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Royals players support MLB's action on PEDs

Shields feels suspensions signal program is working to catch violators

KANSAS CITY -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer hadn't been paying much attention to the announcements on Monday involving suspensions that were handed down to 13 players by Major League Baseball. He went about his normal routine and said that's the best thing they can do.

"I think everyone is excited that it's finally official and we can move on from it," Hosmer said. "Baseball's a great game and fans just want to go out and watch baseball, and we just want to go out and just play baseball. Hopefully, we can just put all this stuff behind us and just go play the game."

MLB on Monday suspended 13 players as a result of the league's Biogenesis investigation. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez received the stiffest penalty -- a 211-game ban without pay through the end of the 2014 regular season. Rodriguez, 38, has appealed the suspension, which is to begin Thursday. His case will be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Rodriguez's discipline, MLB said in its written announcement, is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez's discipline under the basic agreement is for attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to "obstruct and frustrate" the investigation.

The other players who were handed 50-game suspensions include Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo and recently demoted Mets utilityman Jordany Valdespin. Minor Leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos, Cesar Puello and Sergio Escalona were also suspended.

"You like to see the commissioner's office and everyone cleaning the game up, but you never like to see anyone get suspended," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "Just like anybody else, I've played baseball my whole life and thought it was the best thing ever since I can remember playing it and I still think that to this day. When you hear stuff like this mentioned it takes a little bit away from baseball, but you realize there's a lot of people and players in baseball that do it the right way."

For veterans like Butler and pitcher James Shields, the latest suspensions are a positive sign that the system is effective.

"I'm just glad that it's over with and they're getting the situation handled," Shields said. "MLB is doing a great job with what they're doing. As a player it makes you feel good that the drug prevention program is working. We've got to clean up baseball."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for
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