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The Biz of Baseball :: Minor League News
Orioles Minor Leaguer Parra Suspended 50 Games for PEDs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 17 September 2009 14:49

PEDs in BaseballThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced late Weds. that Baltimore Orioles Minor League catcher Freuny Parra has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Parra will be effective at the start of next season. He is a member of the organization’s Gulf Coast League team.

Parra represents the 68th player suspended this season as part of the minor league drug program. Of the 68, three have been suspended for 100 games, due to second violations, the other 65 have been suspended for 50 games each. The total number of games served under drug suspension is currently at 3,550.

While the total number of drug suspensions are up from last year, the total number of PED suspensions remain slightly below last year’s total. This season, there have been 9 suspensions for “drug of abuse” compared to only one in 2008. Therefore, 2009 currently sees 60 suspensions for PEDs compared to 65 in 2008.

While 2009 will go down with more minor league drug suspensions than 2008, to date, it is not the largest yearly total. 2005, the first year of manditory drug testing in baseball, saw a total of 87 drug related suspensions.

See details on every drug suspension at the major and minor league levels in baseball from 2005 to the present


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Despite Economy, Minor League Baseball Sees Only 2.9% Decline in Attendance PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 13:03

MiLBDespite tough economic times, Minor League Baseball attendance remained high in 2009, but below record levels. The 15 leagues and 176 clubs drew 41,644,518 in paid attendance in 10,269 openings. The average crowd of 4,055 is only 2.9%, or 119 fans a game, less than last year when the industry established its attendance record of over 43.2 million fans.

"Given the economic conditions in most of our cities, we look at the 2009 season as a solid season with many positives to point out,” said Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner (read the 2008 Biz of Baseball interview with O'Conner). “New ballparks, individual club and league attendance records, great pennant races and outstanding player performances all make 2009 a season to remember.

“I am most proud of the way our clubs turned to their communities in ways to ease the pressures of the day and provide affordable family entertainment like never before. We feel like we have some of the best and most loyal fans in sports. 2009 shows why we can proudly say that,” added O’Conner.

The Midwest League established a new record for the third straight year. The California and Florida State Leagues also saw an overall increase in attendance this season. The FSL led the leagues that experienced larger crowds on average at 12.2% per opening, followed by the California (5.2%) and the International and Midwest at 0.4%. The New-York Penn League averaged 3,595 a game this year, the same as it did in 2008. Sixteen clubs set new season attendance marks.

Select Read More to see attendance by League for Minor League Baseball in 2009

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With Two on Monday, Minor League Drug Suspensions Surpass 2008 Total PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 00:34

PEDs in BaseballWith Major League Baseball announcing that two Dominican Summer League players have been suspended under the Minor League Drug and Prevention Program for performance-enhancing drugs, 2009 has now surpassed the total for minor league drug suspensions last season.

Pitcher Jose Dominguez of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and outfielder Waldo Rosario of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, received 50-game suspensions after each tested positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspensions of both Dominguez and Rosario, each of whom is a part of his organization’s Dominican Summer League team, will be effective at the start of next season.

Dominguez and Rosario represent the 66th and 67th minor league drug suspensions to date in 2009, compared to 66 for all of last year, including four that were levied in the off-season.

While the total number of drug suspensions are up from last year, the total number of PED suspensions remain slightly below last year’s total. This season, there have been 9 suspensions for “drug of abuse” compared to only one in 2008. Therefore, 2009 currently sees 59 suspensions for PEDs compared to 65 in 2008.

While 2009 will go down with more drug suspensions than 2008, to date, it is not the largest yearly total. 2005, the first year of manditory drug testing in baseball, saw a total of 87 drug related suspensions.

See details on every drug suspension at the major and minor league levels in baseball from 2005 to the present


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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Minor League Player That Had Contract Voided For Misrepresenting Name and Age, Now Suspended for PEDs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 10 September 2009 01:48

Damian ArredondoA Dominican-born minor league free agent, who had his contract with the New York Yankees suspended after a DNA test conducted by MLB’s Department of Investigations said he misrepresented his name and age, has now been suspended 50 games for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol.

Damian Arredondo, who had his $850,000 contract voided, will be unable to sign with a major league team for a year as part of the falsification of name and age. His 50-game suspension would begin as soon as he was to sign with a major league organization.

Arredondo also has the distinction of representing the 65th player to be suspended as part of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, one shy of the total number of players suspended at the minor league level last season through Dec. 22nd. A league spokesman has said that the reason that there are more suspensions earlier in the year is due to increased drug testing in the minors (especially in the Dominican Summer League), and quicker processing of test results. There are also 9 players that have been suspended for drugs of abuse, such as marijuana and cocaine, compared to only one in 2008, thus giving this season 54 players suspended for PEDs compared to 65 in ’08.

The highest number of players suspended under the minor league drug testing program is 87 in 2005. On one day alone (March 4, 2005) 38 minor league players were suspended after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances. The positive results were announced after 925 tests of players on the 12 major league teams that hold spring training in Arizona and included one offseason result. Thirty-seven players tested positive for the first time and received an unpaid, 15-game suspension, and one player, David Castillo, a catcher with the Oakland A's, tested positive for the third time and was given an unpaid suspension of 60 games.

See details on every drug suspension at the major and minor league levels in baseball from 2005 to the present


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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New Protective Helmets to be Mandatory for Arizona Fall League PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Devon Teeple   
Sunday, 06 September 2009 14:41
David Wright s100 helmet
The new Rawlings s100 batting helmet,
being worn  here by the Mets' David Wright,
will become mandatory head gear for the
Arizona Fall League this October.

The Arizona Fall League players are literally getting a “head start” on the competition according to MLB correspondent Benjamin Hill.

Starting in 2010, that the Rawlings S100 helmet is going to be required throughout all of Minor League Baseball. The Arizona Fall League is going to be the first test project. Beginning on October 13, 2009, the AFL, which is a showcase league featuring prospects from all 30 MLB clubs, will wear the new mandated helmets.

"The thought is that once you institute something in the Minor Leagues, those habits will carry over [to the Majors]," said MLB vice president of public relations, Pat Courtney.

The reason for the new helmets is the added protection of all players throughout professional baseball. This year has seen a rash of concussions and head injuries, most recently affecting players such as Edgar Gonzalez, Scott Rolen and David Wright. Security is the main reason for the new changes but the current look of the helmet is what concerning some players. "If it's about the safety of the players, then I'm all for it," said Reds prospect Yonder Alonso, who will suit up in the AFL as a member of the Peoria Saguaros. "Something like this could make us all a little bit better, because we're not going to be up there thinking about the dangers of getting hit by a pitch."

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Brian Friday has been subject to two head injuries this year and is looking forward to the extra precaution that is being instituted. "I have heard that the current helmets can only really withstand a 70-mph pitch, so in that regard I was really glad to hear about this," he said. "I just hope they're not too enormous."

Image is not everything in a case like this, but sooner or later a comfort level will be reached at all levels and Angels prospect Peter Bourjos has the same attitude as Friday, "As long as it's not too big, I'm all for it," he said. "There have been times I've been at-bat wishing I had something extra, because you can end up feeling pretty defenseless up there."

"A helmet is a helmet," said Alonso. "Eventually we'll all get used to it."


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Devon Teeple is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class.

He is the founder of The GM's Perspective, is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels. Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada. He can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Giants Minor Leaguer De La Cruz Suspended 50 Games for Ephedrine PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 03 September 2009 17:14

PEDs in BaseballThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that San Francisco Giants Minor League pitcher Diego De La Cruz has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Ephedrine, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of De La Cruz, who is a member of the organization’s Dominican Summer League team, will be effective at the start of next season.

De La Cruz represents the 65th drug suspension at the minor league level in 2009, one short of last year's total. He also represents the 28th player from the Domincan Summer League suspended this season.

See details for each drug suspension at the major and minor league level since the policies were enacted


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Pair of Twins Minor Leaguers Suspended for PEDs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 03 September 2009 11:34

PEDs in BaseballThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced late Weds. that two Minor League players from the Minnesota Twins organization, shortstop Jose Murillo and pitcher Francisco Nunez, have received 50-game suspensions after each tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Both players tested positive for Boldenone.

The suspensions of both players, who are members of the organization’s Dominican Summer League team, will be effective at the start of next season.

The suspension of the two players marks the 63rd and 64th drug suspension at the minor league level for the 2009 season. Last year there were a total of 66 suspensions.

The players mark the 26th and 27th Dominican Summer League players to be suspended. MLB, who administers the minor league testing program, has said that that players in the DSL are being tested more often this year. There were 45 players from the DSL suspended last year.

A major league source has said that due to tests being processed more quickly, results are coming back quicker. Last year, there were 16 suspensions in September, alone.

Also, there has been an increase in the number of suspensions at the minor league level for "drug of abuse". Last year, there was only one suspension for drug of abuse, while this year there has been nine.

See details for each drug suspension at the major and minor league level since the policies were enacted


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Free Agent Minor Leaguer Suspended 50 Games for PEDs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 28 August 2009 19:51

PEDs in BaseballThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that free agent Minor League pitcher Jonady Nunez, most recently of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Most recently, Nunez had been a member of the Dodgers’ Dominican Summer League team. The suspension of Nunez will be effective immediately upon signing with another Major League organization.

The latest suspension represents the 62nd under the minor league testing program. There were 66 total suspensions in all of last season. Drug suspensions at the minor league level are for PEDs, as well as for drug of abuse, such as cocaine or marijuana. There have been 9 players suspended for drug of abuse compared to only one last season (free agent Aaron Jackson on May 16) under the minor league program.

According to a league source, adjustments to the minor league testing program are ongoing with the league performing more tests this year (especially in the Dominican Summer League). According to the source the processing of the tests is being done more quickly this year. According to the league, these changes have created the increases over last year based on the calendar. Due to the reporting changes, the league is expected to have far fewer minor league drug suspensions in September than at the same period in 2008. Last season saw 16 total suspensions in September, alone.

It should be noted that the league, while not announcing it, has been making adjustments to the minor league testing program as they see the need. This is different than the major league testing policy which is collectively bargained.

See details of every drug suspension at the major and minor league level dating back to 2005


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Royals Player Represents 60th Minor League Drug Suspension of Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 27 August 2009 18:05

PEDs in BaseballThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Kansas City Royals Minor League outfielder Nicholas Francis has received a 50-game suspension after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse.

The suspension of Francis is effective immediately. Francis is currently a member of Single-A Burlington of the Midwest League.

Francis represents the 60th drug suspension of the year under the minor league drug policy, compared to 38 at the same time last season, an increase of 58 percent. Minor league drug suspensions are now just six short of the total for all of last year, including off-season suspensions up to Dec. 22nd.

See details of every drug suspension at the major and minor league level dating back to 2005


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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With Latest, Minor League Drug Suspensions Up 44 Percent From '08 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 22 August 2009 14:39

PEDs in BaseballCORRECTION: Our data had omitted a player suspended in the off-season. The player, Jason Taylor of the Royals organization, was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse. His suspension was announced on Jan. 20. The addition of Taylor to our data shows an increase of 44 percent from last year at this time (we originally reported 43 percent). The article has been updated to reflect these changes.

 


 

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced late Friday that New York Mets Minor League pitcher Santiago Valdez has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Valdez is effective immediately. He is a member of the organization’s Gulf Coast League team.

(See the complete history of drug suspensions in major and minor league baseball)

Valdez represents the 59th minor league drug suspension of the year, a 44 percent increase from last season on this date when there were 33 drug suspensions. The total for all of last year (including off-season suspensions up to 12/22) was 66. The all-time record for minor league drug suspensions was 87 in 2005, the first year of mandatory drug testing for US and Canadian players in the minors. Since then, players from the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues have been added to the drug testing program, increasing totals after seeing declines. In 2006 there were 26 total drug suspensions in the minors and 24 in 2007.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Two Cubs Minor Leaguers Suspended for PEDs, Total Minor League Suspensions Now Stands At 50 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 14 August 2009 14:10

PEDs in BaseballThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced late Thursday that two Minor League players from the Chicago Cubs organization, pitcher Ericdervid Martinez and outfielder Gregorio Robles, have received 50-game suspensions after each tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Martinez tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, while Robles tested positive for metabolites of Boldenone and Clomiphene.

The suspensions of both players, who are members of the organization’s Dominican Summer League team, are effective immediately.

(See the complete history of drug suspensions in major and minor league baseball)

With the addition of the two Cubs players, drug suspensions as part of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program totals an even 50. At the point of yesterday’s suspension there were a total of 30 suspensions over the same period last season.

Martinez’ suspension for Clomiphene could possibly be a first. Players suspended under MLB’s drug policy are only announced as “PEDs” while minor league suspensions announce the violating substance. Clomiphene has never been associated to any of the minor league drug suspensions to date. Clomiphene is used as a “kick starter” which implies that Martinez was tested just after a steroid (Boldenone) cycle.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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Nationals Minor Leaguer Suspended 50 Gms for Amphetamine PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 12:53

NatsLate yesterday, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Washington Nationals Minor League pitcher Stephen Englund has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for an amphetamine, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Englund is effective immediately. Englund is currently a member of the organization’s Gulf Coast League (Rookie) club.

Three of the four last minor league suspensions have been to players in the Nationals system, all of them for amphetamine.

To date, there have been 48 drug related suspensions, with the majority of them for PEDs (six have been for "drug of abuse"). The 48 suspensions this year compare to 30 at the same tme last season.

See the complete history of drug suspensions in major and minor league baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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