During the 2010 MLB season, 34-year-old outfielder Jose Guillen batted .258 with 19 home runs and 77 RBIs for the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Despite those solid numbers, Guillen was left off of the Giants World Series roster. It seemed to be no great mystery why. Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the media Guillen had a neck injury.
Another report—one that was quickly forgotten—was that Bochy kept Guillen off the Giants roster because Guillen was under investigation for performance-enhancing drugs. That rumor is suddenly gaining legs.
In 2008, Guillen was supposed to miss the first 15 games of the season due to a suspension for breaking the MLB's performance-enhancing drug policy. However, Guillen was granted a reprieve courtesy of MLB commissioner Bud Selig.
When the MLB released the controversial "Mitchell Report" prior to the 2008 season, Guillen and all of the other players named as being associated with, or known to have used, performance-enhancing drugs were let off the proverbial hook. Selig was not about to retroactively punish players for past indiscretions. Despite having been given his suspension prior to the Mitchell Report's release, Guillen never had to serve it.
Flash-forward to this past fall and Guillen perhaps hasn't learned his lesson yet. Neither has the MLB.
How clean is baseball of performance-enhancing drugs today?
According to a report in the New York Daily News, Guillen is under investigation for allegedly arranging a shipment of 50 syringes loaded with human growth hormone (HGH). While HGH is a substance banned in the MLB, the league currently conducts no tests for the drug. Only a blood test can detect HGH, and the players' union has been able to prevent the league from instituting such a test.
Now the circumstances surrounding Guillen could re-open a healing wound within baseball.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) along with the investigative arm of Major League Baseball are digging deeper and deeper into Guillen and his wife Yamel. After the DEA seized the package shipped to Guillen's home which was signed for by his wife, she reportedly left the United States for the Dominican Republic.
Of course, it is the Dominican Republic that has become a thorn in the MLB's side. Many HGH and steroid shipments are alleged to originate there, and it was in the Dominican Republic where Alex Rodriguez supposedly took what he assumed were not "tic-tacs" which led to his admission of steroid usage.
While the MLB is quietly trying to clean up baseball within that country, the DEA and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are perhaps doing even more. In a report on Yahoo Sports, WADA was working with the MLB in a steroids investigation, one that is perhaps linked to game fixing. No further word has come forth in this apparently ongoing operation.
While it is in baseball's best interest to see Guillen's situation swept under the rug, that same rug could once again be pulled out from under the MLB.
While baseball will maintain its players are clean, the investigation by the DEA into Jose Guillen may prove that to be just another fairy tale.
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