SEATTLE — Seattle Mariners All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano has been suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s joint drug agreement.
The league announced Cano’s suspension Tuesday in a stunning development for the stalwart in the middle of the Mariners’ lineup and a club expected to contend for a postseason spot in the American League. Cano tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic. In a statement released through the players’ association, Cano says, “This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” He said he didn’t realize it was banned.
It’s the first major strike in a career that has Hall of Fame potential. Cano was trending toward being one of the few current players with a chance to reach 3,000 hits in his career and has been a consummate defensive standout. Cano is an eight-time All-Star but now must deal with the stigma of a suspension.
Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez has been arrested and charged with one count of computer pornography, the solicitation of a child, and one count of providing obscene material to minors.
The details, from a report from the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Department are ugly.
According to authorities, Vázquez has allegedly been engaging in sexual activity with a now-15-year-old girl from the time she as 13 years-old. As recently as this July Vázquez allegedly sent the victim videos of him engaging in an unspecified sex act. Vázquez also allegedly sent the victim texts saying that they would meet for sex after the baseball season was over.
The age of consent in the State of Florida is 18. While, like many states, Florida has “close-in-age” exceptions, they do not apply to the 28-year-old Vázquez and someone as young as his alleged victim. Non-legally speaking, the allegations amount to what can and should be called rape — sexual activity without consent due to the impossibility of consent in these allegations — separate and apart from the specific counts with which Vázquez has been charged. It is possible, of course, that authorities could amend and/or add to the charges he currently faces.
Vázquez has been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball while the case is pending against him.
We will, without question, be following this story as it develops.