While the Tampa Bay Rays witness a complete-game shutout from Alex Cobb in a 5-0 rout of the Oakland Athletics to further distance the AL East club in the wild-card race, stranger things were happening in the farm system.
According to Craig Calcaterra and Hardball Talk, three members of the Bowling Green Hot Rods, Tampa's Single-A affiliate, tested positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine.
That’s right. Three ballplayers tested positive for meth.
In a world of baseball where steroids serve as the center of the banned substance list, narcotics are more of an afterthought. With the Melky Caberas and Bartolo Colons of the league resting in the heat of the media spotlight, this recent release from the Rays farm is nothing but shocking.
The suspended trio, second baseman Ryan Brett, pitcher Charles Cononie and pitcher Justin Woodall, are set to serve 50-game suspensions.
Brett, the third-round draft pick for the Rays in 2010, has shown significant promise in Rookie Ball and in his first season with Bowling Green. He was rapidly approaching 50 stolen bases on the year and has been ranked as high as the Rays' 14th-best prospect at MLB.com.
Cononie, a draft pick out of Towson University, was struggling much more with his command this season since his promotionfrom Low-A ball. Currently, he sits with a 2-4 record and a 4.20 ERA for the Hot Rods.
Woodall, a draft pick out of the University of Alabama, was actually a football player for the Crimson Tide. He was the starting strong safety for the Crimson Tide en route to a BCS National Championship.
After going undrafted in the NFL draft, he decided to pursue a professional baseball career.
If anything can be learned from this whole fiasco, meth has no place in baseball.