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I'll always forget my first time: Dodger Ronald Belisario

February 22, 2012 |  2:40 pm

Ron6
Ah, the wonder that is Ronald Belisario. What to make of our hard-throwing Venezuelan right-hander?

Say this for him, he’s in camp on time this year, a first for him in his four years with the Dodgers. Of course, last year he never did make it.

He told a Venezuelan newspaper he was late to spring training last season because he lost his passport. In a stunning development, on Wednesday he admitted it was not true. He told reporters in Phoenix he could not leave his native country because he had tested positive for cocaine.

If only things were so simple. Because then he added he had only used the drug once, could not remember when he was tested or what entity had tested him.

I don’t know, wild guess, but if you had only used cocaine once in your life and it was only a year ago, just maybe you’d remember snorting the white powder. And particularly where you were tested and by whom when busted. Particularly, you know, since you only tried coke once.

The Times’ Dylan Hernandez has learned from an individual familiar with the situation that Belisario was actually tested by the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela when applying for a visa. Not that you could expect him to remember that. He was tested because of a previous DUI arrest in Pasadena during the 2009 season.

Major League Baseball learned of the embassy’s positive test and suspended him for 25 games. So for the first month of the season at least, there will be no Belisario on the Dodgers. Better to prove himself down in the minors anyway, though a month isn’t long.

Belisario, 29, is no doubt embarrassed by the whole ongoing saga. He told reporters he had never been treated for drugs.

“I don’t have a problem with any drugs,” he said.

During the 2010 season, Belisario disappeared from the team for a month. The Dodgers said it was for personal reasons, before The Times reported he was receiving treatment in a substance-abuse program.

Make of this what you will, but the Dodgers would be fools at this point to count on someone who’s proven to be consistently unreliable. That is, assuming they’re capable of remembering his past misdeeds. He has a long road to travel before winning back trust.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario stretches at spring training in Phoenix on Wednesday. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

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