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Rangers catcher Geovany Soto arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges

Geovany Soto mugshot
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(Dallas Morning News)

The Texas Rangers' disappointing season took another hit this week when injured catcher Geovany Soto was arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges.

Soto, was stopped for speeding at 10 p.m. Wednesday in Grapevine, Tx., and that's when officers discovered marijuana in his car. Soto had less than two ounces, according to the Dallas Morning News, and was accordingly charged with a misdemeanor. Authorities said Soto was cooperative. He was later released on $500 bail.

 Soto and the Rangers both released statements Friday. We'll start with Soto:

"I was stopped by Grapevine Police on Wednesday night. I am embarrassed and would like to apologize to my family, the Rangers organization, and our fans that I was taken in on this charge,” Soto said in a written statement. “Because this is an ongoing case, I cannot discuss this matter any further at this time.”

From the Rangers:

“The Rangers organization is aware of Wednesday night’s incident involving Geovany Soto. We have spoken to Geovany, and he has apologized and expressed deep embarrassment for the situation. We have notified Major League Baseball of the incident. As this is an on-going case, this is the only comment we will have at this time.”

Baseball players getting caught with recreational drugs (or "drugs of abuse," as the league calls them) is much different than PED use. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan recently wrote about MLB's policy on marijuana and how it's actually more lenient than that of Minor League Baseball.

Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News laid out MLB's policy for an arrest like Soto's:

Marijuana is considered a drug of abuse under the JDA. Players are not tested for drugs of abuse, but anyone who is found to be in possession will be referred to a treatment board. The board makes an initial evaluation that determines if the player should be placed in a treatment program.

Soto would be subject to discipline from MLB commissioner Bud Selig only if he refuses to cooperate with the treatment board of does not comply with its recommendation on treatment.

This is at least the second run-in with marijuana for Soto. He tested positive for it before the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The WBC had a different drug program than MLB. When the WBC test was made public, Soto said it was an “isolated” incident that was “embarrassing” to him.

The Rangers have dealt with a litany of injuries en route to a horrific last-place season in 2014, when some people thought they'd be in the World Series. Soto was been one of many injured players. He required knee surgery in March and was scheduled to return to the team after the All-Star break.

If there's something to be thankful for here for Rangers fans — at least Soto didn't get caught having pot mailed to his dog.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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