraw. PGA golfers do it. MLB players and its thuggush union don’t. They lawyer up and make up outlandish excuses and copy them. Maybe they are all cheating as you suggest, but we have no other positive drug test from any of the players who played in the 2009 playoffs, so that is on Romero.

    You can say I’m cherry picking, but the stats are there for everybody to see. I think they strengthen the case that (a) the drugs he took in July, August and September 2008 by his own admission helped him to career best performances late in 2008 and (b) he was a key player in the Phillies drive for the championship and (c) this wasn’t the inadvertant misunderstanding that Romero’s PR firm (see the NYT article) is trying to spin us to believe it is. Rather, this is an athlete on the fringe, getting an edge. A story as old as FloJo. Hopefully, he doesn’t get killed by the crap he’s put in his body like she did. Nobody deserves that.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Gus, you’re cherry picking if you take his stats from this and last season, then compare them to how awful he was in 2006. That’s the very definition of cherry picking. The point is, he wasn’t a “fringe” player. He had a solid seasons as a reliever, including a dominant 2002.

    Also, Romero did go through the Phillies trainer to make sure the product was fine. The trainer was okay with it, and suggested that he takes additional steps to ensure that it isn’t banned. The additional personnel signed off on it as well, giving Romero clearance to take the product.

    Regarding the player hotline: This product wouldn’t have been on the list when Romero started taking it, because he had it checked out by MLB personnel prior to that.

    Find out a date when the hotline added it, then you have a point. Until then, it’s speculative. But the product wasn’t banned until after her took it.

  62. Gus says:

    Proof? I can only go by what MLB is saying — if he had called, he WOULD have gotten the answer that it was illegal. Romero or the Phillies NEVER called.

    Here is what was printed in the NYT Wednesday:

    “Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president for labor relations, said that when baseball learned of the two positive tests, it contacted the federal authorities to inform them that there might be tainted supplements on the market.

    Under baseball’s drug-testing program, there is a list of supplements that baseball and the union certify as free of performance-enhancing drugs. For other supplements, players can consult a hot line.

    “If he had called, he would have found that 6-OXO has led to other athletes, who are wrestlers, testing positive,” Manfred said of Romero and the hot line. “In fact, in preparing for the arbitration hearing, we learned that a couple of other players had called the hot line this year inquiring about 6-OXO and were told not to take the substance.” (end of NYT excerpt)

    Unless Mr. Anonymous you are his lawyer, agent or flak and you have other facts at your disposal (in whch case you should identify who you are), I can’t see how these “dog ate my homework” arguments carry any weight amongst serious people.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Congrats – more hits to the blog that paying customers at your two bit park.

    Phillies = World Series Champs.

    Rays = Losers who probably won’t ever make it back.

    It must sting.

  64. Anonymous says:

    By the way – your countdown to Scott Kazmir’s 300th win might be the most unintentionally funny thing I’ve ever seen on a blog. I love Web 2.0!

  65. The Professor says:

    well if you had been here before along with the other half-million people that visited in 2008, you would know it the countdown is kinda tongue-in-cheek. but whatever.

    enjoy the asterisk on your one title in 500 years. it wont take the Rays so long.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Yes, an asterisk that you’ve conjured up in your jealous little mind. This story has barely made a blip. You can hardly find it on espn.com, and it just broke less than 72 hours ago.

    4 games to 1. Pena couldn’t hit anything. Neither could Longoria. Kazmir couldn’t find the plate. Maddon got (gasp!) outcoached. 3 games in Philly = 0 wins.

    Yup. Without Romero, we would have been toast.

  67. The Professor says:

    a cheat is a cheat. quit making excuses

  68. Anonymous says:

    WFC

  69. Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

    World Fucking Cheaters?

  70. Gus says:

    WFC= With Fabulous Chemicals.

  71. Amanda says:

    Romero tested negative in October. He didn’t take them then. He thought the drug was OK to take, but was misinformed. MLB didn’t do the best job handeling this situation.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Yeah…you guys got killed…stop makin excues.
    wfc philly is in the building

  73. Anonymous says:

    NO CHANCE against the phillies in the world series…even with the extra game mlb gave you by not waiting until the game was tied in the pouring rain when no one could field…give me a break …pathetic article…WFC PHILLY BABY

  74. Ghost of Quinton McCracken says:

    world fucking crybabies?

    2 titles in 500 years and one is tainted. hahahhahahahhahhahha

  75. Great information thanks for getting this out there for people like me to read.

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