When Thursday night’s game ended, Chris Colabello was on deck waiting to face Zach Britton. Colabello never got to bat, and won’t return to a major league field for at least 80 games because he was suspended Friday for use of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, Major League Baseball announced.
Colabello’s 80-game ban for PED use is a downer on one of the better feel good stories of recent years.
Shortly after the suspension was announced, the Players Association released a statement from Colabello.
"On March 13, I got one of the scariest and most definitely the least expected phone calls of my entire life. I was informed by the Players Association that a banned substance was found in my urine. I have spent every waking moment since that day trying to find an answer as to why or how? The only thing I know is that I would never compromise the integrity of the game of baseball. I love this game too much! I care too deeply about it. I am saddened more for the impact this will have on my teammates, the organization and the fans of the Toronto Blue Jays. I hope that before anyone passes judgement on me they can take a look at the man that I am, and everything that I have done to get to where I am in my career."
The 32-year-old had spent seven seasons toiling away in the obscurity of independent ball in New England, and even though he hit .300 every year, Colabello couldn’t get a sniff in organized ball.
But, in Feb. 2012, the Minnesota Twins gave him a chance, and made his major league debut at 29 a year later.
After the Blue Jays acquired Colabello on waivers late in 2014, he was a major contributor to their AL East title team, hitting .321 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs. Colabello hit a home run in both the Division Series and the American League Championship Series.
This season, things hadn’t gone well, and Colabello was just 2-for-29 (.069). His only appearance in this week’s series against the Orioles came in Wednesday night’s game when he was hitless in three at-bats, striking out twice.
Colabello will be eligible to return on July 7.