[Redbird Reveille] Chris Carpenter, Deryk Hooker, Houston Astros

by on April 10, 2009 · 0 comments

Dear Tony:  I have to pay for this domain name.  It was based upon a promise you made a little over a year ago to strategically get Albert Pujols more at-bats while still getting him into the cleanup spot.  I thought it so unique that I ran out and started this site.  Now you’re reneging on me.  One game out of four?  C’mon Tony, do the right thing…keep me relevant.

:)

—–

Chris Carpenter was filthy yesterday.  Carp looked like the Carp of old, mowing down Pirate hitters left and right, even bailing his defense out a couple of times.  I was ecstatic to see the Cardinal lineup muster those couple of runs in the bottom of the seventh to get Carpenter a much deserved victory.

I was really worried for a while there that Carp was going to “Andy Hawkins it” and wind up getting the loss.  I hesitate to allow myself to think about what thirty starts from Carpenter can really do for this ballclub, but dang if he didn’t look in mid-season form yesterday, and with no reports of ill-effects or any undue stress on the arm.

Oh yeah, and I’m *knocking on wood* right now.

—–

Cardinal farmhand Deryk Hooker was suspended by MLB after testing positive for a drug of abuse, under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  20-year-old Hooker was slated to start the season with Quad Cities, and had been tabbed by many as a fast-riser in the Cardinals organization for this year.  This fifty-game suspension will likely stunt that growth.

It is important to note that his suspension is for a “drug of abuse” NOT performance enhancers, as reported at STLToday.com.  What is the difference?  From the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program:

A. Drugs of Abuse
Any and all drugs or substances included on Schedules I and II of the Code of Federal Regulations’ Schedule of Controlled Substances (“Schedule I or Schedule II”), as amended from time to time, shall be considered Drugs of Abuse covered by the Program; provided, however, that the Drugs of Abuse defined as Stimulants in Section 2.C below shall be treated as Stimulants rather than as Drugs of Abuse where expressly indicated in the Program. The following substances and their analogs are covered by the Program as Drugs of Abuse, their Schedule classification notwithstanding:
1. Cocaine
2. LSD
3. Marijuana
4. Opiates (e.g., Heroin, Codeine, Morphine)
5. MDMA (“Ecstasy”)
6. GHB; and
7. Phencyclidine (“PCP”)

It’s important to note, however, that (at least in the document I found) marijuana use, even repeated marijuana use, does not carry a suspension:

F. Marijuana
A Player on the Administrative Track for the use or possession of marijuana shall not be subject to suspension. The Player will be subject to fines, which shall be progressive and which shall not exceed $25,000 for any particular violation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Player who participates in the sale or distribution (as those terms are used in the criminal code) of marijuana will be subject to the discipline set forth in Section 8.E above.

So what could Hooker have tested positive for?  The only information I can find on a 50-game suspension addresses multiple violations and violation of a treatment plan:

8. DISCIPLINE
A. Player Fails to Comply with Treatment Program
1. If the Treatment Board determines by joint decision (or by a Fifth Member vote, if necessary) that a Player has failed to comply with his Treatment Program, and if the Player is either already on the Administrative Track or, as a result of such failure to comply, is placed on the Administrative Track, that information shall be disclosed to the Commissioner and the Player shall be subject to the following discipline by the Commissioner:
(a) First failure to comply (including failure to comply resulting in placement on Administrative Track): at least a 15-game but not more than a 25-game suspension;
(b) Second failure to comply: at least a 25-game but not more than a 50-game suspension;
(c) Third failure to comply: at least a 50-game but not more than a 75-game suspension;

I suspect there are probably some very different policies in the “Minor League Program” that is being referenced in this document and the releases about Hooker’s suspension, but I can’t find the MiLB policy anywhere.  Anyone else able to dig it up?

—–

The Houston Astros come to town starting tonight for a three-game weekend series.  Mike Hampton versus Joel Pineiro tonight, Roy Oswalt versus Adam Wainwright on Saturday, and Wandy Rodriguez versus Kyle Lohse on Sunday.

PH8 will be at the game on Saturday, infield boxes on the third base side.  As mentioned yesterday, get at me on Twitter @PitchersHit8th, shoot me an e-mail via the contact form here, or leave a message in the comments below if you’ll be at the game – there’s a free Budweiser in it for you.

Go Cards!

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Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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