Victor Conte had nothing to do with Marlon Byrd’s PED suspension

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When Marlon Byrd was suspended yesterday a lot of people immediately looked, so to speak, at Victor Conte. Conte being (a) Byrd’s supplement guru; and (b) the guy behind BALCO, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones and all the rest.

“I didn’t have anything to do with this,” said Conte when reached for comment.  Yeah. Sure. Just what a dirty ex-con drug dealer would say! Get ’em, boys!

Oh, wait:

“Victor had nothing to do with this,” Byrd told USA TODAY Sports in a text message. “He didn’t know about me taking tamoxifen or the positive test until two days ago” … The drug was supplied by a holistic lifestyle coach, Conte said, that Byrd declined to identify.

Byrd has taken a lot of crap over the years for working with Conte. But dude, he should be under WAY more scrutiny for listening to something called a “holistic life coach.”

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.