Friday, February 14, 2014
Stepping on a butterfly needle.
The primordial circumstance that set Rodriguez’s career on an unwanted trajectory was the 1994-95 players’ strike, which began just one month after his major league debut… when the strike ended and the players and owners finally hammered out a new collective bargaining agreement, players were awarded service time for the games that were canceled, including guys in the minors like Rodriguez. The result was that Rodriguez had just enough service time to qualify for free agency a year early.
...Rodriguez played for the Rangers for three seasons, leading the AL in home runs each year, winning two Gold Gloves at shortstop and one MVP, and missing just one total game. Yet seemingly all anyone remembers is that the Rangers never won more than 73 games in those three seasons despite giving Rodriguez all that money. Apparently, it was A-Rod’s fault the team’s ERAs those three years were 5.71, 5.15, and 5.67.
...Meanwhile, in their very first season without Rodriguez, the 2001 Mariners won an AL-record 116 games with Carlos Guillen as their everyday shortstop. Guillen went on to some great years in Detroit, but that season he hit .259/.333/.355 and was clearly the weak link in the Seattle lineup. Had the new CBA not altered his service clock, Rodriguez would have hit free agency after a season in which he was the best player on a team that likely would have smashed the major league record for wins in a season. The Mariners probably would have won a mind-boggling 120 games. The Rodriguez-free Mariners lost to the Yankees in the ALCS; Guillen had been benched for Mark McLemore in the playoffs, and McLemore went 2-for-14 in the series. Three of the Mariners’ four losses came by one or two runs in a tight series, and Rodriguez’s presence in the lineup would have been huge.
If Rodriguez had led the Mariners to the MLB record for regular-season wins and then propelled them to the AL pennant and possibly a world championship, he would have cemented a very different legacy very early in his career.
...The Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since that remarkable 2001 season, so if Rodriguez’s free agency had come up a year later, the narrative would center on a franchise that never recovered from losing its greatest player, the way the Red Sox flailed after selling Babe Ruth or the way the Pirates endured 20 consecutive losing seasons after Barry Bonds left. Instead, the narrative is that the Mariners set the AL wins record the year after Rodriguez took the money and ran.
Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:34 PM | 16 comment(s)
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
“[N]ow that A-Rod has dropped his appeal and is accepting his suspension, Major League Baseball is going to drop the lawsuit it filed last March against Biogenesis, Anthony Bosch, Juan Carlos Nunez and multiple other defendants.
Which, of course, just continues to underscore how legally baseless a lawsuit that was and how its putative purpose — legal redress against drug dealers who caused damage to the league by enabling the breach of the Joint Drug Agreement an the Collective Bargaining Agreement — was total baloney. Major League Baseball filed that lawsuit for the sole purpose of gaining leverage in an effort to suspend Alex Rodriguez and the other Biogenesis players. Now that that has been done, there is no purpose for the suit.
Which may mean Major League Baseball was successful. That it did what it set out to do. But it doesn’t change the fact that its filing of that suit was a ridiculous misuse of the legal system. A legal system, the purpose of which, is to redress legal injury, not to be used as a cudgel in an employment dispute. Major League Baseball asserted that its contracts were breached. They were not. It asserted that it suffered financial damage as a result. It did not.”
Got numbers beyond what you can dial, maybe it’s because I’m so versatile… mmmmm, DROP!
Posted: February 12, 2014 at 09:43 AM | 4 comment(s)
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
“When he comes up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard,” one player on the conference call told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what I’d do.”
Anyone want an OBP machine?
Friday, January 17, 2014
Just what the anti-aging facility ordered, another A-Rod story:
Presented in the “60 Minutes” story was an unsolicited wire transfer from “Arod Corporation” to Bosch’s criminal attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, in the amount of $49,901.51. Manfred told “60 Minutes” that he and MLB considered this a bribe.
But Steve Fishman of New York Magazine found this odd. Fishman, you’ll remember, wrote a big piece on A-Rod recently and then published those strange e-mails between A-Rod and New York Yankees president Randy Levine.
Fishman wondered, who pays $49.901.51 as hush money. It’s too specific an amount. Why not $50,000, nice and round? Fishman did some digging and discovered:
In fact, documents obtained by New York suggests that the wire transfer was a legal payment made in error. Rodriguez’s attorney Roy Black sent Rodriguez a bill for that same amount on April 2, 2013 – six days before the payment to Ribero-Ayala. According to e-mails examined by New York, Rodriguez’s business staff confused the wiring information and accidentally sent the payment to Ribero-Ayala on April 8.
Rodriguez’s employees had Ribero-Ayala’s name in their payment system because Rodriguez had previously paid her $25,000 to help cover Bosch’s mounting legal fees, when the two were still telling the same story — and Bosch had thanked him for that.
On April 9, 2013, Rodriguez realized that the second payment was in error, according to the e-mail chain, and Ribero-Ayala returned the money, which was then transferred to Black’s law firm’s account.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Major league ballplayers should never have agreed to drug testing. They should have told any handwringing writer who had anything to say about it to #### right off, and they should have said the same to any handwringing politician who wanted to do something about it. They should have made clear that they would go on strike forever rather than agree to it, and if necessary they should have done so, because this was inevitable once the players ceded control over their own bodies to an outside authority in response to a moral panic.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The article goes into some depth about how biological passport testing works and how it’s a vast improvement over the old method. I’m sure that it is, and I fully support MLB enhances its anti-doping efforts. It’s a credit to Tom Verducci to research this and write a layman friendly article like this.
...but golly gee damn, sometimes I just wish we were talking about the merits of RBI and W-L. Hopefully, as testing continues to improve as it seems to, doping will become ever scarcer and further removed from the hot stove.
Baseball began to see a trend mushrooming in 2012: players were turning to fast-acting synthetic testosterone to cheat. The 4:1 T:E ratio was providing room to maneuver for that cheating. So baseball owners and the players’ association that year began discussing how to bring their Joint Drug Agreement up to date with state of the art testing protocols. They agreed they needed to run more of the more sensitive IRMS tests, but needed a better “trigger” mechanism than the 4:1 ratio. And that’s why they turned to the biological passport testing system.
Alex Rodriguez took an energy cocktail on Mondays and a therapy cocktail on Fridays.
He used a special cream in the morning, and a testosterone cream in the evening.
He took testosterone lozenges before games “as needed.”...
describes in detail the shadowy life — and complicated diet — of a big-league doper who juggled four injections with two muscle treatments, two skin creams, two lozenges, and six oral doses. And that was just “PHASE 1,” according to the report….
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I gave Weiner this title, along with Forde, last year because of the way he conducted himself upon learning of his diagnosis in August 2012, and he just kept going in his final calendar year of life. The A-Rod/Biogenesis mess kept Weiner plenty busy and in the spotlight, and he worked for the players until he had nothing left to give.
It became evident Weiner didn’t believe that A-Rod was fully innocent, just as he worked with the other 13 Biogenesis players to find punishments that worked. But when MLB slapped A-Rod with that record-long suspension, Weiner turned his vigor toward his more natural adversary: the league. Weiner understood protecting both the player and the precedent is critical, and he wouldn’t let the smaller picture get in the way of that.
Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:23 PM | 1 comment(s)
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Boca Raton police announced the arrest of Reginald St. Fleur, a tanning salon worker with a criminal record. He’s an occasional associate of both Fischer, the former Biogenesis employee, and Gary Jones, the man who sold the clinic records to MLB. The exact path of those documents, which MLB used to pressure a dozen players into copping pleas and amounts to the bulk of the evidence against Alex Rodriguez, isn’t precisely known, but there are only two possibilities: a criminal conspiracy, or a different type of criminal conspiracy.
Here’s what we know. MLB, through an investigator, had been unsuccessfully negotiating with Fischer to purchase the documents he took from Tony Bosch after a dispute over money. On March 25th, they were scheduled to be handed over to the Florida Department of Health for its investigation into Bosch and Biogenesis. On March 24th, Fischer met Jones at a Boca Raton tanning salon. While the two met, Fischer’s car was broken into and the documents stolen. On April 16th, MLB purchased the documents from Jones for $25,000. (On top of an additional $100,000 for an earlier set of documents. Also, without the evidence, the health department’s case against Bosch collapsed.)
Any of our motley collection of lawyers know about the admissibility of stolen evidence in arb hearings? And if I were an ambitious DA in south Florida I’d be revving up a grand jury to look into MLB’s role in the theft.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Hundreds of mourners, including commissioner Bud Selig and embattled Yankee Alex Rodriguez, journeyed to Paramus, N.J., on a bitterly cold Sunday and packed Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel for the memorial service of Michael Weiner, the late executive director of baseball’s Players’ Association.
Weiner, who died Thursday at 51 from brain cancer — he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in August 2012 — was eulogized by his wife, Diane Margolin, and Rabbi Mary Zamore in a 40-minute service that included proinent names from all corners of baseball. They included Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, super agent Scott Boras, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, former Mets GM Omar Minaya, Mets PR chief Jay Horwitz, MLB COO Rob Manfred and former players David Cone, Al Leiter, Bobby Bonilla and Frank Thomas. Don Fehr, Weiner’s predecessor (and now the NHL’s union chief) as well as Tony Clark, Weiner’s successor, also attended.
“I’ve been thinking about how to address you on this occasion since August of ’12, when an aggressive, cancerous tumor invaded Mike’s brain. I imagined this day to be far, far off, but I knew it was coming. And I knew when it would come, I knew you’d come, because you loved Mike, and because you know how much Mike would want us to be here together,” [his widow] Margolin said. “Our Mike, he lived an intentional, mindful, truthful and honest life, and I need all those words to say it, and I need to say it again. Our Mike, he lived an intentional, mindful, truthful and honest life. And this led to much happiness for him and all of us around him.”
Posted: November 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM | 4 comment(s)
Monday, November 11, 2013
That The Greatest Scandal That Absolutely Ever Was has come down to a faceoff between Rodriguez and Selig is proof enough of what a comic opera the whole escapade has been from the beginning. The hysteria over PEDs in baseball — and, thus, in every sport — has unfolded the way in which all drug hysterias in the history of this country have unfolded. It has been fueled by misplaced moral panic, anecdotal evidence, anonymous slander, and a fundamental disregard for legal and constitutional safeguards — all in the service of what has been sold as a greater good by executives and media members who became famous or wealthy in the pursuit. It has been an exercise in simplistic moralism, so why shouldn’t it come down to one villain and one hero? The whole thing has been a scary story for children right from the jump.
Goodnight vials of pee and blood
Goodnight verdicts that are duds
Goodnight spokesmen flinging mud
Posted: November 11, 2013 at 09:05 PM | 18 comment(s)
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: OMNICHATTER for April 20, 2014
(77 - 10:17pm, Apr 20)
Last: BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy NogoodnikNewsblog
: VIDEO: Brewers, Pirates brawl after Carlos Gomez triple
(67 - 10:13pm, Apr 20)
Last: SoSHially UnacceptableNewsblog
: Bryce Harper benched for 'lack of hustle' despite quad injury
(100 - 9:56pm, Apr 20)Last:
Avoid running at all times.-S. PaigeNewsblog
: OT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(370 - 9:55pm, Apr 20)Last:
NJ in DC (Now unemployed!)Newsblog
: Daniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(130 - 9:34pm, Apr 20)Last:
NJ in DC (Now unemployed!)Newsblog
: OT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014
(951 - 9:23pm, Apr 20)Last:
CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the ApolloNewsblog
: Pirates Acquire Ike Davis From Mets
(54 - 9:15pm, Apr 20)
Last: Canker SorianoNewsblog
: Doug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(404 - 9:12pm, Apr 20)Last:
The Id of SugarBear BlanksNewsblog
: Minuteman News Center: Giandurco: This means WAR
(95 - 9:05pm, Apr 20)
: Chase Utley is the hottest hitter in baseball and has a shot at .400
(70 - 8:49pm, Apr 20)
: John Torres: Baseball must bag sickening farewell tours
(50 - 8:43pm, Apr 20)
Last: Howie MenckelNewsblog
: Zander Hollander, Sports Trivia Shepherd, Dies at 91
(10 - 8:25pm, Apr 20)
Last: Jose CanuseeNewsblog
: OT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(160 - 8:21pm, Apr 20)Last:
: Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World
(22 - 8:13pm, Apr 20)
: Mitchell: Now Playing First Base for the Yankees
(58 - 7:55pm, Apr 20)
Last: Ray (RDP)