Merry Christmas! Two MiLB 50-game minor league suspensions

Major League Baseball recently announced 50-game suspensions for a pair of minor league players, one who just completed his 13th professional season and the other his first. Each failed his second test for a drug of abuse in violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. Both suspensions take effect on Opening Day.

• Slick-fielding Marlins shortstop Gookie Dawkins, 30, batted .241/.307/.336 last year in 423 at-bats spread over two Triple-A stops. He entered pro ball as the Reds’ second-round pick in 1997 and has suited up for eight different organizations. He signed on with the White Sox for ’09 but a midseason trade to the Marlins sent him not only from Charlotte to New Orleans but also from the International to the Pacific Coast league.

• The Cardinals’ 18-year-old Tyler Bighames played mostly the corner outfield for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2009, his first pro season as St. Louis’ 31st-round pick last June. A product of Estero (Fla.) High, he batted .300/.330/.330 with one homer and one stolen base in 88 at-bats.

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