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Article: Jorge Polanco: I'm Really Sorry


wow, people are being very harsh on Polanco. Expectations really have increased for this team!

 

I'm not saying he doesn't deserve criticism, but people are ready to toss him to the curb. He screwed up, badly. But there's a real possibility he's not lying and his real mistake was trusting the wrong people and not having a system in place to crosscheck his supplements in a way that kept him safe. That's still a bad mistake for a professional athlete to make, but even in this testing regime there are still a lot of guys who are not being all that careful with what they're taking. Hopefully this is a warning to all young players.

 

regardless: he's paying a huge price and so is his team. It's a real shame.

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Polanco knew exactly what he was doing, took that chance and was caught. No sympathy from me at all. The fact that he doesn't want to go into details, is all I need to figure that out. Just sad for him to throw it away.

 

Like how Ervin Santana threw it away? Whatever happened to that guy, anyway?

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The people who are perhaps most affected by this...

 

https://www.mlb.com/news/twins-support-jorge-polanco-after-suspension/c-269112920

 

Twins players were surprised by the suspension, but vowed to be supportive of Polanco, who took the news hard. Polanco has yet to meet with his teammates, but said he plans to address the entire team later this week.

 

"It's bad right now. He was crying last night," said third baseman Miguel Sano, who has known Polanco since childhood in the Dominican Republic. "It's just a difficult situation. I told him I'm his teammate, his brother from back home, and I'm here to support him."

 

"We want a clean game, but with that being said, people make mistakes," Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. "That's the world we live in. And more than ever, Polanco needs a little love right now. That's my brother. That comes first."

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Do the players know much about the prospects in the minors? Maybe I'm not the right one to say this but I would think that Polanco wouldn't know much about that situation. Oh no, the Twins drafted a shortstop first overall who will arrive in 3-4 years and he might not even stick at that position... I highly doubt that's why Polanco was juicing.

I'm not sure if he knows every prospect gunning for his job. He certainly knows Nick Gordon from spring training this season.

 

All I can think of is personal experience in sports. The senior knew I was working extremely hard as a sophomore to start over him. And vice versa. I knew the sophomore wanted to start over me when I was a senior.

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Of course, but it's easy to see how there might be different incentives for players and trainers coming from a country with a different set of values and laws regarding PEDs. I know MLB is already coordinating some "education" for young Dominican players regarding the adverse effects and career risks associated with use, but clearly there are still a lot of issues. First, they probably should focus on ways to improve cultural sensitivity. I'd also be interested in finding out if there were any particular trainers or 'hubs' of trainers in the DR that tend to distribute PEDs. There might even be trainers down there who administer PEDs to players unknowingly to advance their own careers. There are several angles that could be improved, because clearly something's wrong with the system at this point.

 

I wonder about this as well.  

 

Kind of weird to juxtapose my imagined picture of Jorge's trainer with the trainer that Lynn, Morrison, Kinley, etc worked with; the one that was featured in an article this weekend (sorry; no link.)  Maybe the U.S. based one's just have more undetectable stuff...

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To me the question regarding whether it was accidental or intentional is irrelevant.  It's a super competitive business...we all know of the incentives for pushing the envelope.  But irresponsibility is always willful, either in act or omission of act.

 

This need not impact his career drastically long-term.  He's 24 years old.  24 year olds have time to atone for bad mistakes (thank God).  Nor do I fear greatly that his 2nd-half performance was necessarily artificial.  There are a lot of possible variables contributing to improved performance for a 24 year old batter.

 

I'll be pulling for him when he comes back.

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Maybe one of the MDs who read this site will chime in, but my impression is that B-12 and Iron supplements are both commonly taken by injection, at least in the quantities needed to move the (ahem) needle. Oral supplements likely are just excreted.

 

'cause you asked: 

 

There are 2 forms of B-12: Methylcobalamin that can be used intranasally, orally, and parenterally, and hydroxocobalamin that can be used only parenterally i.e. with injection. Methylcobalamin should eventually be metabolized to hydroxocobalamin that is the active form, by a healthy body.  Hydroxocobalamin and iron cocktail injections are somewhat common for anemia treatment.  Bioavailability of the oral and nasal forms are about 10% of that of the injectible form, thus the preference...

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Mistake. A mistake has a motive of not wanting something to happen, but it happens anyway. A fielding error is an example. Making a left turn instead of a right because your mapping app is in a north south orientation and you didn't see it right, didn't transpose your position on the map... you do something which you did not intend to do.... that is a mistake. Deciding to do something, and hoping not to get caught, is not a mistake. It is a bad choice. Not a mistake. Bad choices are not mistakes.

 

I was hoping for continued growth and improvement. Having this on his mind..... couldn't have helped him this spring. I will miss him. I won't miss an error (or two) every game this spring, though.

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One impactful side note: I’m pretty sure players don’t acrue service time while suspended. Polanco stands at 1 year, 105 days. A full season is 180 days I believe. So, Polanco will be at about 2 years, and 5-10 days or so following the 2018 season. It won’t impact which year he is eligible for arbitration or free agency, but he’ll have substantially less service time and he won’t have those numbers.

 

That could impact what he earns in his first arb year.

You are correct. I was mistaken in the other thread. No service time is a new aspect of the rule that just took effect in December 2016.

 

Although a full year service time is actually 172 days. I don't think it will affect his arbitration, because he will still be in the same "group" when he hits arbitration for the first time (after 2019, with 3 years service).

Edited by spycake
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Of course, but it's easy to see how there might be different incentives for players and trainers coming from a country with a different set of values and laws regarding PEDs. I know MLB is already coordinating some "education" for young Dominican players regarding the adverse effects and career risks associated with use, but clearly there are still a lot of issues. First, they probably should focus on ways to improve cultural sensitivity. I'd also be interested in finding out if there were any particular trainers or 'hubs' of trainers in the DR that tend to distribute PEDs. There might even be trainers down there who administer PEDs to players unknowingly to advance their own careers. There are several angles that could be improved, because clearly something's wrong with the system at this point.

That trainer would be blackballed the minute word got out that he did something like this. well except to the players who want to take steroids.

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Exactly. It just doesn't make any logical sense for someone to inject ped's into someone who doesn't want them.

What is the end game? If they make it big, you are going to tell them, "surprise! I've been secretly injecting you with illegal and potentially dangerous drugs this whole time!"

 

I can't imagine anyone is delusional enough to think that is going to end well. And good luck finding work after pulling a stunt like that.

 

Really, the only explanation that makes any logical sense, is that Polanco wanted him to inject ped's.

Not to say that nonsensical, illogical things never happen, so it's not 100%. But it's really, really close.

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What he did is not as important as when this happened.  Yes he will miss half a season, but in reality it will be a full season.  Will he be in baseball condition when he comes back?  Will someone else step up and fill his role? For a young player who has had 1/2 good season this is really a bad situation. And in a competitive sport it is not about forgiveness or team support - it is about getting an opportunity and holding on to it.  On a team with Gordon, Javier, and Lewis, wasting a chance is stupid. 

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What he did is not as important as when this happened. Yes he will miss half a season, but in reality it will be a full season. Will he be in baseball condition when he comes back? Will someone else step up and fill his role? For a young player who has had 1/2 good season this is really a bad situation. And in a competitive sport it is not about forgiveness or team support - it is about getting an opportunity and holding on to it. On a team with Gordon, Javier, and Lewis, wasting a chance is stupid.

None of those guys are likely to be ready by June. In fact, only Gordon has a chance.

I don't agree that there is a high likelihood that this causes any missed time beyond the suspension.

The only scenario I can see that would, is if both Escobar and Adrianza start out terribly, and the Twins trade for a SS better than Polanco.

But, with them likely being close to maxed out payroll right now, I don't find that too likely either.

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I think have read previously that most players are tested randomly twice per year.

I think players with previous failed tests are subject to unlimited random tests.

If MLB is serious about creating a landscape void of real or perceived windows of opportunity, a weekly testing would be implemented. Also, they have the financial resources to test biweekly in the offseason. Anything less is smoke and mirrors.
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Thought I'd weight my $.02 or $.03, FWIW

 

1] Polanco seems like a really good young man. To my knowledge, he's never been in trouble for anything since joining the Twins organization. While I ABSOLUTELY believe it is a professional (or amateur in many/most/all cases) to know what is going in to their body...and their just shouldn't be an exception because this is your CAREER we are talking about...I'm not just going to say he is lieing. He is clearly regretful, and has manned up in public to apologize to everyone. Not a lot of guys busted have done so or appeared so remorseful.

 

2] Considering the preponderance the Latin ballplayers, specifically, it seems, from the Dominican, who have been busted, I have to wonder if their is any sort of language/communication barrier that helps allow for some of these incidents, or if there is, in fact, some bad information being told to these players back "home". Could these players be told something to the effect that it's OK, limited exposure, it will wash out of your system in time for the season, etc. Just seems to me, percentage wise, there has to be a component here yet unveiled.

 

3] I believe in punishing those who break the rules. Absolutely. Intentional or not, unless there is proof you were "swindled" in some manner, you are still responsible for what took place. Period. But I do have a very hard time with the pre-season ban. What is the punishment? 80 games. Great! Then it's 80 games. After that, you are cleared to play and in a sort of probation with Hughes penalties if found guilty again. But any suspension should just stop after the 80 games, IMO.

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If MLB is serious about creating a landscape void of real or perceived windows of opportunity, a weekly testing would be implemented. Also, they have the financial resources to test biweekly in the offseason. Anything less is smoke and mirrors.

The terms of drug testing are agreed to in the CBA.  MLB can't just arbitrarily start drug testing players every week.  And from what I've read, there are only about 5 labs in the world that can do the sophisticated testing to find all the new variants of PED's.

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I think we are too quick to assume he took a banned substance knowing it was banned.

 

We have no evidence that he was doing what Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa and players of that era were doing to hit the home runs.

 

He tested positive, he is being penalized. When he comes back he may or may not have a job. So, it could be an expensive mistake

 

He made a mistake, he is paying for it.

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After Ervin, now Jorge, perhaps the twins need to crack down and keep a closer watch on what their players are doing/taking while in the Wild West that is the DR.

 

Not to call out any specific country but 2 times now? Kinda getting old guys....

 

Someone please step up and dont let this destroy our season. 

I suppose if the player wants their help they could, but I don't believe they can test players. They PA would step in.  

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None of those guys are likely to be ready by June. In fact, only Gordon has a chance.
I don't agree that there is a high likelihood that this causes any missed time beyond the suspension.
The only scenario I can see that would, is if both Escobar and Adrianza start out terribly, and the Twins trade for a SS better than Polanco.
But, with them likely being close to maxed out payroll right now, I don't find that too likely either.

I do not disagree with what you right, but since I am an advocate of advancing the youth quickly Gordon is close enough for me to move him up. 

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I am looking forward to hearing about the lawsuit Polanco will surly file since those people gave him an illegal substance that cost him a boatload of money.  It's about time all of these players take their stand against the rising tide of trainers/doctors/etc who conspire to make them fail drug tests.  Baseball players are truly the victims here, can't anyone see this trend??? No articles, no congressional hearings and no social outcry.  #sarcasm

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It is punitive to also suspend him for the playoffs.

 

I think it is fine. Especially since, it is something that all players know up front what the penalty includes for several years now (wasn't Santana's year the first year of the change?) The rule is in place in advance of the behavior. Cause and effect. Seems fair to me. It is just the last part of the sentence.

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