Nightengale tweeted on Tuesday:
You can only be suspended for the use of amphetamines if it's your second offense, meaning Ruiz has already been caught before.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweeted:
Suspension means Ruiz tested positive for amphetamines once before. Second positive carries suspension, first does not and is kept private— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) November 27, 2012
Ruiz released a statement in response, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN:
I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant. I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.
This is a big blow for the Phillies franchise. The 33-year-old backstop batted .325 with 16 home runs, 68 RBI and 56 runs scored in 114 games for the Phillies in 2012, earning his first All-Star selection in the process.
Erik Kratz, a 2002 29th-round pick, was the backup to Ruiz. He batted .248 last season with nine home runs, 26 RBI and 14 runs scored in 50 games.
Philadelphia went 81-81 last season, missing the playoffs for the first year since 2006. It ranked eighth in the National League in runs scored, and that was with Ruiz in the lineup for 114 games.
Ruiz went undrafted in 1998 and first played with the Phillies in 2006. The Panamanian has been a key component not only for the offense, but also for a pitching staff that includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
Major League Baseball simply cannot seem to get the use of performance-enhancing drugs under control. We saw former San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera get suspended for 50 games last season. He batted .346 before his suspension.
Despite all of this, Cabrera still received a two-year, $16 million deal from the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason. When players are rewarded for cheating, it's no wonder why they continue to use PEDs despite the potential to get suspended by the league.
We can only hope that this issue is curbed.
So far, it still appears prevalent.
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