Pirates Notebook: Hurdle gives take on PEDs

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ATLANTA -- The morning after a report surfaced that Major League Baseball was looking to suspend at least 20 players, including Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he is not worried if any of his players are tied to the game's most recent performance-enhancing drug scandal.

"What's been done is done," Hurdle said. "If worrying would help, I'd probably worry. If anxiety would help the situation, I could go get anxious about it. Those aren't options, really. Time will tell. Decisions have been made, and there are consequences for those wrong decisions."

The story, published Tuesday night by ESPN.com, reported the founder of the Biogenesis of America clinic in Miami is cooperating with the league and will give names that corroborate documents detailing the distribution of those drugs.

Braun, of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Rodriguez, of the New York Yankees, are among 14 players the website named in its story. None of them are Pirates.

"There are a lot of players that are clean," Hurdle said. "You all get thrown in the same kettle from time to time. You can't control that. The comments I heard today were, 'Whatever it's going to take to freshen up and brighten up and add to the integrity of the game.' "

According to ESPN, the league will try to suspend players for 100 games each, 50 for obtaining banned substances and 50 for lying to investigators.

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner said in a statement the league is in the process of interviewing those players, who will have an attorney from the MLBPA representing them.

"The [c]ommissioner's [o]ffice has assured us that no decisions regarding discipline have been made or will be made until those interviews are completed," Weiner said. "It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations."

The benefits of extra innings

From May 28 through Tuesday of this week, the Pirates played in four extra-innings games, putting a strain on the bullpen and adding wear and tear on others.

But Hurdle believes it could pay off.

"We've played very exciting games for the last month," he said. "Whether it be two runs or less, one-run ballgames, every pitch means something. That's one of the points that we targeted in spring training this season was to have everybody engaged on every pitch.

"I really believe it's going to sharpen us and continue to challenge us."

Second baseman Neil Walker said the extra-innings games can help a team in close games later in the season, but they can also take their toll.

"It can be taxing to a team," Walker said.

"The bullpen's been stretched out," reliever Tony Watson said. "Some guys have been playing longer -- I know [catchers Michael] McKenry and [Russell] Martin back there behind the dish have had to play extra. It probably wears them out a little bit.

"But you just keep going."

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Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1722 and Twitter @msanserino. First Published June 6, 2013 4:00 AM


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