Chris Davis suspended 25 games for amphetamine use

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Orioles first baseman/third baseman Chris Davis has been suspended 25 games by MLB after testing positive for amphetamines. The suspension is effective immediately and includes the playoffs in addition to the Orioles’ final 17 regular season games.

Davis had a career-year in 2013, hitting .286 with a league-leading 53 homers and 138 RBIs on the way to finishing third in the MVP balloting, but he’s been a mess this season with a .196 batting average and league-high 173 strikeouts in 127 games while his OPS has dropped 300 points.

Suspensions for amphetamines have been common in recent years, mostly among minor leaguers. Cameron Maybin of the Padres was suspended 25 games for amphetamines in July and other big leagues to receive amphetamine-based suspensions recently include Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, Miguel Tejada of the Marlins, and Troy Patton of the Orioles.

Davis said in a statement that he will not appeal the suspension, so he’d be available for the Orioles’ ninth playoff game if they make it past the opening round. Here’s the rest of his statement:

I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans. I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.

If accurate, Davis got suspended for taking something MLB allowed him to take last season and players on every MLB roster are similarly allowed to take this season.

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.