Ronald Belisario tested positive for cocaine, said he used it only once

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Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario already faces a drug suspension at the beginning of the year, but it appears that his drug problems extend beyond whatever it was that sent him to rehab last year: he told reporters this morning that he tested positive for cocaine.

It’s unclear when he tested positive, but Belisario says that wasn’t the drug that led to his suspension.  He also used the Ron Washington defense and said that he used cocaine only once. Which led to this G-chat conversation between Gleeman and me a few minutes ago:

Aaron:  I’ll leave the Belisario coke post to you.

Aaron:  Amazing how many guys get caught on their one and only lifetime usage! Such bad luck!

me:  I was just thinking that! Damn the luck!

Aaron:  Especially when that one usage comes at like age 30 or age 60.

Me:  Prime ages for experimentation, don’t you know.

Aaron:  It’s so weird. What could drive an adult non-user to use that once!

We then moved on to talk about how Aaron’s mom bought a new car last night and paid for it in cash. I asked Aaron if his mom was a drug dealer. He said, yes, she’s Ronald Belisario’s drug dealer. Which presents the possibility that Belisario is telling the truth, that he used only once, but that he bought $20K worth of blow from Aaron’s mom.

I suppose we could try to report on this a bit more to get the real facts, but I don’t think we’ll find a better explanation than the Aaron’s-mom-sold-cocaine-to-Ronald-Belisario explanation. It just fits.

Struggling Francisco Rodriguez’s job seems to be secure

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Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez continued to struggle on Thursday, allowing a run in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners. It’s the sixth time in nine appearances that the right-handed veteran has allowed a run, bumping his ERA up to 6.23. He’s blown two saves and has two losses on the year.

Despite that, it doesn’t sound like Rodriguez’s job as the Tigers’ closer is in any jeopardy, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. When asked how much of a leash Rodriguez has, manager Brad Ausmus said, “I’ll let you know.” Ausmus continued, “I think people have short memories. This guy did a pretty good job for us last year. Early on, people were worried because the velocity was down. Well, the velocity is back.”

“But at some point,” Ausmus said, “he does have to pitch the way he pitched last year, because he did an outstanding job for us last year and in a city that has been looking for a closer that was consistent for a long time, he was that.”

Rodriguez, 35, doesn’t have the stuff he once did. And the Tigers do appear to have someone who would be a better option in high-leverage situations. Lefty Justin Wilson has thrown 9 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings so far this season with 15 strikeouts and three walks. But for now, it sounds like Rodriguez will be free to work through his issues.

The Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field

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Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.

The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.

The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.

The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.

The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.

Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.