Niagara Gazette

Sports

August 4, 2013

AP Source: A-Rod can play during suspension appeal

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "I don't suspect it'll be awkward. Most of these guys know him as a teammate and have laughed a lot with Alex and been around Alex a lot," he said. "I think it'll be business as usual. I'm sure there will be more media there, obviously, tomorrow, but I think that's probably more for Alex to deal with than the rest of the guys. I don't think it'll be a big deal."

Lawyers involved in the drug cases have been trying to reach agreements that would avoid grievances. Deal or no deal, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was prepared to announce discipline.

Peralta didn't think the possibility of a suspension made it harder to focus on the field.

"Nothing to worry about," he said. "Play the game how I play every day, and try to enjoy every day."

Asked what action he would take if penalized, Cruz said: "I haven't decided what I'm going to do."

There have been 43 suspensions under the major league drug agreement since testing with penalties for first offenses started in 2005. The longest penalty served has been a 100-game suspension by San Francisco pitcher Guillermo Mota for a positive test for Clenbuterol, his second drug offense.

In addition, Tampa Bay outfielder Manny Ramirez retired two years rather than face a 100-game suspension, and when he decided to return for 2012 the penalty was cut to 50 games because he already had sat out almost an entire season. Colorado catcher Eliezer Alfonzo was suspended for 100 games in September 2011, but the penalty was rescinded the following May because of handling issues similar to the ones involving Braun's urine sample.

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