Craig Calcaterra

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Raul Mondesi #75 of the Kansas City Royals poses during Photo Day on Friday, February 27, 2015 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Raul Mondesi Suspended 50 games for a drug found in his cold medicine

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Raul Mondesi a top prospect if not the top prospect of the Kansas City Royals has been suspended for 50 games for failing a drug test.

Mondesi was originally suspended for 80 games but the MLB and MLBPA dropped it to 50 after Mondesi showed the substance found was in his cold medicine. The drug program is zero tolerance, but on appeal suspensions can be reduced upon a showing of inadvertent ingestion. Mondesi will serve the 50 game and will be ineligible for the playoffs if he’s on the big club and the Royals make it to October again, but he’ll have 30 games less than some folks get. UPDATE: This is a mistake. Per an agreement between the league and the union, Mondesi will, in fact, be eligible for the playoffs if he’s on the 25-man roster and the Royals make the postseason. This is because the penalty was subject to a settlement given the unusual nature of this case and the appeal.

Royals GM Dayton Moore issued this statement:

“This is an unfortunate incident that we believe to be an innocent mistake, but these are the consequences that players face when they do not adhere to the policies that have been collectively bargained. We have a protocol in place with our medical team should a player ever have questions about what they may be taking, even if an over-the-counter medication. In this particular case the protocol was not followed and the consequences are such. We remain supportive of Raul Mondesi Jr.”

People always discount it when an athlete claims that his drug test came back positive due to his inadvertent ingestion of a banned substance, but in Modesi’s case it appears to be true. Tough luck.

UPDATE: the guy who said he bet his life savings on the Cubs faked the ticket

Joe Maddon
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UPDATE: Dang it, it’s a fake. Turns out it’s an altered ticket, per ESPN’s gambling expert. Stand down. But continue to read Hunter S. Thompson quotes. He had his moments.

3:57PM: Hunter S. Thompson once said that it’s important to know that losing comes with the territory when it comes to the business of gambling. He even compared it to playing linebacker in the NFL, saying “just as getting crippled for life is an acceptable risk in the linebacker business,” so too is losing when one gambles. “They both are extremely violent sports, and pain is part of the bargain. Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

A Chicago man named Don Majewski bought the ticket and will be taking the ride for the next five and a half months or so. And he paid big for the ticket. $200,000 to be precise, which is most of his life savings. And he plunked it all down on the Chicago Cubs. From NetOneSports:

“I know it seems crazy, but what am I risking, really?” asks the 54-year-old Majewski. “I could save for six more years, and maybe I’d have, what, a quarter million to live on for the rest of my life? And that’s if the market doesn’t tank again.”

He’s a sanitation worker-turned-carpenter. And he’s married. He says his wife approved of the bet, as long as he slept on it. Which he did. But then he put $200K on a baseball team. In May.

I’m pretty risk averse. I don’t gamble much and don’t enjoy the ride terribly much even when I do buy the ticket. But I don’t think you have to be risk averse to give Mr. Majewski the side eye on this one. You just have to know how baseball works and remember just how often the best looking team in May tanks it down the stretch. And just how often the team that wins it all was nowhere close to being the best looking team in May.

Good luck, good sir. But hoo boy.

Michael Bourn signs a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks

Atlanta Braves' left fielder Michael Bourn (2) fields the single of New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)
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It’s been quite a journey for Michael Bourn in the past year. He started last season in Cleveland before being traded to the Braves. He didn’t make the Braves roster this spring and was released. Then he signed with the Blue Jays, but they released him too. Now he’s on club number three: the Diamondbacks, who just announced that it has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with Bourn and that they have assigned him to Double-A Mobile.

Bourn, 33, put in 41 plate appearances at single-A Dunedin with the Jays and hit .257/.366/.371 with a pair of doubles and a triple. Not great. Nor has his production anywhere else been great for a couple of years. But now he has another chance to prove himself.