If it’s after 5pm, it must be minor league drug suspension time!

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It doesn’t happen every day, but a good 35-40% of the time, at about 5pm or so, I get a press release from Major League Baseball announcing minor league drug suspensions.

It’s getting to be like the whistle at the factory or something. A signal to me that the day is almost done and it’s time to go crack open a coldie. Well, some of us anyway. If you’re subject to the league’s drug treatment and rehabilitation program, you should probably not be using alcohol, dudes. Seriously.  Anyway:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that two Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Miami Marlins Minor League infielder Jaime Ortiz has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.  Ortiz is currently on the roster of Double-A Jacksonville of the Southern League.

St. Louis Cardinals Minor League pitcher Jose Pasen has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance.  Pasen is currently on the roster of short-season Batavia of the New York-Penn League.

Hope you enjoyed the metabolites, fellas. For the rest of us, it’s Miller Time.

The Mets expect Tim Tebow to come back next year

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Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.

Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.

Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.