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Soto says he's sorry for positive pot test
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/25/2009 3:50 PM | Updated: 6/25/2009 6:56 PM

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An apologetic Geovany Soto hopes he can quickly put his positive test for marijuana at the World Baseball Classic in the past.

"I don't want this to be a distraction for me or my teammates," Soto told beat writers after the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Tigers in Detroit. "I'd appreciate if this is the last time we talk about it. It's embarrassing, and I want to move forward. I'm man enough to do stuff; I'm man enough to face it. I just want to apologize to the Cubs' organization, my family and the fans."

Soto was the NL rookie of the year in 2008 with 23 homers and 86 RBI, but his production has plummeted this season. He's hitting .227 with 6 homers and 21 RBI.

"This has been bothering him," Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush told Cubs beat writers. "We knew he'd handle it directly and head on, and that's what he's doing."

Soto tested positive in March while playing for his native Puerto Rico. He said he became aware of the positive test a couple months ago and decided he would address the situation now rather than wait for the International Baseball Federation to make an announcement.

"While I fully acknowledge my inappropriate behavior," Soto said, "I want to assure my fans and my family that this was an isolated incident. I do not say this to minimize or deflect from my conduct, and I fully understand the ramifications of my actions. I have and will accept any and all consequences."

Soto is banned from international play for two years, but he will not be punished by Major League Baseball or the Cubs.

"I think the world of Geo, we all do in the organization," Bush said. "None of us think any less of him. He's a stand-up guy, wonderful kid. We love him and support him, and he's been anxious to put this behind him."

Soto was not in Thursday's starting lineup but struck out as a pinch hitter to end the game.