The Pittsburgh Pirates received some major news on Tuesday afternoon.
MLB announced that Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was suspended for 80 games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. Marte tested positive for nandrolone and is eligible to return to the Pirates in Mid-July.
He’s ineligible to play in the playoffs if the Pirates qualify due to an MLB rule.
Marte homered in a game against the Cubs this past weekend as the Pirates completed a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field.
Oddly enough, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was speaking to the media when the announcement of his NL Central rival was suspended.
He had some interesting comments to say the least via Big League Stew:
“It kinda makes you angry as a player, because you know there are still flaws in the system, you know there are still guys getting away with it,” Rizzo said. “For me, I’ve been drug tested zero times this year. Not one since the beginning of spring training drug test. Guy are going to get away with it as long as they can and obviously everybody’s going to say they didn’t know they were doing it.”
He then went on to talk a little about his relationship with Marte as the two play against eachother a lot during the regular season:
“Playing against Starling, I think he’s a great guy,” Rizzo said. “Me and him always mess around. But when it comes down to it, it’s good that we’re still catching guys that are trying to cheat the system. Any system that’s in place, no matter what it is in life, there are going to be people trying to beat it. It’s good that we’re still catching guys, but at the same time you know it’s still out there.”
It’s a big blow to the Pirates, who might just be the Cubs toughest test in the NL Central this season and will impact the division race.
The Cubs look to end their four-game losing streak when they take on the Brewers on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.