Phillies left-handed setup man J.C. Romero will be suspended 50 games in 2009 for taking an over-the-counter supplement that contained a banned substance. An arbitrator ruled that he was “negligent” in not knowing what was in the supplement. However, MLB and Romero agree that he did not take any performance-enhancing drugs.

“One thing I’m going to say, I’m a man and I’m accountable for my actions,” the Phillies reliever said in an attempt to tell his side to the media before MLB makes an announcement on Tuesday. “If I’m guilty of something, you know what? I will face it. But I’m not guilty, and I’m not letting people that don’t really know me judge me over something and accuse me of something that I didn’t do.”

Romero was a brilliant setup man for the Phils and very important to their championship run. He stands to lose $1.25 million in the suspension.

“If people are intimidated because Major League [Baseball] is a big organization, so be it,” Romero said. “But they are not going to make an example of me thinking that I’m just a [dumb] Puerto Rican. It’s not going to happen. It’s not the way I’m built.

“For me to keep my mouth shut? That’s not the right thing to do. If they want to bump me out of the game, so be it. What am I going to do, just sit back and take it? When I know in my heart I’m innocent? That doesn’t fly well with me and it doesn’t fly well in my house, either.”

Hopefully, Phillies fans enjoyed their World Series victory, because they will have to start their run to repeat without three valuable pieces to the puzzle. Chase Utley will be out several months following hip surgery, and Pat Burrell signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

About The Author

Micah Warren is a sports writer from New York and the founder of Blast's sports section and the Off the Record sports blog.

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