Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera and right-handed reliever Alex Wilson weren't happy about Seattle Mariners star Robinson Cano's 80-game suspension, for different reasons.
Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Cano, an eight-time All-Star, has been suspended 80 games for violating the game's drug policy. MLB announced Cano tested positive in the offseason for Furosemide, a diuretic.
Cabrera expressed anger about the suspension when he spoke exclusively to the Free Press about it. He said his first thought was that this could affect Cano's Hall of Fame chances.
"That's why I'm so mad," Cabrera said. "He's a Hall of Fame player."
Cabrera has great respect for Cano.
"He plays every day," Cabrera said. "He does everything right. Now everybody is going to write all this stupid (crap)."
Cabrera said he doesn't care what others think about Cano.
"I know Cano for a lot of years and I know he didn't cheat," Cabrera told the Free Press. "I'm (expletive) mad right now.
"His doctor prescribed the medication. I think he got all the paperwork. Why he get positive? I don't understand that. If it's something for him to get better."
Asked if he's ever concerned about medication he takes in the offseason, Cabrera said: "No, because I live in Miami. If I lived in Venezuela, I might test positive, too. If I need some medicine, I gotta take (it).
"If I gotta take something to get better if I'm sick, I'm going to take it. I'm going to do the same thing Cano (did) because I need it. If I'm in Venezuela, not here in the United States."
Diuretics can be used to mask the presence of other substances, so they are banned by most major sports organizations.
The Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement on Tuesday in which Cano said:
"Recently I learned that I tested positive for a substance called Furosemide, which is not a Performance Enhancing Substance. Furosemide is used to treat various medical conditions in the United States and the Dominican Republic. This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment. While I did not realize at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful."
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire called news of Cano's suspension "unfortunate."
"You take something, you don't think it has any issues and it does," Gardenhire said.
"The game needs these players. The game needs him in the game and playing. Unfortunately, this comes about, so now he's going to have to sit out for a while. He's got the broken hand on top of it. I'm sure it's not a really easy time right now for him. I feel bad for the young man. We'll just all move on and he'll pay the price for something I don't really believe he had much intention (of doing). That's just my opinion."
Alex Wilson had a different opinion.
"I'm not for anybody who cheats," Wilson said. "I'll always stand firm behind that. I've worked my entire life to get to where I am and to see a guy of that stature go down and get popped, it's unfortunate for the game. I don't feel so bad for him, as much as I do for the game, because I know what Robinson Cano the player did for the game for baseball, especially in his time in New York. I mean, he's been a staple in this game for a long time and to see a guy like that get popped, when his natural ability is far greater than most of ours, it's pretty sad."
Asked what he'd do in the offseason if he needed medication, Wilson said: "Call our team guys. That's what everybody's supposed to do. You have a problem, you call your team and they take care of it. That's why they're there. This isn't a six-month gig for them. They work year-round."
Wilson said when get got medication in the offseason, the Tigers' medical staff sent prescriptions to his local pharmacy.
"You do things by the book, you don't get in trouble," Wilson said.
The Tigers will play a four-game series against the Mariners in Seattle, starting Thursday.
Cano suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal on his right hand after he was hit by a pitch from Tigers left-hander Blaine Hardy in the top of the third inning on Sunday at Comerica Park.