Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Romero Settlement "Validates" Phils' Title

Back in 2008, Phillies lefty reliever J.C. Romero tested positive for banned substances and was subsequently suspended for the first 50 games of the 2009 season. Some felt the findings in Romero's test tainted the World Series victory by Philadelphia that year. Romero contested that he had only used supplements purchased at local vitamin chains and the companies responsible for those items should be held accountable for mislabeling their products.

Romero took his issues to court, filing lawsuits in New Jersey Superior Court in early 2009 that named GNC and Vitamin Shoppe as defendants in addition to the manufacturing companies, Ergopharm and Proviant Technologies. According to the NY Daily News, testing done on the vitamins revealed that they were tainted with the banned substance, androstenedione, that Romero tested positive for. This month, nearly three years later, Romero has reached a settlement, which Romero hopes will clear his name and provide closure for Philadelphia fans. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The 35-year-old recently signed with the reigning World Series champs, the St. Louis Cardinals, but the man who got the "W" in two of the Phillies' four 2008 World Series victories clearly still has a soft spot for the city in which he experienced his best days, as he still has great concern for the validity of the club's second ever championship.

"The amount of money (in the settlement) isn't relevant," Romero told the Daily News this week. "What is relevant is that people know my side. Some fans questioned my integrity. Now there is some closure and I can say the 2008 World Series was legit."

In parts of 5 seasons with the Phillies, Romero went 6-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 4 saves in 273 regular season games. In 13 career post season games with Philadelphia, Romero posted a 2-1 record with a 0.87 ERA. The Puerto Rican born hurler was originally a 27th round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 1997.

In 2009, as Romero pitched in the minors to get ready for his late start to the regular season, forced by the suspension, he offered these exclusive thoughts to PhoulBallz.com, when I asked him about the status of efforts to clear his name...

"We're still in a battle, man. We got a couple law suits going out there. The whole thing has been a mess from the day that it happened. And the sad thing is that, knowing that everybody knows my case is totally different to what is happening with a good friend of mine, Manny (Ramirez), what happened with A-Rod, and all that. But, ya' know, life is not fair. Sometimes things happen in life, and you can't even explain it, you can't expect it, I mean things happen, so this is just a bump in the road. You have to keep your head up and keep on battling.

"Like I say many times, and I stick with it- in the end, you gotta really protect your career. And that's the message that I'm trying to tell these kids (the minor leaguers)...there's no union, there's no MLB representative, commissioner...nobody's going to protect your career. You gotta do it yourself. 'Cause when everything's said and done, you get suspended and you're just by yourself. I learned that the hard way, and now I'm just moving forward."

With all the legal matters behind him, and with the ability to truly move on, at long last, Romero also stated where his full focus will now be.

"Now I can focus on dominating for another five years, hopefully," Romero told the Daily News.

Now that Romero's a member of the team that stunningly eliminated the Phils from the 2011 postseason, I don't think there are many Phillies fans that would care to see that happen....no matter how much love for their city he oozes.

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7 comments:

Illinois Patrick said...

Lets peel away all the obfuscation that was the goal of this lawsuit and look at some facts

1) the supplement ITSELF that Romero took was under a class of banned substances. It was under the category of "aromatase inhibitors". Irregardless of whether there was contamination this fact remains

2) The product, 6-oxo extreme, had a clear disclaimer which told users to check with their athletic organizations if they are subject to doping testing before using

3) Romero failed to heed the label warning, not to mention the MLB rules, and did not check with his organization.

4) Romero admits he took the product, a banned product.

IRREGARDLESS OF CONTAMINATION HE ADMITTEDLY COMMITTED A DOPING OFFENSE

Jay Floyd said...

Thanks for the info, Patrick.

The point of this piece is that Romero holds his situation in too high of regard. As others have pointed out elswhere, JC's suspension was long forgotten by most people.

He acknowledged to me in 2009 that it was mainly his mistake, by not knowing for sure what was in the supplements. All in all, his desire to pass down a message of protecting yourself, to younger players, stood out to me as the most interesting thing in this saga.

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Illinois Patrick said...

thanks for your comment. i have no doubt that romero was thinking he was not cheating. problem is, these days it is very complicated as to what is cheating and what is not. i know the details, and the potential pitfalls. my attorneys and i carefully crafted the warning we had on the label so someone like JC would not get into this kind of situation. unfortunately people dont read labels. i wish he would have contacted me for advice instead of trying to sue me after the fact. anyway, its all behind us. yes he ruined my company pretty much, indirectly. thats ok. i think the man probably is a righteous person. despite the fact he was a major dumbass!! lol

Jay Floyd said...

Thanks for the candid comments, Patrick. Would love to talk to you more about it. Email me, if you don't mind....
PhoulBallz at verizon dot net.

FromThisSeat.com said...

What was wrong with contacting the Phillies and saying 'hey, i'm planning on taking this supplement, is it ok?'
Happens to college football athletes all of the time. They take things during the summer unknowingly that are banned.