No I'm not talking about Juan Gonzalez, the perennially absent right-fielder, though he may be on performing-enhancing drugs as well. Sadly, I'm talking about our own Juan Rincon. I was going to do a list of surprises throughout the MLB in April, but this is the big news of the day.
Juan was suspended today for 10 days after testing positive for an unnamed sustance. A grievence is planned, his agent said, but nothing has been said by anybody yet. However, the fan reaction has been rather harsh. Over at Twins Territory, a lot of voices have echoed a desire to kick Juan off the team. It seems most people didn't see it coming; couldn't see a Twins player using steroids so they've ignored it. And now comes the reactionary policy: "Kick him off the team. He's worthless!"
Now, granted, I am as surprised as everyone. But like most things in life, a reactionary policy like kicking him off isn't fair or right. We don't know what Juan took and we don't know if he's still taking it. So to say that all his talent is due to the juice is just ridiculous. Juan had a great year last year and is doing good so far this year. Can that be linked to taking steroids or other performing-enhancing drugs? Yes, but its not guaranteed at all. We need to wait and see how he reacts when he returns to play. How will his teammates react? How will he react on the mound? Will he be a shadow of his former self? Its hard to say, but I don't think thats for sure by any means.
Juan has a great fastball, but its not because he throws so hard neccessarly but because it moves well. Yes, like Rivera, with less velocity, its not nearly as effective. But keep in mind, he still has a good slider. And just because he took steroids or whatever else doesn't mean once he's off them, he'll lose all his velocity. I say wait. Juan has been an important Twin and a good set-up man. He may still be effective, so give him a chance that he has earned the past few years. But at the same time, I'm just as dissapointed as everyone. How can a Twin do such a thing?