If a player is suspended as a result of the Biogenesis probe and appeals the decision, the case will go to the current arbitrator. Das said the arbitrator’s role is to judge the ultimate fate of any player suspected to be in violation of baseball’s joint drug agreement, and the arbitrator’s decision is not likely to be challenged outside of baseball.
“Baseball, like most other private employment collective bargaining, is covered by federal law,” Das said in a recent telephone interview. [...]
Baseball’s new arbitrator is Californian Frederic R. Horowitz. He may soon have multiple cases arising out of Biogenesis. He has worked in arbitration since 1989, including salary arbitration hearings in baseball. “Fred Horowitz, in my opinion, is a top-notch arbitrator,” Das said, “and I’m sure he’s up to the task.”
“If HGH were legal,” Madson said, “just in the process of healing, under a doctor’s recommendation, in the right dosage, while you’re on the [disabled list], I don’t think that’s such a bad idea—as long as it doesn’t have any lasting side effects, negative side effects.”
This is a question that has occurred to a number of athletes who were willing to break the law and do so at the risk of getting caught, at the more important risk of harming their bodies further and suffering from the stigma associated with attempting to gain an advantage from an illegal drug.
But Madson wants to make one thing perfectly clear.
“Right now,” Madson said, “it’s cheating. I’ve never done anything like that, and I won’t.”
Madson hasn’t brought it to the attention of Major League Baseball or even mentioned it to Angels trainers because he knows it’s illegal—the U.S. Food and Drug Administration only allows it in rare instances—and because, as he said, “I’m still believing that I can come back.
“But I will still believe, even if I get healthy without that,” Madson added, “that it should be legal, in the right dosage, under supervision, with doctors, for the only purposes to help heal and get players back in the Major Leagues. Because people want to watch them, because of their talents, just to get them back on the field to play. That’s it. I think it would be good for the game; I think it would be good for the fans. Fans want to see the best players play, and they want to see the players that they watch come back from injury and stay back. I think it would be a good thing.”
The Rotation is a weekly feature here at SB Nation MLB in which we put a question to our vast network of baseball scribes and bring you the answers. This week we ask, What is the worst ongoing conversation in baseball?
Major League Baseball has taken an unprecedented step in the Biogenesis of America investigation, paying a former employee of the South Florida anti-aging clinic linked to performance-enhancing drugs for documents on athletes named in the case, the New York Times reported Thursday night.
The move, according to the newspaper, came after at least one player linked to the clinic bought documents from a former employee there in order to destroy them. The Times, citing two unidentified people briefed on the matter, reported other players connected to the now-shuttered clinic have attempted to do the same in order to keep the potentially incriminating documents away from the league.
Not the usual way evidence is obtained. What could go wrong?
Two sources familiar with the case told “Outside the Lines” that MLB was looking for a man with a similar name believed to have been a black-market PED connection for Bosch, though it turned out not to be da Silveira.
“They realize he has no involvement whatsoever with Biogenesis or distributing performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes,” said Emil Infante, who represents the 30-year-old da Silveira.
Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit Friday against Anthony Bosch and five others connected to the South Florida anti-aging clinic that allegedly provided some of the game’s biggest stars with performance-enhancing substances.
The suit, filed in the 11th judicial circuit in Miami-Dade County, Florida, charges that Bosch and his associates “actively participated in a scheme ... to solicit or induce Major League players to purchase or obtain PES (performing-enhancing substances) for their use in violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”
The filing continues by saying that the defendants “intentionally and unjustifiably interfered” with MLB’s drug program and as a result, “MLB has suffered damages, including the costs of investigation, loss of goodwill, loss of revenue and profits and injury to its reputation, image, strategic advantage and fan relationships.”
[ Gio ] Gonzalez said he passed a drug test administered two days after the report was published on Jan. 29. The league, however, doesn’t require a failed drug test to suspend a player; MLB can issue a 50-game suspension if it proves the player used or possessed banned substances.
At Hardball Talk, Calcaterra said of this B-Pro guest piece by former journeyman pitcher Eric Knott:
We should spill way less ink about who we think “the real Home Run King” is — as if that matters — and think way harder about those frequent minor league suspensions and what they mean to the people who are faced with the choice to take dangerous drugs or wind up out of baseball.
Against that backdrop is this excellent column from Eric Knott. Knott pitched 11 years in the minors and 24 games in the majors. He is the quintessential borderline guy who, if he had an extra couple of miles per hour on his heater, may have stuck. But he didn’t get those miles per hour, and he didn’t try PEDs in an effort to do so.
Knott gives a fascinating, clear-eyed and detailed rundown of the environment in baseball during the height of the Steroid Era, as well as what factored into his decisions about whether to use.
It’s an absolute must-read. There’s more useful information in this piece than anything that can be found in the Mitchell Report or the latest bombastic anti-PEDs screen from Johnny Sportswriter.
The cesspool that is The Daily News…where you have 83-year-old-writers taking potshots and they don’t even know it!
If, in fact, the Levinsons never heard of Bosch before all this, then they are at least guilty of not doing a proper monitoring and counseling job with their clients. Indeed, in the past, the Levinsons took pride in vetting their clients, as well as being very selective in whom they would represent.
“If there was one thing about the Levinsons that set them apart from all the other agents, it was the overall high character quality of their clients,” said one general manager. “Go down the list — David Wright, Scotty Rolen, Todd Zeile, Cliff Floyd, Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips, Raul Ibanez — one class act after another.Even with Milton Bradley, who wasn’t a bad guy, just crazy. They nurtured that kid, kept trying to place him in environments where he could cope the best. They’re the only agents I know who fired clients that embarrassed them.” (It was therefore commendable of Wright, in the wake of the Cabrera/Nunez fiasco last summer and the preponderance of Levinson clients now linked to Bosch, to tell the Daily News’ Andy Martino the other day: “I don’t care if you’re with the same agency or not. If you’re a cheater, I hope you get caught and punished.”)
But in recent years, the Levinsons got more and more involved in the cesspool of Dominican Republic baseball, where steroids are both legal and rampant, or as the same baseball official said: “You have 13-year-old-kids taking steroids and they don’t even know it.”
Even if it’s determined all these players turning up in Bosch’s records did nothing wrong — as was apparently the case with Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who according to the records paid $1,000 for substances not banned by baseball and later passed a drug test — you have to ask the question, What were they doing there in the first place? Because for a guy nobody claims to know or have ever met, Bosch seems to have made a lot money off them.
ESPN.com’s T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish, citing documents procured by “Outside the Lines,” add five names to the list of ballplayers linked to Anthony Bosch’s controversial Biogenesis clinic.
Those names are Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera , Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez, A’s reliever Jordan Norberto, Padres reliever Fautino De Los Santos and Mets prospect Cesar Puello. Here’s the heart of the matter regarding these five players:
Sources said the players, like those who have been named in previous Biogenesis documents, were on a list as having received performance-enhancing drugs, although the documents are not proof that the players either received or used PEDs.
Also within Quinn’s and Fish’s piece is this important note about Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez, who was named in the original Miami New Times report:
According to two sources familiar with Bosch’s operation, however, the Washington Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez, previously identified as being named in Biogenesis documents, did not receive banned substances from Bosch or the clinic.
“I had a Toradol shot almost every single game for the last 10 years of my career,” Schilling told Yahoo! Sports. “It was never administered by a doctor at home or on the road. I didn’t think it was wrong.”
Though Schilling said Reinold never injected him with Toradol – he declined to say who did – the right-hander said he saw Reinold inject other players.
“Absolutely he did,” Schilling said.
. . .
More than 300 Toradol shots over his career taught Schilling their vitality. He said he experimented with different times of injection before settling on the optimal one: 5:25 p.m., exactly 100 minutes before a 7:05 start. Even though it’s neither considered nor classified as a performance-enhancing drug, its ability to help pitchers perform isn’t in doubt. Schilling remembers one particular game, a 2002 Sunday getaway day in Milwaukee with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“I slept on a pillow wrong,” he said. “I woke up at 5:30 [a.m.]. I couldn’t move my head. I went to the ballpark at 6:30 for a 1:30 [p.m.] game. Worked for four hours on it. I literally couldn’t move my head. I went to the bullpen and started throwing and I didn’t think there was any way I could pitch.
“Then the Toradol kicked in. I threw a one-hitter and struck out 17.”
Sounds somewhat performance enhancing, no?
The league’s 2012 investigation wasn’t its first into Reinold. In 2008, as he was rehabbing an injury that would end his career, Schilling said Reinold suggested he consider taking performance-enhancing drugs to recover. Schilling told manager Terry Francona and Epstein, who reported the story to MLB.
Though officials have tried to discredit Schilling’s story since he first told it last week, Schilling maintains he has no reason to fabricate the incident. Schilling said he didn’t tell investigators the entire truth because Beckett and others liked Reinold and, as a player on his way out of the game, he did not want to upset the clubhouse.
League officials including Dan Mullin, head of the league’s Department of Investigations, and Dan Halem, MLB’s general counsel, interviewed Schilling with union leader Michael Weiner present. During the interview, Schilling recanted his story and said he had taken Reinold’s suggestion that he use performance-enhancing drugs out of context.
“I gave Reinold a free pass,” Schilling said. “I didn’t want to disrupt them trying to win a championship.”
• Fans like close games and close pennant races more than home runs
One of the great myths about The Steroid Era is that steroids “saved baseball” and made for a great period of huge economic growth. It’s baloney. After the great home run race of 1998, per game attendance went down three of the next five years. Take the best per-game attendance in The Steroid Era (1995-2003) and it would be the worst attendance rate of The Testing Era (2004-2012).
We are in an extremely rare period in the game’s history because offense is down and attendance is up. There are many reasons why this is happening, including something as macro an issue as the frightening pace in which America is becoming an entertainment-based society. We spend roughly three times as much money on entertainment as we do education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our overall spending from 1991-2011 rose 33 percent, but our spending on “Fees and Admissions,” which includes what we pay to watch sports, jumped 65 percent.
To an audience craving entertainment, baseball has provided more competitive games. Home runs are great, but having an outcome in doubt is better. The stands empty out in a blowout and stay full for a close game even if the ball never left the yard.
In which our intrepid reporter is asked the question that is on everyone’s mind:
Baseball Analytics: If you could take a pill that helped you perform your job at such a high level that your earnings would increase 5X would you take it (we promise there will be no side effects)?
Jeff Passan: All right, Morpheus ...
I can’t answer without understanding the other variables. Is this pill legal? What are the moral and ethical implications of taking this pill? What will my parents think of me? My wife? My sons? I imagine the readers would like it, since my columns would improve, but at the sort of price where those who don’t read me accuse me of being a phony and my work a sham? For how long will my earnings increase? And how much more work will that entail, drawing me away from the sorts of things I need to maintain a balanced life?
I do know this: A lot of athletes have said yes without considering such questions because the allure of quintupling one’s salary is simply too great. And I get that. I do. The idea of taking care of generations of Passans appeals a great deal. Tempting enough to not even consider the ramifications. And yet I’d hope the magnet of my moral compass is stronger than that of a dollar sign followed by a number and a bunch of zeroes.
The controversy surrounding the apparent client list of a Miami clinic that includes Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, and others continues to be a major story after more than a week after the Miami New Times released it. While the specifics are still under investigation and names leak out from various outlets, the heart of the matter is still poorly understood. What are these drugs that are listed near the names (or code names) of professional athletes?
This article will provide some answers. (Many of which I also provided in a Thursday appearance on MLB Network’s Hot Stove). Please note that I am going to try and keep this as simple and non-technical as I possibly can.
So all that being said, what do I believe needs to be done to bring a screeching halt to PED usage in baseball?
I think it is simple. The first positive test, you lose a year. Any money you have made up to that point must be repaid to the organization. The second positive test, you are banned for life from the game. There are so many kids like myself who come out of high school or even college who, if they don’t have the game of baseball, will have no other means of supporting themselves. Speaking from personal experience, if I didn’t have baseball, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do with my life.
Once that threat of taking the game completely away from these players exists, that will be the last we ever hear about PEDs! There may be one or two who think they can beat the system, but once they are caught and every player in the game sits by and watches as the career they worked so hard for their whole life is snatched away from them, we won’t be starting every Spring Training with new stories about players testing positive for banned substances.
In conclusion, I don’t think athletes should have a different set of rules as far as the American judicial system, but what I do feel is incumbent upon all athletes is to make sure you are not associated with anything or anyone that could possibly raise a red flag. That, to me, is just common sense.
Braun is on a list that includes Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Cesar Carrillo, who the New Times reported received PEDs from Bosch. Also on the list are New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia, who weren’t listed near PEDs either. The record matches a document the New Times posted with Braun’s name redacted and Cervelli and Valencia’s cut off.
Manny Ramirez has had discussions with the EDA Rhinos in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, reports FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi on Twitter.
Ramirez, 40, had hopes of making a return to the major leagues and has been playing in the Dominican Winter League. Ramirez last played in the MLB in April 2011; he was released by the A’s last June after hitting .302/.348/.349 with no homers in 17 games with Triple-A Sacramento. Over his 19-year career in the majors, Ramirez hit .312/.411/.585 with 555 homers.
The EDA Rhinos are one of four teams in the Chinese Professional Baseball League that plays in Taiwan and has won two Taiwan Series titles.
I believe that Ray Lewis cheated. I believe that to be true based on circumstantial evidence, his age, his overcompetitiveness, the history of that specific injury, and the fact that his “recovery” made my #### detector start vibrating like an iPhone.
I believe in my right to write the previous paragraph because athletes pushed us to this point. We need better drug testing. We need blood testing. We need biological passports. We need that stuff now. Not in three years. Not in two years. Now. I don’t even know what I am watching anymore.
If A-Rod leaves, who will Yankees media have left to blame?
Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever wear the pinstripes again, sources familiar with the Yankees’ situation with their troubled third baseman told the Daily News, no matter what happens regarding new allegations that he is again involved with performance-enhancing drugs.
According to numerous baseball sources, the hip surgery Rodriguez is now recovering from will likely derail his playing career, leaving him in such a diminished role that he may consider a settlement or an outright retirement. He still has five years and $114 million left on his contract.
“I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” said a baseball official.
“If he did that, he’d be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones.”
Even before the latest steroid allegations surfaced, Yankee officials had already privately begun preparing for the likelihood that Rodriguez would never finish out the mega-deal he signed in 2007.
He opined that (1) the effect of amphetamines should be most pronounced on day games after night games; (2) batting should be more affected than pitching, on the grounds that even Whitey Ford probably drank a little less the day before he was supposed to pitch; and (3) the effect should be bigger in the 1970-74 period than in the 2006-2010 period, since in the latter period there was testing; indeed, in the prior period I don’t even think it was illegal.
He then said: “Hey, JonathanF: you’ve put together a database of every baseball game ever played. Can you try it?” So I did. I really didn’t expect to see anything, so I was a little surprised.
Taking every game from those two periods, I compiled a simple TeamOPS number for every game (H+W)/(AB+W) + (H+D+2*T+3*H)/AB. I then compared the average teamOPS (simple averages here – you don’t do anything fancy when you don’t think you’re going to get anything) separately for day games after night games (which I called greendays) and all other games.
I did this year by year and got the following results. The “difference” column measures the team OPS difference between greendays and non-greendays. The bold results are statistically significant.
Case in point: the ongoing scandal over alleged performance-enhancing drug use by some of baseball’s greatest players that has torn apart followers of the national pastime. This year marked the first time since 1996 that not a single player was selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame, despite having some of the biggest names in the history of baseball up for nomination. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa — all first-ballot candidates, all suspected steroid users, all de-nied. Baseball fans expected a tough time of it for the likes of Bonds and Clemens, but a complete shutout of people suspected of cheating but never confirmed - such as Mike Piazza - was completely unexpected. It was society’s way of saying that we want to pay to see incredible athletic performance on the playing field, but it still has to conform to specific notions of “fair.”
KD : I have one question, one challenging question for you. You know how much I respect you, but one thing I’ve read that irks me a little. I think you’ve had some ceremonies where the team introduces Hank Aaron as “The real home run king” or “The true home run king.” Am I right on that?
JS : Yeah.
KD : Are you OK with that? Is that your domain?
JS : Listen. If you were in Atlanta and you worked for our organization, you would feel the same way. He’s without dispute, people in baseball would look at him as the guy they say is the quote-unquote real home run champion. There’s no questions about how he hit his home runs.
KD : But he admitted to using amphetamines . He used illegal PEDs, just like Bonds did.
JS : I’m not going to make a big deal out of this. He is for us the real home run champion. It’s our view. He’s our home run king. It’s our opinion. And we honor him for that. And I’m not going to stop saying it about him.
Well I’m a Royals fan, so Steve Balboni is the only REAL home run king I recognize!