Ruiz Apologizes

Carlos RuizThis is not the spot Carlos Ruiz wanted to be this afternoon.

He took a seat on a picnic bench, just outside the Phillies clubhouse at Bright House Field. Reporters and TV cameras surrounded him as planes buzzed overhead, generators whirred and wind whipped the palm trees nearby. The words coming from the typically soft-spoken Ruiz’s mouth were barely audible, but intentionally or unintentionally he repeated his message so everybody eventually heard what he had to say about his 25-game suspension following the use of Adderall, which is in violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Ruiz got emotional at the end, his eyes welling up.

“Everybody,” he said, “I feel so sorry. It’s very difficult, having to explain. I love baseball. I love my city, Philadelphia, and Panama. I want to do my best and show everybody … I’ll do my best.”

Ruiz got caught twice using Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But Major League Baseball bans it because it is an amphetamine, unless a player receives a therapeutic use exemption.

Ruiz did not have the exemption.

“I got caught two times, and I have to pay for that,” he said. “I want to put that behind and now focus on this year and give it 100 percent for the city and organization.”

Asked if he would try to receive a theraputic use exemption for Addreall, Ruiz said, “That’s something that’s between my doctor and me. Major League Baseball has rules, and when you make a mistake, you’re going to pay. So I’ll pay my 25 games, and I apologize to my teammates, my organization, my family and fans, and I’m ready to put everything behind and get ready for the regular season.”

Ruiz will be able to participate in Spring Training workouts and Grapefruit League games in Florida in February and March. He also will be allowed to take batting practice before the gates open before regular-season games. He is eligible to begin a rehab assignment five days before the end of his suspension, which would be April 23.

He is eligible to rejoin the team April 28 against the Mets at Citi Field.

But what player will he be once he returns?

Ruiz, who will forfeit about $770,000 of his $5 million salary, had a career season in 2012, hitting .325 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs, a .394 on-base percentage, a .540 slugging percentage and a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. But some will view those numbers skeptically considering the help he received artificially.

“I am working really hard,” said Ruiz, when asked if he can put up similar numbers without the help of amphetamines. “I trust myself to put up some good numbers. But at the same time, baseball is baseball. You have to work hard every day, and when you work hard, you get a lot of good things.”

Ruiz, 34, will be a free agent after this season, which means this is a big year for him. He hopes it ends better than it began Wednesday.

“I feel so bad for this,” he said. “I’m trying to put everything behind me and do my best this year and bring a championship back to Philadelphia.”

16 Comments

I don’t expect his performance to be affected by the non-use of this drug. It is not a steroid. I doubt it offered much or even any benefit to his numbers last season. Apology accepted Carlos, go out there and prove me right!

There are a lot of non-steroidal drugs that can help performance. You don’t think Adderall helped him with focus while at-bat? I hope he decides to try and get the exemption. I like those numbers he put up.

He even apologizes like a champ. Choooooch!!

What I can’t understand is why Chooch continued to use Addreall after he was caught the first time. If he really needs the drug, I would have thought he would have filed for an exemption after the first test.

Is it THAT hard to get a prescription for this? I’m sure a doctor could legitimize the need for it and then he could get an exemption.

Here in LA, anyone can get a prescription for medical marijuana. It’s a joke! I’m sure Chooch can find an LA doctor who will do that much for him, whether he needs it or not…

Really MLB? Adderall? I doubt that is what Barry Bond or Canseco used to hit bombs.

Amazing how hypocritical you all are! If Ruiz played for a division rival or if he was a villain like Jose Reyes or a D-bag like Bryce Harper you would be clamoring for him to do jail time. He used a banned substance. Twice! He doubled his previous year’s stats by the All Star Break! He was stupid and wrong for what he did! He will not be the same player no matter how cute and cuddly you think he is. Move on.

So where is this hypocrisy to which you refer? Where is there one post condoning what Ruiz did?

Jail time for using Adderall? Really?

Chooch, Apology accepted & looking forward to returned to the team. You are loved. See you in Clearwater & good luck

Who is his agent and why didn’t he/she find him a MD who would prescribe the Adderall? It can’t be that hard to find a MD to do that. Bad management.

We love ya Chooch and god knows I’ve done things too Looking forward to seeing you back on the field in April and God bless

For Chooch this a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand he used this drug twice and his suspension is what it should be. Yet on the other hand he’s a likeable player/person and you kinda feel his pain.

A classy guy, even when in a self-inflicted mess like this. Looking forward to seeing Chooch back in April!

Chooch is infallible and is therefore the victim in all of this. Shame on you MLB!

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