Say It Ain't Chooch: Carlos Ruiz Suspended 25 Games for Amphetamine Use

Say It Ain't Chooch: Carlos Ruiz Suspended 25 Games for Amphetamine Use

MLB announced today that Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been suspended for 25 games for Amphetamine use. According to the Inquirer's Matt Gelb's source, Chooch tested positive for Adderall, most commonly used to treat ADHD.

Gelb writes:

Ruiz tested positive for Adderall, according to a league source, an
amphetamine commonly used to control attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD). Adderall is classified as a banned stimulant — not a
steroid — under MLB's policy. The suspension was triggered by Ruiz's
second positive test for the stimulant.

Looks like Erik Kratz is going to play a much bigger role than he anticipated to start the 2013 campaign.

Here's the team's statement:

”The
Phillies fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Program. We are
disappointed by the news of this violation of the program.  We will
support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our
goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013.”

UPDATE: Here's Chooch's statement via ESPN's Jayson Stark:

“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant. I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."

UPDATE2: Here's Chooch's statement in Spanish:

“Estoy sinceramente arrepentido por el error que cometí al tomar un medicamento prohibido.  Quiero disculparme con mis compañeros de equipo, la organización de los Phillies y todos los fanaticos de Philadelphia y del beisbol.   Voy a cumplir con la suspensión de 25 juegos que me han impuestos a principio de la temporada y estaré ansioso de volver al campo a fin de trabajar duro para lograr un nuevo campeonato para Philadelphia en el 2013.”

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

sproles-sonic.jpg

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.