Questions & Answers

Dark Day For Palmeiro

August 02, 2005|By Roch Kubatko

When did he test positive?

Because of baseball's confidentiality agreement, nobody knows when Rafael Palmeiro was tested, and he's not telling anyone. Even the team didn't know about his positive test or the suspension until yesterday morning. But sources estimate that the typical length of time between a test and a ruling on an appeal would be at least two to three weeks.

What did he test positive for?

Palmeiro confirmed it was steroids, which explains the 10-day suspension for a first-time offender under baseball's drug policy. But it's unknown exactly what type he took, or how it entered his system. He insists it was unintentional and could have been a supplement, vitamin or food product.

When can he return?

He's been suspended for 10 days - not games - so he can return on Aug. 11 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Camden Yards. He'll miss nine games because of Monday's open date.

How much will the suspension cost him?

Palmeiro loses $163,934 of his $3 million salary for 2005.

How will the Orioles replace him at first base?

Chris Gomez started in his place yesterday against Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle, but Jay Gibbons and B.J. Surhoff also can play first base, especially against right-handed pitching. The Orioles can replace Palmeiro on their active roster, and they spent part of yesterday discussing various options. With their pitching staff worn thin, they might decide to bring up an extra pitcher rather than a first baseman such as Triple-A Ottawa's Walter Young.

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