*Two Astros minor-leaguers were suspended yesterday for various substances for which they pissed hot (Piss Hot Stove amirite?):
Jon Singleton tested positive for a third time for a "drug of abuse," and will be suspended for 100 games without pay.
Dean Deetz, who was added to the 40-Man Roster ahead of the 2017 Rule 5 Draft, tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, and will be suspended for 80 games without pay.
This seemingly slams a door that was already closing on Singleton's tenure with the Astros, and perhaps his career in baseball. His first positive drug test was in 2012, followed by a second in 2013. The AP's Kristie Rieken had a remarkable interview with Singleton in March 2014 in which he detailed his marijuana use and his 30-day stint in an inpatient rehab facility. Singleton:
At this point it's pretty evident to me that I'm a drug addict. I don't openly tell everyone that, but it's pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can't block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.
Singleton signed his "controversial" 5yr/$10m deal in 2014 but was removed from the 40-Man roster in November. When he signed the contract then-manager Bo Porter told the Chronicle:
You get Jonathan the man right, and the baseball part will take care of itself.
Singleton will end up making about $750,000 of the $2m he was due this season. But I can almost guarantee you that the Astros will decline his $2.5m club options for 2019, $5m for 2020, and $13m for 2021.
Dean Deetz's suspension is a little more surprising. And no one was more surprised than Deetz, apparently. Deetz:
Let me say first and foremost that I have never knowingly taken a performance-enhancing substance of any kind. I come from a small town and know how fortunate I am to call myself a professional baseball player. I would never jeopardize that opportunity, or betray those who have supported me along the way, by trying to cheat in order to gain an advantage. As I explained to the arbitrator in my appeal, I have no idea how I could possibly have tested positive, and although I am disappointed by the outcome, I will abide by his decision.
Bluebird Banter has a better recap of the substance (known as a favorite of the East Germans and aka "Oral Turinabol") than I could ever put together before I need to get in the shower and get ready. The New York Times noted in 2016 how it was becoming a popular substance among baseball players.
*Related: George Mitchell sat down with Jerry Crasnick and talked about the legacy of his report, PEDs, and the Hall of Fame.
*Dallas Keuchel hopped on SportsRadio 610 and had this to say about his impending free agency:
Veteran pitching is always looked upon and sought after because it wins and you saw it with Verlander, what happened when we traded for him. If this is my last year here, I'm going to enjoy every single moment and I'm going to give everything I have. Not to say that I haven't before, but just really really enjoy it...I would love to be in Houston.
*Josh Reddick talked to high school students about the rotation and his singing voice.
*Wow what a surprise that Astros fans like Jim Crane and his ownership group.
*Kirk Bohls can't imagine the Astros losing the division or the Rangers finishing better than 3rd in 2018.
*Cool story from Buster Olney about Trevor Hoffman and how he was forced to discover the changeup that might take him to the Hall of Fame today.
*Norwich, Vermont (Pop. 3000): Cradle of Olympians.
*My favorite soccer team unveiled their new crest, and people hate it.