Steroid Drama Overshadows Philles Victory
There were many positives for the Phillies in last night’s 7-2 win over the Rockies. Cole Hamels returned to form and pitched extremely well. John Mayberry Jr. continued his hot streak with 2 extra base hits, including a homer. And Carlos Ruiz had 3 RBI and 2 hits, also including a homer. Even better, the Phillies finally got through a game without committing an error.
But all those positives were overshadowed by some overwhelming negatives. First, the lost of injuries for the Phillies keeps getting scarier. Laynce Nix had a setback in his recovery, possibly reinjuring the same leg. David Herndon underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the year.
However, the biggest bomb dropped when it was announced before the game that rookie infielder Freddy Galvis would be suspended 50-games for violating the MLB drug policy. He apparently tested positive for a trace amount of clostebol, an anabolic steroid.
Between this year and last, the Phillies have gone from first to worst. They have seen their All-Star players and important role players decimated by injuries. This is simply not what this team needed to hear right now.
To say this is disappointing is an extreme understatement. Galvis was the one bright light in an otherwise dreary season for this team and now, that has been taken away as well. I suppose the good news is that he can serve the suspension now, while he is in a back brace on the DL. He probably would have missed at least 50 games anyway.
I do not pretend to know whether Galvis is innocent or guilty. Although, you would think if he was juicing he would have hit a lot better than .226 with 15 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs and 24 RBIs. We will probably never know for sure.
There are several reports in reputable medical journals that say this steroid can show up in urine in trace amounts after ingesting contaminated meat or after having “relations” with a woman who was using a particular cream for a “female condition” that contains clostebol. In other countries, cattle are injected with this drug to “beef” them up, literally.
Even chicken are sometimes injected with steroids. Studies in that area produced similar results, showing trace levels of the drug in those who consumed the meat.
So I suppose you have to be a vegetarian, Catholic priest with some mad baseball skills in order to avoid a false-positive test result?
And this is why I say we will never know for sure. There are too many variables as we have seen in previous cases where athletes tested positive after taking a tainted substance. Former Phillie J.C. Romero is a good example. He won a law suit against the company who made supplements that were laced with a banned substance which was not on the label. But even though MLB now acknowledges this issue, Romero still had to serve the suspension and will forever be judged unfairly in public opinion.
This by no means exonerates Galvis, but it does, once again, call into question the legitimacy of MLB’s drug policy. A more recent example is Ryan Braun of the Brewers, who got off on a technicality involving the “transport” of his sample.
Now that MLB has made announcement about Galvis, we know that either there was no appeal or he already lost the appeal. It is MLB policy to wait until that process is done before making the official announcement.
Regardless of what did or did not actually occur here, Galvis’ reputation is now mud. And that is a real shame for a kid with so much potential. And it is especially a shame for a fan base that has been desperately searching for a small glimmer of hope for this stumbling, last place team.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography