MLB suspends Rockies catcher Alfonzo for 100 games

September 14, 2011 | 2:10 pm | 29  

Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 100 games after a second positive test for a performance enhancing substance.

Alfonzo, 32, hit .267 in 25 games with the Rockies in 2011. He has played in parts of six seasons, spending time with the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

Tracy Ringolsby reports that Alfonzo will appeal his suspension. He is only the second major-leaguer to receive a 100-game suspension. The other is Manny Ramirez, who retired earlier this season from the Tampa Bay Rays after receiving the suspension. Rockies minor-league Mike Jacobs was suspended for 50 games earlier this season for a positive test.



  • Freddy | September 14, 2011 | 2:20 pm


  • progmatinee | September 14, 2011 | 2:34 pm

    Was that the night he hit the Grand Slam?

  • Ryan (the other one) | September 14, 2011 | 2:38 pm

    Oh no! Now who’s Tracy gonna to turn to for the obligitory play-a-bench-caliber-catcher-twice-a-week role?!

  • drrockies | September 14, 2011 | 2:58 pm

    Pacheco has the jello pudding smile look right about now. 3rd, 1st, catcher…..

  • Robb | September 14, 2011 | 4:46 pm

    Do they make steroids for your belly? The only place Alfonzo was growing bigger was above his belt buckle.

  • Cameo | September 14, 2011 | 5:11 pm

    Thank goodness, hopefully I will never see Pudgy again! I know Pudge isn’t his nickname and that belongs to another hall of fame catcher but he truly is a pudge.

  • 40DegreesNorth | September 14, 2011 | 5:21 pm

    One player is an anomaly, two players is bad, three players (Randol Rogers) in the Rockies system indicates the Rockies have a drug culture problem they need to fix.

  • Steve Foster | September 14, 2011 | 7:38 pm

    Considering that two players were minor league free agents with the organization less than nine months and the third was an 18-year-old kid who has yet to play in the U.S., to suggest that these three players testing positive in an organization of more than 200 players indicates a culture of some sort is a stretch. It’s a coincidence.

  • Agbayani | September 14, 2011 | 7:56 pm

    Steve, you’re right on the smaller point. No connection between these last few PED guys in the Rox organization.

    But I’m afraid there’s a larger point. This organization, probably more than most, seems to take a see no evil approach to known or suspected PED users. Giambi. Herges. Jorge Piedra (the first suspension ever if I remember correctly). Mike Jacobs. I won’t go into all the others back in the Age of Steroids since every club was involved back then. But knowing that Alfonzo had already tested positive, and then oohing and aahing with Drew Goodman over his impressive batting practices shots and his suddenly increased power in his 30s … really, is that doing your due diligence?

    This is supposed to be a team built on some kind of family values, character guys, all that stuff. I’m not mocking that; I have kids and I like them to be able to look up to their heroes. (And that’s really important to connect to the fans when the baseball product on the field is lousy.) But character starts with playing fair. The Monforts, or O’Dowd, or all of them really seem unconcerned about having known cheaters around. A cynic would say the end — winning — justifies the means. But we need to bend the rules to bring in the likes of Alfonzo? A roid-rejuvenated scrub? It’s worth sticking your neck and reputation out for that? Face the facts: it’s a culture of not caring about PED users in Rockiesland.

  • Agbayani | September 14, 2011 | 8:00 pm

    Oh, and gun to my head, I’d say it’s more likely than not that 40 year old Giambi is still juicing.

  • Doctor_Christopher | September 14, 2011 | 8:27 pm

    Agbayani, I think that is unfair to Giambi. He admitted what he did in the past. If he is using HGH (if he is using roids at this point he has to have the best urine purifier in the biz) then I hope he gets caught. I want HGH testing in the next contract, and I think we will get it, but sorry Agbayani, I hate when people throw out suspicions without proof. But, he did use in the past so you lose the benefit of the doubt with a lot of folks. And yes, I agree with you, the fact that we have had multiple hits in this organization is a big issue, even if it is just coincidence. I dont think the organization takes a see no evil approach, but at this point they need to make good and make it a point of showing how they are going to make sure the guys are clean.

    As for Alfonzo, one hand you think “what an idiot” but then, he is 32, this is his last rodeo most likely, so why not do whatever it takes to make it back. He got caught…and he is done. But you can understand the rational. Still, hope he enjoys the Mexican Leagues, because he has played his last game in the US most likely.

  • Agbayani | September 14, 2011 | 8:40 pm

    Doc, I understand the “it’s not fair to speculate” thing. But Giambi is 40, is still huge (hey, pull out that rookie card for comparison), and still has ridiculous (albeit occasional now) power. How many 40 year olds in the history of baseball have exhibited his kind of power?

    I can think of Barry Bonds. Oops, maybe that’s not the best example.

    So I don’t think it’s unfair to him (he did it to himself, putting himself under a permanent cloud of suspicion through at least a decade of intense PED usage). This isn’t like accusing Jose Bautista based simply on his late career breakout without any known PED usage in his life. That’s unfair. And I do think there’s lots of clubs that wouldn’t have even considered signing him given his proven record with PEDs. But as I said, such things have never bothered the Rockies. And I even forgot about JC Romero…

  • Doctor_Christopher | September 14, 2011 | 8:54 pm

    Agbayani, I know your an honourable person, so that was why I said what I said. I think if Giambi had not been implicated in the earlier report, your accusation would have felt “News of the World,” but he did. I dont have his rookie card, I guess I always thought he was big. At 40 I assume that its more paunch than muscle. So, I am not accusing you of being unfair (if you thought so, my apology). I think a 40 year old can have power but your right…it is questionable.

    I just want to avoid what happened with Helton and now Bautista. Guys who are clean deserve to be treated clean. Bautista benefited from great coaching, a swing change, getting a bit bigger than comes with age, a great homer park, and MAYBE stolen signals. Confidence with hitters is also big, and Giambi has that (see this season’s earlier game in Phili, where everyone knew that the third AB was going over the wall).

    Oh, I forgot about Romero as well. People say, “Well, yea, but Babe Ruth drank.” This is performance enhancing drugs. People look for advantages. That is the name of the game (Giants 51 season come back was definitely a product of cheating). As long as guys who have never tested cheating are given the benefit of the doubt, I am okay with questioning guys who have been guilty. But I hope that Jason is not dumb enough to be doing HGH because he has a chance to be part of the game as an announcer, commentator or coach going forward. But if he is busted for HGH or something else, he will push Canseco to the side for biggest pharia.

  • Agbayani | September 14, 2011 | 8:59 pm

    In his testimony, Giambi said he asked Anderson about the things Bonds was doing to stay at an elite level.

    “So I started to ask him, ‘Hey, what are the things you’re doing with Barry? He’s an incredible player. I want to still be able to work out at that age and keep playing,’” Giambi testified. “And that’s how the conversation first started.”

    That was Giambi’s leaked BALCO grand jury testimony, c. 2003. Hmmm….

  • Doctor_Christopher | September 14, 2011 | 9:08 pm

    Agbayani, seriously? I never knew that (I tried to ingnore BALCO as much as possible). Yikes!!!

    There are those who say that the PEDs and HGH just made baseball better, because guys we loved were able to keep playing into their 40s (40 is the new 20…I am 41, its not!!!!). But baseball is great because of the ability to compare the 30s and 60s and 80s to today. It made a mockery of the whole history of the game. It also made baseball all-pre-Coors Field all the time (not that 2-1 games make me all happy all the time). So if Giambi asked that, you are dead right…he should be handing his blood and urine to the drug checkers to keep his rep pure going forward.

    BTW, can we all agree that Mariono Rivera, the greatst closer in the history of the game makes teh case that some 40 year olds (Nolan Ryan being another, having seen him at 40+ and hearing the baseball pop in the glove in the 10th inning) can indeed be studs. But Mariano knows the days are coming to a close. I would rather see pure Riveras than dosed Bonds.

  • 40DegreesNorth | September 14, 2011 | 9:23 pm

    Fair enough on the DSL youngster R. Rogers, but 3 players (Alfonzo, Jacobs, and Quintanilla) from the Springs in 13 months is too many, and has to represent a in-house problem at that club and the organization. Quintanilla was in his third year in organization when he was suspended.

  • Doctor_Christopher | September 14, 2011 | 9:31 pm

    I think as long as the difference between AAA and even league minimum is hundreds of thousands (and potentially millions) plus if you can make it long enough, a pension, players will be tempted to cheat. Especially players who were prospects that got injured. Take a cheat to get healthier quicker, keep your status, or be ready to take advantage of a regular starter’s injury and…

    The incentive system will always be there for guys at the edge, or at the margin to use the economics term, so we will always have guys who take HGH or the next best thing. My personal belief system would keep me from doing so, but I am not looking at paychecks with lots of dollar figures.

  • Agbayani | September 14, 2011 | 10:37 pm

    Doc, you’re right. The threat of a suspension isn’t enough to deter a AAA player from trying everything to get that boost into the big time. The reward is just too great.

    Another example of the Rockies’ rather high tolerance for known PED users: bringing in Paul LoDuca to compete for a backup job a couple years ago. Yeah, it was just a spring training gig, but why? Other clubs wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole.

  • Bill | September 14, 2011 | 10:51 pm

    I had forgotten about some of the other guys, except for Jacobs, but the fact that Alfonso had already been caught might say something about the Rockies.

    And Giambi does have amazing power for a 100 year old.

    And that brings us to Helton. I know he’s kind of sacred around here. And he should be. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he stopped putting up his huge power numbers after Wayne Hagin (when he went to St. Louis) said that Don Baylor said that Helton took the juice. I know that’s a “he said, he said” situation. And supposedly what Baylor was talking about was a legal “juice”. But since then Todd is no longer a power hitter. A good hitter, a good fielder but basically what Barry Bonds was (without the speed) and would have stayed if he wasn’t injecting. I’m assuming that Bonds took steroids as most fans believe and while Helton never was implicated (except for the “he said, he said” stuff) his drop-off in power numbers at that exact time is very suspicious to me. And I understand that most of you will slam me for saying all of that.

    However I’m guessing this may have caught the Rockies off-guard. Would they have released Pagnozzi if they had known?

  • GARY | September 15, 2011 | 1:39 am

    And you guys had the nerve to diss me for mentioning Denny Neagle in an entirely baseball context,yet you all are casting aspirstions on heresay and rumor!Worst thread I’ve read here in 2+years.Agbayani you’re logic and stats facts are second to none.Therefore for you to go totally off on suppisition and innuendo is unworthy of you.

  • Agbayani | September 15, 2011 | 6:47 am

    Gary, my comment is a simple one. I don’t understand why the Rockies are willing to bring in so many PROVEN

  • Agbayani | September 15, 2011 | 6:50 am

    Steroid users, that is. I’m not casting aspersions on anyone who hasn’t been caught. Pagnozzi, an apparently clean player, was dumped in favor of dirty Alfonzo. I don’t understand why. They’re both backup catchers only, one (Pagnozzi) is good defensively but doesn’t have the suspicious power that the other has. Bottom line is you lose both of ‘em, one to a drug suspension that’ll end his career, the other to a waiver claim. No great loss, but why do it?

  • Rich M | September 15, 2011 | 7:57 am

    Ag I am right there with you on this one. Sure everyone deserves a second chance, however the Rockies seem more willing to take that chance more often than other clubs for very marginal players. I just don’t get it?

    And I am afraid the buck stops on this issue with DanO. As someone mentioned above, the due diligence process in the organization when acquiring these players needs to be substantially improved.

    Sorry Steve I do not believe that this is at all a coincidence, while I do believe that DanO is primarily responsible, if indeed as stated many times the goal is to bring in the high character guys while building a competitive team.

    Obviously a different story however a very similar result when DanO brought in another guy with questionable character – Jose Lopez.

  • Cisco Kid | September 15, 2011 | 1:42 pm


    What character issue did Lopez have aside from the fact he couldn’t play?

  • Doctor_Christopher | September 15, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    Sorry but I want to defend Helton. If his back had not gone out he probably would still have 25 to 30 homer power. His back went bad at the same time the humidor came in, the combination made it look like he had been using steroids and then stopped.

    What is interesting is that the Rox have been chastized by some in the media for going for character guys (and back in 07 it was that they had too many Christians, which as on, I dont mind but I also understand your job as a baseball team is to win a WS, not get the record for most bible reading programs). So the fact that they have had so many steroid issues seems to be in conflict with teh perception of too goody-too-shoes. Although if you look at the list of guys who used a number of them were devout people (of various faiths) who succumbed to the temptation to compete and keep their jobs (and the fact that pitchers were using it gave an excuse for hitters to use it, and vice-versa).

    All I can say is baseball is better since the roid testing came in (and the humidor) and will be better yet when HGH testing comes in. Oh, and when he who must not be named is not mentioned at this site for anotehr week :)

  • Rich M | September 16, 2011 | 7:31 am

    Cisco, rumor had it that he was not a good teammate to have in the club house. Also carried a somewhat “lazy” tag around with him, whether deserved or not that was what others have said about him.

  • egossage | September 16, 2011 | 7:54 am

    You guys are also forgetting Glenallen Hill and Matt Herges

  • egossage | September 16, 2011 | 7:55 am

    Also Bobby Estalella. Do you guys remember him? He was horrible!!! Haha!

  • rox4brains | September 16, 2011 | 9:07 am

    “But Giambi is 40, is still huge (hey, pull out that rookie card for comparison),”

    I don’t have a rookie card of myself to compare to, but I’m over 40 and parts of me are much “huger” than I was when I was 20, and have been for a while…mostly around the mid-section. I’ve never juiced…but have done plenty of 12oz curls to keep my “shape”. ;-)

    Speaking of working out, you don’t think by working out regularly, like Giambi cleary does, one can’t keep his shape?