There's always been one knock on Ji-Man Choi, and it's whether or not he can hit for power at first base. He's hit each level he's been at, but scouts have been skeptical of his ability to make it without some more power developing. He's a pure hitter, but the upside has always been more of a James Loney-type.
So what does Choi do to try to remedy his one fault, with first base continually in flux in Seattle? Juice.
He's a first time offender, so he'll get 50 games for his violation, which was methandienone -- slow up before you react as I did, which was some Walter White shit -- this is just an old school anabolic steroid (and definitely not crystal) that you usually pop down your windpipe in pill form instead of sticking in your buttcheek. This was a drug of choice for Arnold Schwarzenegger and other body builders in his glory years.
So much for subtlety. It seems like a fairly obvious drug to get caught on -- I mean, come on. If you're going to juice, shouldn't it at least be on something new or remotely undetectable, not something that was en vogue 25 years ago and banned in 2001? Somebody gave Choi some bad advice. Somebody is suspect.
Via Bob Dutton at TNT, Choi's doing the whole "I didn't know I took it but ok, I guess I accept it" routine, so there's that.
"A banned substance was detected in my urine sample," he said. "I do not know what I could have taken that caused me to test positive. I have not and never would knowingly use anything illegal to enhance my performance.
"However, I also understand that without an explanation I must serve a suspension and I accept that. I look forward to putting this behind me and to returning to help the Mariners ballclub once my suspension has ended."
Regardless, it's a great disappointment. While Choi has always had some yellow flags, first base is a position that Justin Smoak has pretty much left wide open for the past three years, and nobody has stepped up to claim it. Outside of Jesus Montero, Choi is the main name being tossed around as a contender for the eventual job before D.J. Peterson arrives. This won't help his chances, as now both him and Montero will both carry the former cheater stigma around with them for the rest of their career.