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Pineda and the PED Stupidity

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 07 September 2019 · 2,190 views

minnesota twins michael pineda
Why can't we have nice things? Maybe that's a common refrain, but then again shouldn't it be why does common sense escape so many? As Michael Pineda now faces a 60 game suspension, ending his season and ability to help the Minnesota Twins in the Postseason, we're left shaking our heads as to why cheating is always defined as a mistake.

There's zero denying that Michael Pineda knew what he was doing. Ingesting a diuretic that he obtained from a "close acquaintance" is the same tired excuse we're often fed. You see, those that lack common sense also have this belief the world around them follows suit. Here's the reality, Pineda got caught and still can't own it so he's going down with the ship.

If there was no ill intentions in taking the drug, Pineda could have quickly reached out to team doctors or trainers for an opinion. He made a choice to forego that route because of the assumed answer. Whether Pineda believed there would be substantial helpful effects for whatever he was trying to mask or not, he chose to turn from a protocol that would've been in the best interest of himself and moreso his team.

In the end it's really the Twins that lose here. After paying $2 million on the belief they'd get to monitor rehab and then get a productive pitcher in 2019, they got an $8 million tab that ran out right when they needed it most. Pineda has been Rocco Baldelli's best starter since being shut down for 10 days on May 27, and Minnesota went 11-4 in the 15 games he started. This was supposed to be Jose Berrios' staff, but it was Big Mike that looked the part of ALDS game one pitcher. Not anymore.

Nothing about this suspension changes the Twins outlook when it comes to playing in October or winning the AL Central division. Both of those things will still happen. Where the fallout comes is in how and what Minnesota does to compete against the best of the best. You can get by with three elite starters or four quality ones in Postseason play, but the Twins now have two wild cards, an ill asset, and a handful of unproven commodities. It's been the Bomba Squad all year, and the pen has stepped up of late, but the need has now never been greater.

An era or so ago when PED usage ran rampant in baseball (thank you Bud Selig), I had no problem with the best looking for that advantage. Now the ball is juiced and the playing field is leveled that way. Testing is stricter than it's ever been though, and the sport has since decided drugs have no place in the game. To continue operating that way is as selfish as it gets, and only hurts your club. Pineda will still get paid next season, and he makes a healthy sum for 2019. The fans and players looking to make a splash this season now all lose.

This is a story we've heard plenty of times before. It's an excuse and apology we'll hear plenty of times again. No amount of money can buy common sense, and unfortunately for the Twins, Michael Pineda's desire to be about himself is the latest example.

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  • Kevin, dgwills, nclahammer and 2 others like this



I'm curious how soon these results are presented to the player, as he did have the abilityto arbitrate and get the suspension reduced, which in itself seems that MLB is not being as hardlined as in the past.

 

But, yes, with strength and conditioning staff/programs, your trainers in general, and a medical staff on call...there is no eason you can't get properly prescribed medications or supplements.

 

The Twins going forth? Happily hey have an abundance of pitching, just have to figure out how to best use the arms. And, with an open roster spot, they could still add, say, Griffin Jax, who is pitching in the AA playoffs and should still be a strong arm.

 

How the Twins put together a start on SUnday against the Indians, and then again in the first and third game of next week's series against the Indans will showcase if the Twins will, indeed, struggle on their way to the post season, or if the prospect arms of the future are ready for the challenge of becoming a part of the playoffs, as well as the starting gate out of spring in 2020.

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3balls2strikes
Sep 07 2019 09:27 PM

He took a diet pill that is a diuretic to help him lose some weight. It's not as bad as it seems. Big mistake, boneheaded move, should have asked Twin's medical staff, but no ill intent to gain a performance advantage. Thus the sentence reduction from 80 to 60 games. Let's not be excessively hard on the guy. 

 

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Ted Schwerzler
Sep 07 2019 09:32 PM

He took a diet pill that is a diuretic to help him lose some weight. It's not as bad as it seems. Big mistake, boneheaded move, should have asked Twin's medical staff, but no ill intent to gain a performance advantage. Thus the sentence reduction from 80 to 60 games. Let's not be excessively hard on the guy.


He took a masking agent, and believing it was for the reason he suggested seems thick to me. The ONLY reason you don’t run that by the Twins staff is because you don’t want the answer.
    • USAFChief, laloesch, nclahammer and 3 others like this
"If there was no ill intentions in taking the drug, Pineda could have quickly reached out to team doctors or trainers for an opinion. He made a choice to forego that route because of the assumed answer. Whether Pineda believed there would be substantial helpful effects for whatever he was trying to mask or not, he chose to turn............."This seems to insinuate that Pineda was using a substance beyond a diuretic? Yet in your attached column you laud "performance reigns supreme"? While you did add a semi qualifier that you were discussing HOF ballots the gist of it seemed to be that high performance levels are all that count when evaluating talent. Not how, or when, or whatever else occasioned it. I don't deny that trying to evaluate comparitive MLB production over the years is an almost impossible task. But if Big Mike was using the diuretic to mask some form of PED then the Pineda we saw was not the real Pineda. He was just another version of Bonds, Aaron, and Clemens in your article. A lot of what they did was also wrong, but testing and insinuations were winked at. Pineda simply got caught trying to enhance his performance. MLB players are mercenaries. They go wherever the money and the opportunity exist. They get that money, and those opportunities by performance. How they acheive that performance can or cannot be a moot point. But it can't be both. As an aside, juicing the baseball does not level the playing field, it simply puts a bump in it. IF they return to a sane version of a baseball next year, all of the HR records set this year are an abberation. For the sake of the game, I hope they do that. But oddly, for the sake of future record keeping, to do so would make all the numbers accumulated this year have the asterisk debate rear its head again.
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3balls2strikes
Sep 08 2019 11:13 AM

 

He took a masking agent, and believing it was for the reason he suggested seems thick to me. The ONLY reason you don’t run that by the Twins staff is because you don’t want the answer.

If there was any evidence that Pineda was trying to mask another substance, MLB would have never reduced his suspension time from 80 to 60. He had a brain fart and took a diet pill to loose weight. He's human, he made a mistake. I'm sure he's beating himself up plenty enough. No need to pile on. 

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strumdatjaguar
Sep 08 2019 08:19 PM
New nickname. Make Me Bigger Mike.

I don't understand the commentary in this thread. Diuretics are not weight loss pills. Period.

 

An athlete in the MLB, the NFL, NBA, NHL taking a diuretic is not trying to lose weight but trying to cover up something else they've been taking. Diuretics cause excessive urination and purging of fluids from ones system which no professional athlete in their right mind would subject their body too.  

 

This whole debate is phony baloney. The guy was likely cheating and taking something else. Diuretics are in fact quite dangerous and are typically taken by people with edema (excessive fluids) due to liver failure, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, etc. 

    • dgwills and MMMordabito like this
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MMMordabito
Sep 09 2019 07:32 AM

 

If there was any evidence that Pineda was trying to mask another substance, MLB would have never reduced his suspension time from 80 to 60. He had a brain fart and took a diet pill to loose weight. He's human, he made a mistake. I'm sure he's beating himself up plenty enough. No need to pile on. 

 

He isn't a puppy learning where to pee.He's a 30 yo man who should feel some accountability to his profession, especially at the rate he is compensated.Any opinion suggesting that accountability - even harshly suggesting it - is welcome.A lot of fans have invested extra time and money into this exciting season, so there should be complete understanding when someone doesn't take the "aww, he's just a man like you or me, nobody's perfect, give him another chance" path.

 

I would honestly like to see owner collusion at some point with one of these guys and have them all agree that a sacrificial player just won't be signed.I know it would be a MLBPA grievance nightmare, but another message needs to be sent.

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In My La-Z-boy
Sep 09 2019 09:49 AM

I wonder if the front office knew this before Aug 31st? Then I wonder if they knew, why we didn't pull the trigger on a starter? Buxton for Syndergaard would have looked real good in the rear view mirror today. Jaylin Davis would also look good in RF doggonnit. I will give the FO a pass on that one. The Dyson deal looked good at the time, and we had our outfielders. Now we don't have Dyson and we don't have outfielders. This team is limping it right now and I hope we can regroup and hang on. Anyone can get hot in the playoffs.  

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Ted Schwerzler
Sep 09 2019 11:23 AM

 

I wonder if the front office knew this before Aug 31st?

My understanding is the team/FO never finds out until the player wants them to. The MLBPA notifies the agent, then the player. Appeals process takes place after that. Sounds like Rocco found out on Saturday afternoon because Pineda told him. Polanco did not notify the Twins last season.

    • In My La-Z-boy likes this
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purplesoldier4u
Sep 09 2019 09:49 PM

 

I don't understand the commentary in this thread. Diuretics are not weight loss pills. Period.

 

An athlete in the MLB, the NFL, NBA, NHL taking a diuretic is not trying to lose weight but trying to cover up something else they've been taking. Diuretics cause excessive urination and purging of fluids from ones system which no professional athlete in their right mind would subject their body too.  

 

This whole debate is phony baloney. The guy was likely cheating and taking something else. Diuretics are in fact quite dangerous and are typically taken by people with edema (excessive fluids) due to liver failure, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, etc. 

I disagree. I used to hang with a bunch of wrestlers and boxers that used them to make weight.

 

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tarheeltwinsfan
Sep 10 2019 07:46 AM

 

 

I would honestly like to see owner collusion at some point with one of these guys and have them all agree that a sacrificial player just won't be signed.I know it would be a MLBPA grievance nightmare, but another message needs to be sent.

That also would be "breaking the rules" Anti-trust rules.

    • HitInAPinch likes this
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HitInAPinch
Sep 11 2019 10:06 AM

Just adding my 2 cents worth:This medication (Hydrochlorothiazide) is used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.And it's fun to pronounce.  

 

I'm a type-2 diabetic and my doctor subscribed that as one of the drugs I've used for about 6 years.Doctors refer to is as a diuretic.I referred to it as the piss-pill.I did my research and asked my doctor to scratch that off my meds list.  

The more post season games Twins play, the more games Pineda can potentially play in next season. Is that right?

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Ted Schwerzler
Sep 12 2019 11:08 PM

The more post season games Twins play, the more games Pineda can potentially play in next season. Is that right?


Interesting question. Typically the regular season games are all that count towards suspension. A PED violation is automatic Postseason ineligibility. Because his was reduced though, he would’ve been Postseason. Eligible if there had been 60 regular season games left.

I still believe the Postseason games don’t count though, so he’ll need to serve 39 games next year. He will be Postseason eligible though. His contract will also be prorated for just 123 G