Chad Deal 8:22 p.m., May 20
Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal holds "press conference" about suspension for banned substance
Grandal delivers a speech from a piece of paper in front of media in Peoria, Arizona after addressing teammates in clubhouse concerning 50-game suspension for failing MLB test for performance enhancing drugs
On Saturday, February 16th - the first day that the Padres were to have all players at their spring training facility in Peoria, Arizona - Yasmani Grandal addressed his teammates in a private meeting in the clubhouse concerning his 50-game suspension for failing a drug test conducted by Major League Baseball. Grandal then held a press conference with media outside of the clubhouse where he read a prepared statement.
The statement was then later released in writing by Padres public relations to all media members:
“Last November, I admitted taking a banned substance and accepted my punishment of a 50-game suspension. I have taken full responsibility for my actions and apologized to my teammates, the fans and the San Diego Padres organization. I plan to put that mistake behind me, serve my suspension and continue working hard to be the best player and teammate I can be.
I am aware of the various press reports about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and that Major League Baseball and others are investigating those allegations. I intend to cooperate fully in their investigations. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations. Based on that legal advice, I will have no further comment.
Again, I realize that I made a big mistake and I very much look forward to returning to the field.”
There was no question and answer session. Generally, press conferences include some access by media members to ask questions pertaining to any prepared statement.
Yasmani Grandal was suspended 50 games by Major League baseball on November 7th after failing a random drug test for use of performance enhancing drugs, or PED's. The test indicated elevated levels of testosterone, generally known to be a result of steroid use.
Grandal, 24 came to the Padres along with three other players in exchange for sending pitcher Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds. In 60 games with the Padres, Grandal batted .297 and hit 8 home runs.
In the beginning of February, the Miami New Times - and alternative weekly - reported having come across documents from a now-defunct clinic in Coral Cables, Biogenesis of America LLC. The documents allegedly listed "patients" that players including Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal.
In the story, Tony Bosch, founder of the clinic, was accused of distributing performance enhancing drugs including steroids to MLB players. Bosch's attorney has claimed that the story is inaccurate. Major League Baseball is investigating.
Grandal, meanwhile, may participate in spring training games although it is unclear whether the Padres will allow him to play scheduled spring training games or simply relegate him to playing in games held on the smaller fields in the back of the complex. Grandal may also play in extended spring training which continues after the regular season starts, but he will be prohibited from playing in other minor league games until 10 games prior to when his suspension is lifted 50 games into the regular season.
The Padres had eight players eligible for salary arbitration going into the 2013 season and now they have avoided arbitration with all of them. The last of the group, pitcher Clayton Richard, agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.24 million on Saturday. That deal is almost in the middle of what Richard was asking and the Padres were offering. The 29-year old Richard was an even 14-14 in 2012 with an earned run average of 3.99 and had 107 strike outs.