Nightmare Clients for the Week of July 29th-August 5th

1. Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended for 80 games Friday after testing positive for a third time for a banned stimulant, a penalty that finishes his season. Perez was suspended for 25 games on July 6 when he tested positive for a second time. Under baseball’s labor contract, a player who tests positive for the first time is sent for counseling. Perez has been the only player suspended by baseball for stimulants since they were banned before the 2006 season. His first suspension had been set to end after Friday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox, but Tigers president Dave Dombrowski wouldn’t say whether Perez would have been restored to the active roster absent the new positive test [Tigers’ Perez tests positive for stimulant for third time].

2. Desperate to resume his career, a “down and out” Ryan Tucker risked his football future by taking steroids [Browns’ Tucker violates NFL steroid policy]. He’ll pay for it — and so will the Browns. Tucker, Cleveland’s rock-solid right offensive tackle, was suspended Friday for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. Tucker admitted taking a banned substance, saying he did so while being treated for a mental disorder that limited him to nine games last season.

3. Elijah Dukes faces the prospect of jail time after being charged Thursday with a single count of violating a domestic violence injunction [Devil Ray charged with violating terms of order]. Dukes, optioned to the minor leagues in June by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and placed on the temporary inactive list as he tries to get a handle on his numerous legal problems, faces a maximum punishment of a year in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor.

4. The Washington Wizards have been trying to sign third-year forward Andray Blatche to a lucrative contract this summer, but his future with the team was thrown into doubt yesterday after Blatche and an acquaintance were charged with sexual solicitation [Blatche Charged With Solicitation]. According to D.C. police, Blatche and a male acquaintance were arrested at 12:11 yesterday morning in front of 10 Thomas Circle in Northwest Washington after attempting to solicit sex from a female police officer in the prostitution enforcement unit. He also was wanted for failure to appear on a charge of driving without a license, stemming from an arrest in October 2006, according to charging documents.

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  • zak

    Just a question, who wants to be Andray Blatche’s agent? And if you are, what do you do with this current situation?

  • Matthew Allinson

    In my opinion, as his agent, you do as much damage control as possible. By this I mean, you keep your mouth shut and refuse any request for comment from the media (as his agent has done thus far).

    Your main goal as his agent should be to keep the contract negotiations rolling and capitalize off Blatche’s tremendous upside despite the current charges. However, I think the current status of his contract situation will be put on hold until the Wiz can collect more facts surrounding the charges and seriously evaluate his future with the organization.

  • zak

    Unless he has tremendous upside, I dont know why the Wiz want to resign this guy. They currently have Arena, Jamison, and Butler, all three All-Star Caliber players. They drafted another Guard this year, and it is clear for all to see that they need an inside presence. Why the overabundance of guards?

  • Matthew Allinson

    The Wiz have just about the worst front line in the NBA. Outside of the big-3 (Arenas, Jamison, and Butler) and a few good back court players (Daniels and Stevenson), the Wiz have hardly anybody. They have a horrible inside game and as Zak has pointed out, they have done nothing to improve this glaring weakness. With Darius Songalia, Etan Thomas, Brendan Haywood, and Rookie Oleksiy Pecherov making up your front court, its almost laughable. Instead of drafting a big man, they drafted Nick Young out of USC to add another guard to their guard-dominated rotation.

    Blatche showed some promise last year and he could really beef up the Wiz front line at 6’11, 248 lbs. Also, it is not likely that he will receive any jail time for this offense. With that being said, the Wiz need this guy in their rotation.

  • LW

    Just to clarify for Matthew, Jamison is primarily a 4 in Washington. Check out the five man floor units stats for proof, minutes is the first column. The majority of Jamison’s minutes come as a 4. http://www.82games.com/0607/0607WAS2.HTM

    Doesn’t take away from your argument though, the Wizards have a weak frontcourt. It certainly isn’t the weakest in the L though, check out New Jersey last year. 82games has stats on PER per position per team, NJ ranks significantly low when compared to Washington. Boston, Seattle and Atlanta arguably had worse frontlines last year too, albeit they’re significantly younger with far more upside than Washington.

    While their frontline looks terrible on paper, it’s not as bad as it looks. As for their inside game, you’re 100% correct. It’s invisible. Jamison is not a banger, Brenda is allergic to contact. They are efficient though and don’t necessarily need a banger if they’re going to run and gun. It’d create more open shots for Arenas and co. on the perimeter, but I guess it’s not in the game plan.

    As for Blatche, I’d certainly sign up to be his agent. He’s certainly made some mistakes recently, and runs with the wrong crowd, however the potential is there. He’s had a decent summer league, and has reportedly been very impressive in practice this past season. He’s the type of big man Washington needs too, someone who can keep up (unlike Brenda). Blatche’s agent needs to lock him up till he gets this contract signed. He’s on a very basic salary now, if he doesn’t change and receives part or all of the MLE he could get lost. He needs a change of attitude and some direction. He’s young and immature, hope his agent can limit his spending and hire a good babysitter/role model to hang around Andray.

  • zak

    Anyone disagree with me when I say the Knicks will have the worst defensive frontcourt in the NBA next year?

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