Starling Marte suspension a crushing blow to Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB

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Major League Baseball’s reaction to ‘s 80-game suspension Tuesday — and the cloud that has now descended on the sport just two weeks into the season — came in the form of a 51-word news release announcing the specifics. But it doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to envision what an accompanying statement from commissioner Rob Manfred might look like.

Manfred would most likely herald Marte’s suspension as another sign that baseball is ever vigilant in its efforts to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs. Anyone who thinks stars are immune in baseball’s quest to root out the problem is mistaken.

But that’s small consolation in the big picture. The Marte news is terrible for the , worse for Marte and ultimately another setback for a game that’s always one failed test away from trying to extricate itself from PED quicksand.

It has been almost a year since second baseman , the 2015 National League batting champion, received an 80-game suspension for steroid use. On the star-power scale, Marte is in a similar realm. He’s a dynamic, 28-year-old outfielder with two Gold Gloves and an All-Star Game on his resume, and he stood to ascend to a face-of-the-franchise stature if the Pirates had followed through on their plans to trade over the winter.

Gordon’s punishment came out of nowhere, because he was a small, slight speedster who didn’t fit the profile of the classic PED abuser. After testing positive for exogenous testosterone and clostebol last April, he apologized profusely and insisted he didn’t knowingly ingest a banned substance.



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