Romero (whose initials were assumed by Angel fans to signify the blasphemous exclamation they uttered shortly after he entered the game) had come to the Angels after publicly feuding with Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire.
In 2006, Romero tested positive for a testosterone precursor (the case was eventually dropped), so he’s obviously no stranger to controversy or positive tests.
Apparently, in this current controversy, MLB offered to reduce Romero’s suspension to 25 games in exchange for Romero admitting guilt and serving the suspension immediately (beginning Oct. 12, which would have prevented him from competing in the 2008 World Series). Romero chose, instead, a 50 game suspension (that will begin at the beginning of 2009) and a denial of wrongdoing.
Unlike other players, who tend to dubiously claim that “vitamins” or supplements (not steroids or human growth hormone) resulted in their positive tests, Romero’s test appears to actually involve a simple supplement. The whole thing is rather bizarre.
Romero obviously played his hand well, however, having won two decisions in the Phillies’ World Series victory.