Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Open Letter to Carlos Ruiz




Dear Carlos,
In a league of big shots and assholes, on a team of overpaid and under-producing players, you were OUR guy. You were all grit and hustle. You had this bright smile and hard-nosed play that we, as fans, loved. Now you are just a druggie user. Once adored by the mailman in Torresdale, put on a pedestal by the teacher in Conshohocken, and glorified by the scientist in Glenside… once lovingly known as Chooch, now you are the same to me as Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, etc. The funny thing is, you did not have to do it. You were a World Champ, the general of the pitching staff, and a stellar defensive catcher. Panamania is dead to me. Once one of my favorite Phillies players, you have now gone the way of Abreu, Bell, Qualls, and Bastardo. That is not really fair to those four, because as far as we know, there only fault was dogging it or just completely sucking. You disappointed legions of Phillies fans and your use of an amphetamine with no diagnosed therapeutic use is a disgrace. The bigger and even less known fact is: This had to be Ruiz's second positive test for a stimulant. An initial positive for a stimulant does not trigger a suspension, only that the player must undergo follow-up testing. You have proven that you didn’t learn. You consciously decided to continue a banned substance AFTER you were given a second chance. You don’t get a third chance with this, and hopefully many other fans.
 
I looked at your average offensive output from 2008-2011: .267 Batting average, 42 RBIs, and 7 HRs… that is above average for a MLB catcher. Your true value was in your defense and play behind, not at, the plate. How much of your hustle was drug induced? Is this the first year you used Adderall? I will not cheer for you. You will not get a pass with this fan. I think the hypocritical Philly fans will look the other way when it is one of their own getting caught using a banned substance. If this was a Met, the fans would have signs and  throw pills on the field. I won’t do that, but you are a disgrace to the game, nothing you do from here on will make up for it. RIP Chooch.

Disgustedly,
BL Chris

As it pertains to Major League Baseball, in 2011 a total of 105 players were granted exemptions under the league’s drug policy to fill prescriptions for Adderall according to an NBCSports.com article. That’s 13% of MLB players are “legally” on Adderall, a much higher rate than the general population. The CDC states on their website that Adderall is therapeutically used by 3-7% of the US population.  Medical experts have also stated that Adderall is/can be used as a masking agent for performance enhancing steroids and can have long-term cardiovascular implications. Earlier this year, Major League Baseball tightened criteria for obtaining such exemptions in response to criticism stemming from the abnormally high rate of prescriptions among its players. As of last June, players receiving exemptions to use Adderall or other such stimulants need the approval of a three-expert panel. In the past, only one individual reviewed and decided on such requests.

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