Grandal apologizes again for drug suspension
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Reading from a prepared statement, San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal apologized for a second time following his 50-game suspension for a positive test for testosterone.
Grandal was suspended Nov. 7 and issued a statement then through the Major League Baseball Players Association. He read a statement Saturday at the Padres' spring training camp but did not take questions.
Grandal also did not comment substantively on last month's report by Miami New Times that he appeared in records of Biogenesis of America LLC, a closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., under investigation by Major League Baseball for distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
"I have taken full responsibility for my actions and apologized to my teammates, the fans and the San Diego Padres organization,'' Grandal said, taking less than 2 minutes to read his statement. "I plan to put that mistake behind me, serve my suspension and continue working hard to be the best player and teammate I can be.''
As for Biogenesis, Grandal said "I am aware of the various press reports about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and that Major League Baseball and others are investigating those allegations.''
"I intend to cooperate fully in their investigations. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations,'' he said. "Based on that legal advice, I will have no further comment.''
Grandal is allowed to participate in spring training and to play in exhibition games. He will remain at the Padres' training complex after the team breaks camp, while serving his suspension.
"It was part of what he needs to do,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. "He talked to the guys and he'll continue to make amends moving forward. He apologized for what this did to our group.''
Those in attendance wouldn't discuss specifics, but several teammates volunteered that Grandal said he "hoped'' they would accept his apology.
Grandal's speech was short, but apparently effective.
"He felt like he had something to take care of, and he manned up and did it,'' center fielder Cameron Maybin said. "He gained a lot of respect by doing it, and saying what he said. He took responsibility. He was accountable. We as a team can put this in the past. We accept his apology and now we're going to move on.''
Grandal's actions may be forgiven, but Padres general manager Josh Byrnes hopes they're not forgotten.
"I don't want to be dismissive of it,'' Byrnes said. "There's a lesson to be learned here, because this is a serious issue with serious consequences. But I do believe that it won't happen again and that Yasmani's apology was sincere.''
Grandal hit .297 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs as a rookie last year after being called up on June 2. While he is serving his suspension, Nick Hundley is expected to start behind the plate with John Baker as the backup.
Grandal is eligible to return May 28 at Seattle. He can join a Padres minor league team 10 days before that to prepare.
NOTES: LHP Clayton Richard and the Padres agreed to a $5.24 million, one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration. Richard had asked for a raise from $2,705,000 to $5.5 million and was offered $4,905,000 after he went 14-14 with a 3.99 ERA in 33 starts covering 218 2-3 innings last year. Byrnes has never let an arbitration case reach a hearing. ... Maybin (right wrist) and infielder Logan Forsythe (left knee) will be held out of most drills for the next two days. Black considered the decisions precautionary and said neither injury would require further tests.
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