Two major league players tested positive for drugs during this year's World Baseball Classic, but neither will be punished by MLB. One who was punished for a test in 2008 may now be in legal trouble. The details:
Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, a member of the Puerto Rican team during the WBC, won't be punished because his drug of choice was marijuana. MLB doesn't regularly test for pot usage as it isn't considered a performance-enhancing drug, although this may now make Soto subject to more testing. It also makes you wonder, since Soto was NL Rookie of the Year last season when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 86 runs batted in, but is batting just .232 with 7 HR and 24 RBI in 2009. Pot may not be important to MLB as a performance-enhancer, but perhaps as a performance-reducer?
Kansas City Royals pitcher Sidney Ponson, who's had his share of issues in recent years, is banned from international competition for two years based on his WBC test. The Aruba native, who played for the Netherlands in the WBC, is a first-time offender for MLB purposes so he also won't be suspended. The drug that came up in Ponson's test? Phentermine, which is considered a stimulant. It's a weight-loss drug. If you've seen Ponson, you know this is entirely plausible.
Philadelphia Phillies reliever J.C. Romero came back in early June from a 50-game suspension for his 2008 positive test for a performance-enhancer he says came from a supplement he bought over-the-counter. He's suing both the supplement's manufacturer of the and the two stores that sold it to him. After Thursday night's game at Tampa Bay, a Rays fan was trying to get autographs from Phillies players. When some of them refused, the fan yelled at Romero a comment about steroids. He alleges that Romero told him to "shut the f--- up," grabbed him by the neck and pushed him. The fan filed a police report and, needless to say because he's such a victim and not at all a jackass, has hired a lawyer. The big question: will any of this footage be seen on The Pen, the MLB Network reality series starring the Phillies bullpen? Their cameras are following the Phils' relievers through the All-Star break.