Guillermo Mota appeals 100-game suspension, blames positive test on children’s cough medicine

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Yesterday afternoon MLB suspended Guillermo Mota for 100 games following a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Clenbuterol, but the Giants reliever is appealing the suspension while blaming the positive result on children’s cough medicine.

Mota’s agent, Adam Katz, issued the following statement:

Players are responsible for what they put in their bodies. Guillermo understands that. A 100-game suspension for taking a children’s cough medicine that contains trace amounts of a prohibited substance, which is what happened here, is severe and unfair and does not reflect the intention of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We will appeal it.

Not mentioned in the above statement is that Mota is a second-time offender who was suspended for 50 games after a positive PED test in 2006. And as Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com notes, “multiple offenders cannot delay their sentence while appealing it.”

In other words, he can go through the appeal process and have his case heard, but in the meantime he’ll be serving the suspension. And presumably not taking any more cough medicine intended for children.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.