Dee Gordon returned to the Miami Marlins after serving an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. On Thursday July 7, 2016, Gordon was activated by the Marlins and is expected to reclaim his job as second baseman and leadoff batter.
Ahead of his return, Dee Gordon issued an apology video to his fans. He never stated clearly the circumstances surrounding the substances that were found within the drug test, nor how they may have entered his body. He did, however, take full responsibility for his actions and the fact that he made a mistake.
As noted in the Miami Herald, Gordon took full responsibility.
“You have to hold yourself accountable … I didn’t. Being the smallest guy around, I didn’t think I would fail a drug test. I didn’t pay attention. … That’s my fault.”
Dee Gordon was at the top of Miami’s lineup Thursday night as they begin a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park. Prior to his suspension, Gordon won the NL batting title and a Gold Glove for the 2015 season.
In the video, Gordon appears to be sitting at the Triple-A park in New Orleans, completing his conditioning assignment in the minors. According to the Marlins, Gordon has been playing at Triple-A New Orleans over the past week. There he was 5-for-22 (.227) with a double, a triple, and two stolen bases in six games.
Marlins Manager Don Mattingly stated that they were planning on easing Gordon back in when he returns to the Marlins, and he is currently at the top of the lineup.
“We’re gonna blend him back in for sure,” Mattingly said. “We feel like we’re capable of getting to the playoffs. If we get into the playoffs, Dee can’t play. It’s kind of that balancing act of trying to get there, and then, what do you do when you get there?”
With the return of Dee Gordon, that means the reduction of Derek Dietrich’s role within the Marlins. Dietrich has been manning second in Gordon’s absence.
“Dietrich’s been very good for us in different areas,” Mattingly said. “We’ll kind of go back to our original plan of using him all over the place, but we’re gonna get him at-bats.”
Prior to playing with the Marlins, Gordon played with the Dodgers, but was traded last year to the Marlins in a multi-player deal. According to the L.A. Times, the Marlins signed Gordon to a five-year, $50 million contract in January which was back-loaded. This suspension cost Dee Gordon around $1.5 million and he is also ineligible for post season play this year.
Throughout the video, Gordon was very apologetic and humble about his experience. He was very thankful to his family, friends, and the Marlins for standing by him while he waited out his suspension and dealt with the consequences of the charges. He was especially apologetic to the fans.
“I want to say I’m sorry to the kids who looked up to me as a player and a person. I will never cheat you guys.”
Dee Gordon will continue on the Marlins roster following his return on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Over the next few months he will have the chance that he requested; to prove to his fans and those that supported him that he is capable of earning their trust and that he has learned from his mistake.
The world will be watching, but thankfully Dee Gordon is an athlete that has admitted his mistake.
“I let you down, and I’m sorry” was the final statement for Dee Gordon’s return.
[Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]