Indians rebuff internet reports of José Ramírez PED violation

The report surfaced and spread on Tuesday afternoon

Alex Hooper
May 29, 2018 - 4:01 pm
May 14, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Tuesday afternoon, Cleveland Indians Manager Terry Francona had to quickly retract his Monday quip that something ‘must be true,’ if it is on the internet.

An online blog in Spanish posted a story on Tuesday with the headline “José Ramírez fue encontrado culpable de dopaje,” or “José Ramírez was found guilty of doping.” The rumor spread like wildfire, as rumors do, among Indians fans on Twitter, sending the team’s PR team to do damage control.

When Francona strolled into his daily pre-game press conference, he immediately referenced his internet comments made on Monday about the team calling up prized prospect Shane Bieber.

“Not today.”

Francona told reporters that he had spoken with Ramírez, who denied the rumor, but also that the league had not informed the Indians of such a violation. Standard protocol for violations of the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs is for the team and player to be notified, and then likely a lengthy appeal.

Indians President Chris Antonetti spoke with reporters later in the day and said that the organization had reached out to Major League Baseball and confirmed that there was nothing to the reports.

“It's a shame we have to address this,” Francona added. “There's really no more to address because we don't know more. We literally found out 10 minutes ago. But, we would have known from the league and we don't. So, there's nothing there. I think that's just best to leave it at that. That's the truth.”

The skipper did mention that at some point, he and the organization would likely pursue answers as to why the rumors surfaced and were perpetuated.

“But, those things happen,” he added. “I feel bad for José because he has to deal with it. But he actually seems fine."

Antonetti was not as forgiving, mentioning the fact that Ramírez had to deal with the reports for around three hours.

Ramírez currently sits third in baseball with 3.5 WAR, behind the Angels’ Mike Trout and Red Sox’s Mookie Betts. The 25-year-old is slashing .291/.387/.598 with a 164 wRC+ in 51 games.