In a month filled with heart-warming stories and disappointment, the life of former Tiger centerfielder Alex Sanchez has taken yet another turn. Today, Sanchez was suspended 10 days for violating Major League Baseball’s new steroid testing policy.
Alex has stated that he was surprised by the suspension, and that he plans to fight the decision. "I'm going to fight it, because I've never taken steroids or anything like that," Sanchez said. Alex admitted to taking various milkshakes and vitamins, but blames the positive test on an over-the-counter purchase.
The month of March saw Alex reunited with is family after being separated for over 11 years. Sanchez’ family escaped Cuba on a boat about a month ago, and were reunited in Miami in mid-March. Just five days later, Alex was released by the Tigers, ending a trying season and a half in Detroit. Sanchez was lauded for his poor defense and base-running blunders, appearing unable to heed the advice of Manager Alan Trammell and Bench Coach Kirk Gibson.
After being released by the Tigers, Sanchez signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and was slated to start in center on Opening Day, while Rocco Baldelli recovers from offseason surgery.
While with Detroit, Sanchez posted a .304 batting average with 63 steals in 180 games. Despite these numbers, Alex had not progressed as the organization had hoped he would, and several defensive lapses in spring training were the last straw, leading to his departure from the team.
The suspension of Sanchez makes him the first player publicly identified under MLB’s new steroid testing policy. Pending an appeal by Sanchez, his suspension will begin Monday, lasting through the second game of a three game set with Baltimore on March 13th.