Romero with Phils for weekend series
Reliever has served 14 games of 50-game suspension
MIAMI -- J.C. Romero joked that he got a weekend pass out of jail.
In reality, the Phillies reliever got a pass out of Clearwater, Fla.
That means no grouper sandwiches for a few days, but he will survive. Romero has already survived the first 14 games of his 50-game suspension for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing substances. Romero still maintains the punishment is too severe, because he legally bought the supplement that caused him to test positive at a GNC store in Cherry Hill, N.J.
But Romero, who is with the Phillies for their weekend series against the Marlins at Dolphin Stadium, said the anger is gone regarding the suspension.
"It could be worse," Romero said. "I was very mad until I saw [Angels pitcher] Nick Adenhart passing away. That changed my perspective on everything. Money comes and goes. Baseball is a game. People make mistakes. In this case, making decisions and ruling certain things. But when you lose a life, it changes everything. Whatever they decided to do to suspend me, that's nothing compared to losing your life."
Romero is allowed to participate in pregame activities with the Phillies this weekend, but must be out of uniform and out of the dugout and clubhouse during the games. He is playing in extended spring camp in Clearwater.
He is eligible to begin a rehab assignment 16 days before the end of his suspension, but that date is fluid because of rainouts. For instance, Romero is eligible to be activated June 2 in San Diego, provided there are no more rainouts.
"When I've got to be ready to go, I'll be ready to go," Romero said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.