Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis says he let a lot of people down and is “chomping at the bit” to get back to playing after being suspended for violation of the league’s drug policy last season.
Davis was suspended 25 games last September for testing positive for amphetamines, which he later attributed to Adderall use. Adderall is banned by Major League Baseball and is often prescribed to patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Davis, who was diagnosed with ADHD in 2008, has received clearance from MLB to use Vyvanse, another ADHD medicine, this season. He is one of about 120 players that were granted a therapeutic-use exemption for ADHD for 2015.
He played in 127 games last season, missing the last 17 regular season games and the entire postseason for the Orioles. Baltimore beat the the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series in a three-game sweep, but were then swept by the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series.
Davis will still have to serve one more game of his suspension. Baltimore opens the season April 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"I know what I did cost my team a lot last year,” Davis told USA Today. "I let a lot of people down. It was the lowest point of my career. Going into the offseason, there was still a lot of emotional baggage that I was carrying with me. I accepted that. I knew I had to move forward. Hanging onto that was only going to hurt me.”
The 28-year-old Davis hit .196 with 26 home runs and 72 RBIs last season, one season after hitting .286 and leading the majors with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs. He made his first All-Star team and finished third in the voting for the AL MVP award.
Davis said he has tried to make amends with his teammates and now it’s time to focus on baseball.
"It was hard for me to stay away and not face these guys eye-to-eye,” said Davis, who is set to make $12 million this season. “So I wrote a letter to all my teammates. I wrote down how I felt. I expressed how sorry I was. And how upsetting it was for me to let those guys down."
- Scooby Axson