Mitre lands 50-game suspension

Pettitte rejects Yanks $10 million offer
RAB Fantasy Football League Final Update

When the Yankees signed Sergio Mitre to a Minor League deal, we praised the signing as a low-risk, medium- to high-reward move. Little did we realize that Mitre’s first headline as a Yankee would involve a 50-game drug suspension.

According to ESPN.com, Mitre failed a drug test last summer when trace amounts of androstenedione were found in his urine. He’ll serve the 50-game time out while on the disabled list this spring, and he takes full responsibility for his actions. In a statement released by his agent, he said the following:

“Although being suspended for 50 games is tough to accept, I think that it is important to understand that I am in full support of drug testing in baseball. I did take the supplement in question and accept full responsibility for taking it. What has been difficult for me to understand is that I legally purchased this supplement at GNC and had no intention nor desire to cheat or to circumvent the system in any way.

“As confirmed through the drug testing and grievance processes, it contained a ‘contaminant’ amount of an illegal, performance-enhancing drug. This was not listed as an ingredient on the packaging, should not have been in the supplement and certainly should not have been available for legal purchase at a store.

“I accept my punishment because, as a professional, I have a responsibility for what I put into my body. For this I will suffer a significant financial penalty and, more importantly, it will affect my reputation. I only hope that this will help others avoid being punished for having taken a product bought legally at a retail store.”

Oops. That’s not the best way to start a Yankee career.

Pettitte rejects Yanks $10 million offer
RAB Fantasy Football League Final Update
  • jsbrendog

    seriously, without better regulation by the gov’t body that monitors and regulates these things whose name currently escapes me then how the hell are these guys supposed to know what’s in this stuff?

    If you can go to GNC and buy it then you shouldn’t have to have your own lab in the basement with a crack team of politically diverse scientists just to know if your legally purchased supplement has tracew amounts of something “illegal” in your sport/profession.

    Something’s got to give here.

    • A.D.

      FDA doesn’t regulate most natural substances, as long as you don’t make a medical claim and its “natural” FDA doesn’t really care.

      If they did there would be an even greater backlog at the FDA. Not saying that it makes it right that it isn’t regulated, just explaining the situation.

    • Colombo

      I completely agree. He didn’t go to some shady, back alley doc, he went to GNC and picked up a supplement. This smells a little fishy…kinda like what happeend with those Viking and Saint players in the NFL.

      Also, what exactly is a “contaminant amount”?

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com Leo

        Supplements have been known to have stuff like this hidden away in them, though. That’s why, if you read through the JC Romero thing, he had two nutritionists and a few other people take a look at the stuff he bought before taking it.

        • jsbrendog

          and he still got fucked

          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com Leo

            Yeah, I think the players union is being wusses here because they don’t want to take a public hit but it’s pretty terrible. Especially since Romero brought the bottle in and everything and was still suspended. The MLBPA has the strongest player’s union and them not doing anything to defend their members is sad.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        This smells a little fishy…kinda like what happeend with those Viking and Saint players in the NFL.

        My rebuttal: The NFL, NFLPA, and EAS made a joint agreement where any EAS supplement is created, tested, and approved by league monitors. NFL players are instructed that they may take any supplement made by EAS and they will not be subject to any penalty whatsoever for anything in their body, even if they fail a test, since the league has given EAS its prior stamp of approval.

        Those Viking and Saint players chose to take other, non-EAS supplements. You do that, you lose the presumption of innocence.

        The system was in place to allow all of them to take as much Stacker-2 and Orange Whey as their hearts desired. They fucked up and gambled needlessly. Hence, the responsibility (and burden of proof) is solely on those players.

  • A.D.

    At least he stood up and took it like a man, and they filtered down to the root of the problem to determine where the substance came from. Better than the guys that just say “I didn’t cheat” after testing positive.

    Looks like a business opportunity: MLB approved supplements that guaranteed will not cause a failed drug test.

  • Should be working

    With him still recovering and on the DL, will this suspension leak over into actual game time or will it be covered on the DL?

    • Ryan S.

      He’ll serve it while on the DL and be docked his milb salary for those 50 days.

      • Should be working

        Yeah I was just wondering how far away he was from comming back to pitch. Like if we werent going to have him for 50 games anyways or if he wouldve been back in like 20 and he’s missing 30.

        • Ryan S.

          He’ll be on the DL until the middle of the summer recovering from TJ and then he’d have to rehab in the minors for a while after that anyway. In terms of it affecting the Yankees ball club, I would guess it doesn’t really hurt us at all.

          • Should be working

            Gotcha. Thanks.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I like this. Mitre is willing to cheat to get stronger and healthier, for the good of the team, but is selfless enough to do it in a way that he serves his suspension while he was already going to be unavailable to us on a rehab assignment. We still get him when we get him, but we have to pay him less.

              That’s a team player right there.

              I like the cut of that man’s jib. (No homo.)

              • Ryan S.

                I enjoyed your spin doctoring of this story.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I enjoyed doing it.

                  (I usually do.)

  • JeffG

    I am always a sceptic but if the legal supplement he bought actually had illegal substances in it then he should be able to buy another jar, put it on Selig’s desk, and argue his case for a reduction. Or better yet get a good lawyer and sue the supplement maker for damages. Free holiday.
    Somehow I just feel he and his agent are making up a good story. He’s comming off an injury and wants to do it quick. I’m not really a huge fan of condeming athletes who have used PEDs but at this stage in the game guys have to know better. It’s just not worth it.

    • A.D.

      jsbrendog linked this before it explains the whole story pretty well, essentially he did just that:

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

      • jsbrendog

        and lost. wtf

    • RustyJohn

      He should have been able to take it to Selig and then cram it up the ass of the bad-haircut, used car salesman hypocrite fuck that is the Commish. 50 games for something bought over the counter that is legal, yet the cock sucker plays stupid for 15 years while Big Mac, Sosa, Bonds, et al are breaking records left and right and are obviously juiced.

      To quote Sean Penn in “The Assassination of Richard Nixon”, “It’s about the money, Dick!” Only, in this case, Dick should be with a lower case “d”.

      Dude, Selig, get a fucking real haircut. Even Bill Gates started going to a reputable barber years ago instead of having his mother use a bowl and a set of Wahl clippers.

  • RobC

    Suppliments are not FDA regulated.
    Basically for a drug to be marked it must be proven safe and effective while supplements can be marketed with the disclaimer

    “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

    The FDA most then show harm to remove the product, ex ephedra.

    Contamination of supplements is know to happen there are case reports of protein or creatine being contaminated with anabolics.
    Still athletes are responsible for what they put into their bodies.

    There are independent labs who will certify product purity such as NSF http://www.nsf.org/ and USP http://www.usp.org/

    I wonder what GNC’s response will be.
    Isn’t a Phillie JC Romero claiming the same?

  • http://www.myspace.com/earlweaverplaque Ace

    You have to appreciate his comments. I don’t condone supplements but he sounds like a stand-up guy.

  • Bo

    You’re naive if you believe a legal supplement you can get at Vitamin Shop or GNC leads to a positive test.

    They were taking performance enhancers. And why shouldn’t they when it may be the difference between not making it and making 15 mil a yr? Especially since if they are taken under a doc supervision they cause no harm.

    • steve (different one)

      and you are also making a gigantic assumption that he is lying.

      give the specifics of the story, i think it is very possible that both he and Romero are telling the truth.

      am i positive either way? no, of course not. but you shouldn’t be either.

    • I Remember Celarino Sanchez

      Not naive. It’s been documented that many over-the-counter supplements at places like GNC have small amounts of illegal steroid-type substances. There is no regulation, and the makers of the supplements have a stake in their products working, so that people will keep buying it.

      The problem is such that the NFL has some kind of deal with approved supplements, just like someone up thread mentioned MLB should do.

      I’m not saying Romero and/or Mitre are innocent. What I am saying is that it is not “naive” to believe them. The idea of contaminants in over-the-counter supplements is hardly new. It’s established.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yup. The list of banned substances is larger than just illegal drugs and steroids. There’s plenty of legit, over-the-counter stuff you can buy at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe that is banned by pro-sports leagues.

      • steve (different one)

        right, and isn’t the issue here that MLB issued a list of supplements that were A-OK, which Romero and maybe Mitre purchased, but then in August sent out a letter that said “you know that list of stuff we said was OK, we were just kidding”??

        i don’t think this is as cut and dried as some are making it.

    • RobC

      Contamination of dietary supplements and positive drug tests in sport
      Author: RJ Maughan a
      Affiliation: a School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
      Published in: Journal of Sports Sciences, Volume 23, Issue 9 September 2005 , pages 883 – 889
      The use of dietary supplements is widespread in sport and most athletes competing at the highest level of competition use some form of dietary supplementation. Many of these supplements confer no performance or health benefit, and some may actually be detrimental to both performance and health when taken in high doses for prolonged periods. Some supplements contain excessive doses of potentially toxic ingredients, while others do not contain significant amounts of the ingredients listed on the label. There is also now evidence that some of the apparently legitimate dietary supplements on sale contain ingredients that are not declared on the label but that are prohibited by the doping regulations of the International Olympic Committee and of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Contaminants that have been identified include a variety of anabolic androgenic steroids (including testosterone and nandrolone as well as the pro-hormones of these compounds), ephedrine and caffeine. This contamination may in most cases be the result of poor manufacturing practice, but there is some evidence of deliberate adulteration of products. The principle of strict liability that applies in sport means that innocent ingestion of prohibited substances is not an acceptable excuse, and athletes testing positive are liable to penalties. Although it is undoubtedly the case that some athletes are guilty of deliberate cheating, some positive tests are likely to be the result of inadvertent ingestion of prohibited substances present in otherwise innocuous dietary supplements

      Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometric detection for the determination of anabolic steroids and related compounds in nutritional supplements
      Authors: R. Stepan a; P. Cuhra a; S. Barsova a
      For a monitoring programme of 48 samples of nutritional supplements, three were positive. Nandrolone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), 5-androstan-3,17-dione, 19-norandrostendione and progesterone were found in positive samples at concentrations between 0.022 and 0.398 mg kg-1.

  • http://asportsaddictneedsdivineintervention.blogspot.com/ E-ROC

    I wonder if Mitre compared the ingredients of the drug to the list of banned substances. The banned substance could still be in the drug but not listed on the Nutrition Facts.

  • steve (different one)

    in a perverse way this works out well for the Yankees.

    he’s going to serve the suspension on the DL, but now the Yankees don’t have to pay him.

    • Ryan S.

      I was thinking the same thing hahaha.

    • J.R.

      Seriously, for the yankees this is great financial news. Now we don’t pay a third of his contract and he’s the bad guy for it.

  • Abe

    Side note:

    Rosenthal says that teams are showing real interest in Nady and Swisher – I really hope they don’t get ride of Swisher since I view them as similar offensive players, but swisher takes more pitches and is much more versatile.

    • Should be working

      I doubt they will. Only OF under contract next year. Great OBP and power in our park should be good. If only he could hit .280 :o

      • Ryan S.

        Sheesh. Swisher would have a .410ish OBP if he hit .280

    • Ryan S.

      If we trade Swisher away this year, I would bet money that we go after Holiday in 2010 (provided he still has a good year playing outside of Coors and in the AL).

      • Should be working

        Whats to say they dont go that way anyways?

        • Ryan S.

          Oh they certainly could regardless of whether Swisher is on the team in 2010 or not, I just think it would considerably increases the likelihood, and would hint that its a move the organization is actually planning on making.

          • I Remember Celarino Sanchez

            I hope the Yanks hold onto Swish and Nady. In past years, there have been so many outfielder injuries for the Yanks. And with Damon and Matsui both being older and susceptible to injury, I think we’re going to need all the current outfielders to get by. Especially since our center fielders are both unproven.

            • Ryan S.

              Agreed. No need to trade either of those guys, we’ll make good use of both of them and I don’t think the return would justify the move anyway.

    • J.R.

      But the real question of this trade is what do you want back? The only thing that I could see the Yankees wanting are minor league outfielders.

      Think about it, you dont really want a near major league read 1b, 2b, 3b (because those positions are locked for the next 8, 4, 9 years.

      Maybe a close to major league ready SS.

      They already have more arms in AAA than they know what to do with.

      So maybe a fifth starter ala Corey Lidle trade.

      Or a high level backup catcher to replace Molina next year. But my feeling is that they like Molina alot as the backup, its a great fit.

      So that leaves outfield prospects. So im not saying don’t trade Nady or Swisher, just that we need to think long and hard about what it is that we are targetting in return.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        The only thing that I could see the Yankees wanting are minor league outfielders.

        I’d take a good minor league shortstop to be Derek Jeter’s replacement.

        With Swisher, AJax, and Gardner in the organization for the foreseeable future, plus Holliday, Bay, Ankiel, Crawford, et. al. as possible free agent additions, and a move of Jeter to the OF at some point as his career winds down, I’m much more interested in finding the next Elvis Andrus than I am in finding the next Colby Rasmus.

        • J.R.

          So the next question is what teams have depth at SS (this seems very little after the shitshow that happened with Furcal and the entire SS market this offseason).

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I doubt any team would give us an SS prospect good enough to warrant moving Jeter to the OF anytime soon simply for 30 year old, free-agent-to-be Xavier Nady.

            So, it’s probably just wishful thinking.

          • A.D.

            It would have to be a very young SS

            • steve (different one)

              the Yankees may simply want to move Nady’s (modest) salary so that they can fit Pettitte into their 2009 budget.

              i know that most people here don’t want to accept that there is an actual limit to the payroll, but there is a lot of evidence that they do have a finite number in mind and that hard choices may have to be made.

              that may include trading your overqualified 4th OFer or using Aceves as your 5th starter.

              if that is the “price” for signing Sabathia and Teixeira, so be it.

              • Ryan S.

                If that is indeed the case, than I would certainly be in favor of dumping Nady’s salary to make room for Pettitte. Sucks that Pettitte isn’t being more amicable towards the current offer, but such is the business of baseball.

              • J.R.

                But if there is “significant interest” in both players, then they should be able to get some valuable piece back. Right?

        • A.D.

          I think they would like good minor league outfielders the problem is if a team is willing to trade minor league OFs then the OF likely still has a lot of development left and isn’t that close to the majors, else they’d give him the job instead of trade. OR the OF really isn’t that good so we’re trading Nady or Swish for some minor league junk

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Yeah, why would a club give us a decent, young, near ML ready outfielder for Nady? They’d just start the kid and eschew the Nady deal, unless the kid didn’t remotely have Nady’s upside.

          • J.R.

            That was kinda my thought when I was asking.

            Of course I think the Yankees wouldn’t shy away from high ceiling starting pitching talent.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    If a minor-leaguer is serving a suspension, could you get away with assigning him to a different level for the day every time the team he’s with has an off day, so as to eat up the suspension more quickly?