Reaction to MLB suspensions

Reaction to MLB’s suspension of 13 players on Monday, after a sweeping drug investigation:

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“I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process. I am eager to get back on the field and be with my teammates in Chicago tonight. I want to thank my family, friends and fans who have stood by my side through all this.” — Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

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“Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way.” — Commissioner Bud Selig, from a statement released by MLB.

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“The accepted suspensions announced today are consistent with the punishments set forth in the Joint Drug Agreement, and were arrived at only after hours of intense negotiations between the bargaining parties, the players and their representatives. For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension. We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously.” — MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner.

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“These are not situations that you’re looking into, so nobody thinks that’s good, but I think when you see these penalties that people realize that if they’re thinking about doing something they shouldn’t, I would think that this would set the standard that you don’t want to do it.” — Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski.

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“From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error.” — Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, suspended 50 games.

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“In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret. I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers’ organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension. I love the fans, my teammates and this organization and my greatest punishment is knowing that I have let so many good people down. I promise to do everything possible to try and earn back the respect that I have lost.” — Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, suspended 50 games.

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“The penalties are a joke. If these players were in the Olympics or USA Track and Field, for example – the gold standards of testing – each player’s first major finding like this would cause a two year ban_a real penalty. Fifty games is less than a third of a season. These guys will be back for the playoffs! Baseball is not serious.” — former Clinton administration drug policy spokesman Bob Weiner.

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“Working together, we’ve delivered messages to thousands of kids and have impacted their lives in a positive way. But today’s announcement leaves us no option but to discontinue our relationship with Alex Rodriguez.” — Don Hooton president of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which aims to educate youth about the hazards of steroid use.

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“I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Phillies’ organization, Phillies’ fans and my family, and look forward to helping the Phillies win a championship in 2014.” — Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, suspended 50 games.

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“We are compelled to address certain reckless and false allegations concerning the Yankees’ role in this matter. The New York Yankees in no way instituted and/or assisted MLB in the direction of this investigation; or used the investigation as an attempt to avoid its responsibilities under a player contract; or did its medical staff fail to provide the appropriate standard of care to Alex Rodriguez.” — statement issued by the New York Yankees.

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“I am very pleased that Major League Baseball has cleared my name. With this process now complete, I have no lingering sense of animosity, as I quickly realized that the objective of this investigation was to clean up our game. This is an ideal that I share with both Major League Baseball and the MLBPA.” — Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who was linked to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, but exonerated by MLB’s investigation.

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