Ernie Harwell hears the voice of the turtle

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If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t want to read a column in which Ernie Harwell tells spring training stories from the 1940s to the 1960s then I don’t have much use for you.

And for those of you unfamiliar with his work, Harwell used to begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12:

“For
lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear
on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice
of the turtle is heard in our land.”

He may not get a chance to say it on the radio this year, but I’m glad that Harwell has held on long enough to hear the voice of the turtle one more time.

Astros’ Jonathan Singleton, Dean Deetz suspended for failing drug tests

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MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Astros first baseman Jonathan Singleton has been suspended 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. Minor league pitcher Dean Deetz has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Dehydroclormethyltestosterone.

Singleton, 26, has had issues with marijuana in the past and opened up about his addiction several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself.” He added, “I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton hasn’t played in the majors since 2015. Last season, after going all the way back to Double-A Corpus Christi, he hit .205/.376/.397 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 500 plate appearances.

Deetz, 24, was selected by the Astros in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. Between Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno last season, the right-hander posted a 4.25 ERA with a 97/50 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings of work. He denies knowingly using a PED, per ESPN’s Keith Law.