The Somerset Patriots announced on their website that they had signed utility player Olmo Rosario to play for them in 2017.
Patriots manager Brett Jodie says “It is great to have Olmo on our team this year. We have seen him in the league before and he was always a tough out for us.” Jodie added that “(h)e will also be a huge addition to our offense.”
This will be Rosario’s third season in the Atlantic League. In 2013 he hit .287 with 13 HRs and 74 RBIs for the Lancaster Barnstormers and was selected to the Atlantic League All Star squad.
In 2016, for the Toros de Tijuana of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB) Rosario hit .313 with 6 HRs and 73 RBIs in 109 games.
The fact that Rosario is a good hitter is indisputable. He has proven over his 12 year professional baseball career that he can hit a baseball. He can also field. Under normal circumstances he would be an asset to any baseball team anywhere in the world. His talent is undeniable.
I write this article because Olmo Rosario has been suspended by the LMB for the first 50 games of the 2017 season after amphetamines were discovered in a urine test conducted following the 2016 LMB season.
The Somerset Patriots must have been aware of Rosario’s suspension. The same Minor League Baseball (MiLB) that sanctions the Patriots, and the Atlantic League, sanctions operations in the LMB. If the Patriots didn’t know about the suspension because they didn’t do their “due diligence” then shame on them. If the MiLB establishment didn’t pass on the information of a player who failed a drug test and was suspended, shame on them. But, if Rosario or his agent failed to inform the Patriots of his suspension, Rosario should be banned for life from professional baseball.
In the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball’s mission statement the league bills itself as “…winning baseball games and showcasing the talent of top-caliber players…”.
If hiring drug users banned for 50 games in a Triple A sanctioned MiLB league is “showcasing top-caliber players” then the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball should rethink it’s mission statement.