Today will be a day in infamy; the day that Starling Marte was suspended by baseball for 80 games for testing positive for Nandrolone, an old-school steroid.
Buster Olney on the Pirates never being able to recoup what they’ve given up for Marte:
For the Pirates, what has happened with Marte is not exactly like a house burning down without insurance, but it’s something akin to that. They cannot recoup what is now squandered with Marte, a situation in which they have no real control and no formal oversight. Major League Baseball and the players’ association control the testing process and penalties; all teams can do is hope they don’t get the phone call the Pirates got Monday night.
As a small-market franchise, Pittsburgh has very little margin for error. The Pirates need to be effective in their choices, and they need to be lucky, especially now, as they prepare for the inevitable departure of McCutchen. They struggle to keep their best home-grown players, whose salaries eventually outgrow the Pirates’ payroll capabilities. And McCutchen’s potential value in the market may soon evolve beyond what Pittsburgh can comfortably pay to a star whose performance has reached a tipping point.
Olney goes on to talk about how this is Andrew McCutchen’s last summer in Pittsburgh, and the franchise was at a crossroads to make one final run. That will not now be a possibility, losing their finest player.
Ken Rosenthal reacts, and says that this will linger for longer than just the 80 games which expires in mid-July.
And any time this happens, you always wonder who else is using. It’s not that Marte is all that hard of a figure to believe he was using steroids. It’s simply a matter of there have to be others around the league who are taking the came chances.