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Fernando Viña (pronounced VEEN-ya) (born April 16, 1969 in Sacramento, Californiamarker) is a retired Cubanmarker-Americanmarker Major League Baseball second baseman and current MLB analyst for ESPN. From through , Viña played for the Seattle Mariners (1993), New York Mets ( ), Milwaukee Brewers ( - ), St Louis Cardinals ( - ), and Detroit Tigers ( ).

Career

A National League All-Star in , Viña was a two-time Gold Glove winner ( - ). He was limited to 29 games for the Tigers: a serious leg injury ended his first season with Detroit, and Viña missed the entire 2005 season because of a strained right hamstring and patellar tendinitis in his left knee. Many believe Viña concealed the extent of prior injuries from the Tigers in order to obtain a lucrative contract from them, but his signing was the first of several major acquisitions that led to the Tigers' resurrection to a playoff contender.

In , Viña was invited to spring training by the Seattle Mariners but was cut before the start of the season, in effect bringing an end to his 12-year career. Viña retired with a .282 batting average, 40 home runs and 343 RBI in 1148 games played. In 2007, Viña joined ESPN as an analyst for Baseball Tonight to do about 60 shows during the season.

Mitchell Report

On December 13, 2007, Viña was mentioned in the Mitchell Report in connection with steroid use. The report cited an interview with former Mets clubhouse attendant Derek Sprang, who claimed Viña purchased anabolic steroids from him six to eight times between 2000 and 2005. The two first met in 1993 when Viña was in the Mets minor league system, and indeed Viña's personal contact information was listed in Radomski's address book seized by federal agents investigating Radomski. Three checks from Viña to Radomski for purchases of HGH and steroids were included in the Mitchell Report itself as further evidence of Viña's steroid use. Viña later confirmed during an airing of SportsCenter that he used HGH in 2003 to recover from injuries, but denied ever using steroids or purchasing them from Radomski.

Popular culture

Viña was featured in the "Welcome to Atlanta Remix" music video.

References

  1. "Mitchell report: Baseball slow to react to players' steroid use" ESPN 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-14


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