Published 4:55 p.m. ET Sept. 7, 2019
Michael Pineda (Photo: Carlos Osorio, AP)
New York – Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 60 games Saturday for taking a diuretic, a big blow to the rotation of a first-place team heading toward the postseason.
Major League Baseball said Pineda tested positive for the banned substance and the suspension takes effect immediately.
Pineda, 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, said in a statement he took an over-the-counter medication given to him by an acquaintance to help manage his weight. The pills contained hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that can mask other substances.
Pineda apologized to the organization, teammates, family and fans for his “error in judgment” and said he “never intended to cheat the system, other players or opposing teams.”
He said, however, he takes responsibility for “what goes in his body” and accepts the suspension. He added that he hopes to be an example to others about the importance of checking with experts before taking substances from an outside source.
The suspension came one day after a strong start by Pineda against Cleveland. Pineda, who went 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA, will miss the Twins’ final 21 games plus any postseason games. Entering Saturday, Minnesota led the AL Central by 5.5 games.
He will forfeit $989,247 of his $8 million salary. He is eligible for free agency after the season and would serve the rest of the suspension next year.
The suspension originally was for 80 games but the players’ association contested it and the penalty was reduced to 60 by arbitrator Mark Irvings under the drug agreement’s mitigation procedure, a person familiar with the process told the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no comments about the arbitration were authorized.
The right-hander’s presence in Minnesota’s rotation has been one of the most underappreciated improvements made by the Twins this year. On Friday, in his 26th start of the season, Pineda reached double-digit strikeouts for the first time since April 10, 2017, with the New York Yankees. Pineda missed the second half of that season and, after signing with the Twins, all of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.
The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Beta has been in full swing for a couple of days now. While the game has received slack because of some unconventional design choices, it still is a core Call of Duty experience which i think most people would enjoy. However, while playing the beta, i couldn’t help but notice the lack of female characters in the multiplayer game modes. This was rather strange since Infinity Ward had announced earlier that the game would have playable female characters. Usually, these characters are much more nimble and really help if you prefer a faster playing style.
So, i went on over to twitter to ask if these characters had been removed for some reason. However, what i got in response was a bunch of dismissive, sexist and misogynistic replies saying that the game is better without females anyway. This sad state of affairs snapped me back to the reality of how inclusivity is actually frowned upon in the core video game community.
Inclusivity in video games has always been a massive point of debate throughout the history of games. While most people would agree that all forms of art and media should be inclusive enough for everyone, things have not been so smooth for the video games industry to adopt this mindset. The ‘hardcore’ gaming community, sadly, just isn’t ready to accept any change that pushes us towards the greater good.
Every time game developers try to include women and minorities in their games just to make them more relatable and inclusive for everyone, they are met with review bombs and other forms of unjustified criticism from the core ‘gamers’. It is actually pretty bonkers to see how far people are willing to go just to undermine something that does not affect them or their experience in any way.
Sadly, this bad behaviour isn’t just limited to the video game community. We’ve seen some really bad cases of sexism in the gaming industry during recent times as well. However, slowly but surely, things are moving in the right direction. For example, we’re seeing better working conditions for women in the industry thanks to a lot of hard work and bravery from these women.
Female Protagonists in Games are actually good
We’re also seeing video games being much more inclusive. From Cyberpunk 2077 not having a binary gender option for character creation to Gears 5 moving to a female protagonist for the first time in the series, things are moving in the right direction. However, if you think that these changes are hindering your experience in any way, you’re wrong. You can still choose to play as a white male in Cyberpunk 2077 and the majority of video games still have male protagonists in them.
However, some of the best video games of recent times like Horizon Zero Dawn, Tomb Raider, Gears 5 and the upcoming The Last of Us 2 all have female protagonists. So, saying that having a female lead in a game would somehow make it worse is just not true, whether you like it or not.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and why it is important for games to be more inclusive
Recently, when Infinity Ward announced that Call of Duty Modern Warfare will include playable female characters, it was met with the same unjustified criticism. This is not the first time we’ve seen this though and people are just used to it at this point. Back when Battlefield V was announced with Female characters, people had the same reaction. However, people need to realise that video games are a form of art and the right of expressing that art in any way or form is in the hands of the artist.
Video games have never been about being historically accurate. If you wanted that, you could watch a historical documentary instead. Video Games are meant to be fun and relatable. They’re played by millions of people around the entire world. If these people around the world don’t feel like they are a part of this magical universe that a developer has conjured up for them, then what is the point of art anymore? No other form of media can connect us with the characters it has like video games because for a brief moment in time, games make us feel like we are that character.
The ability to see yourself in the character you’re playing is probably what sets video games apart from everything else as an art form. This is especially true for multiplayer games, which brings us back to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Having a female character in multiplayer is only a good thing. This would mean that millions of female gamers would actually be able to feel like they’re a part of this universe that we’ve all come to enjoy and love. Furthermore, it doesn’t affect anyone else in any way. You can still pick your usual male characters so you’re not losing any part of the experience.
The addition of something doesn’t always have to come at a cost of something else. However, if, for some weird reason, even hearing a female character in a multiplayer match triggers you, then you have some serious issues and I hope you find the help you need.
Video games are arguably the most expansive and expressive form of art out there. Everyone deserves to experience this amazing art form in the most relatable and immersive way possible. We have made some really good strides during recent times to curb stomp the negativity that surrounds the whole industry. However, there is still a long way to go and I hope, with time, we can all feel happy just to be a part of this amazing community and experience these magical worlds together in complete harmony.