photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Just when I was starting to get used to a team where I didn’t have to think about Neifi!!, ever, he goes and inserts himself into my line of vision again. Seriously. The team could have started him on a minor league rehab assignment a few days ago, and they opted not to. It seemed like Neifi!! was going to quietly slouch into the misty distance and we would be mercifully rid of him. But NO.
If you recall, Neifi!! tested positive for banned stimulants earlier this season. He was suspended for 25 games and had to undergo counseling.
He was just suspended AGAIN, this time for 80 games… which means that this is his THIRD positive test. If he tests positive again, he’s banned from baseball for life (take a moment to shed a nervous tear at the thought, my friends).
How is it possible for Neifi!! to test positive again and again and again, after counseling and the embarrassment of previous suspensions and the subsequent smack-downs by the team? I can only think of three scenarios that make sense:
1. Neifi!! is taking something that has a banned stimulant in it, and he doesn’t know it. Thing is, you would expect this to have been cleared up after the first positive test, and you DEFINITELY would expect it to be cleared up after the second.
2. Neifi!! is addicted to some kind of amphetamine. Which would be pretty sad. But again, surely counseling would have uncovered that fact and gotten him some help, right?
3. Neifi!! is a catdamned idiot, and keeps thinking that he won’t get caught taking whatever it is that he’s taking. Possible, but I have a hard time believing that even Neifi!! is that stupid and/or self-destructive. At the very least you would think he’d want to keep drawing that big league paycheck while big league teams are still insane enough to pay him. I suppose some baseball players have that “yarrgh I am invincible!” mindset, but… Neifi!! Perez? Seriously?
Am I missing a possibility?
So what is going on here? I want to not care, because, man, it’s Neifi!!, but something just seems weird. How on earth has everyone else in baseball managed to cut greenies out of their lives except for Neifi!!? And hey, remember what he said when his previous suspension came down?
“I say to my fans that I am not stupid. I know the difference between good and bad and there are things that are going to be known going forward, but my lawyer has advised me not to talk for now,” Perez told the Dominican radio program Impacto Deportivo in his homeland.
AP article via ESPN
Whatever happened to that? Did we ever hear “things going forward”?
This will take Neifi!! to the end of his contract, and it seems extraordinarily unlikely that he’ll be re-signed by the Tigers. So ends the Neifi!! era: awkwardly and surrounded by questions. Much like Neifi!! himself.
edit: Andrew Miller has a mild hamstring strain. As Rod Allen pointed out, of all injuries for him to have, that’s one of the “best”, i.e. at least it’s nothing to do with his arm. Not much to say about the rest of the game. Losing is beginning to grate on us all. Hopefully the team is bearing up under it with better grace than I am.