Pirates cancel Starling Marte jersey day, because of course they did
April 20, 2017 10:18 AM
Starling Marte was suspended 80 games for a positive PED test.
By Sean Gentille / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Because it isn’t a great idea to outfit children in free shirts bearing the name of a player suspended for steroid use, the Pirates have canceled their planned Starling Marte jersey giveaway on July 2.
Kids under 14 who show up for the July 2 game against San Francisco will still get an alternate jersey; it just won’t be Marte. The replacement player will be announced shortly.
Marte was suspended 80 games on Tuesday after a positive test for Nandralone, which is “as anabolic steroid as it gets,” as the Post-Gazette’s Bill Brink wrote.
"We decided that it would not be appropriate to provide the Marte alternate jersey on the originally scheduled day while Starling is on the restricted list,” Pirates spokesman Brian Warecki said in a released statement.
Marte will still be on the “restricted list” whenever July 2 rolls around, though it’s tough to imagine the Pirates following through with the giveaway under any circumstances.
This is the second consecutive season the Pirates have had to alter an original promotional plan. Fans scheduled to receive a Jung-Ho Kang bobblehead at an August game could request a voucher for an alternative. A woman in Chicago had accused Kang of sexual assault, and the investigation — which has since stalled after police couldn’t contact his accuser — was active.
Marte’s problem was not as serious as Kang’s. It’s not as serious as Kang’s drunk driving issues, either — endangering the public is worse than letting down your teammates — but it’s still a no-brainer to ditch the giveaway.
If there’s any fun to be had here, it’s in figuring out who should replace Marte. Francisco Cervelli, Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco are this season’s bobbleheads. Andrew McCutchen might be gone by the end of July. While it’s easy to imagine kids getting psyched for a Jose Osuna jersey, it might be time to elevate Jameson Taillon (whether he’s the ace or not) to giveaway jersey status.
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