Tuesday, May 03, 2016
It is not even clear that being caught affects future performance. Taking a different angle, I looked at the players with track records who were suspended in 2012 and 2013. What I did was took a look at their projections before they were suspended, and then pretended that was how they performed in the relevant season. I then applied the standard aging curve to the two seasons following the suspension season. I regarded this as their “expected performance” based on pre-suspension levels. Then I looked at their actual performance in the two seasons following the suspension and compared the two….
In more than 10 years, it does not appear that any owners have been taken advantage of financially to any significant degree. The players have great incentive to try and improve PED suspensions in whatever way possible as it is their livelihood. Players who use PEDs are taking money and roster spots away from those who do not. While players could take advantage of owners by signing a contract predicated on PED use, that has yet to cause any owner significant injury in terms of players who have been suspended.
This doesn’t sound good.
Josh Ravin isn’t well known. Dee Gordon is an All Star and a batting champion, but he’s not well known outside of baseball. Both have been suspended within a week, but while more know who Gordon is, it’s the substance Ravin tested positive for that’s a much bigger story.
While early reports were that Ravin tested positive for HGH, the actual substance is, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, a peptide. Peptides are a class of performance enhancer that is relatively new, relatively complex and have some very dangerous side effects. I’ve been writing about these substances since 2013 and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for them to make their way into American sports.
Multiple sources tell me the peptide Ravin tested positive for was GHRP-2, which in studies has shown a significant increase in plasma growth hormone levels. Because it is causing the body to create a higher level of it’s own GH, it tends to be more accessible. GHRP in any of its various forms could also be used to mask the use of HGH, though it’s unclear if this actually works absent close monitoring and lab tests.
Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:20 AM | 6 comment(s)
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Sherman blames everyone for players using PEDs—save the sportswriters who turned a blind eye to the issue during the 90s/00s.
Dee Gordon is the villain in his 80-game suspension. Let’s be upfront about that because I want to talk about the hypocrisy that cushions a villain and propels a villain to do villainous stuff.
Pretty much the only institution in the game that has delivered a strong penalty to those tied to illegal performance enhancers is the Baseball Writers Association of America, which votes for the Hall of Fame. Hypocrisy alert: I might be part of the problem, because I vote for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
Ultimately, the Hall is about the best 1 percent of players ever. For the other 99 percent, the deterrent message is not exactly powerful, certainly not as powerful as the hypocrisy.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, the National League’s reigning batting champion, has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The suspension is effective immediately.
An email with the news was sent out at 1:17 a.m. by the commissioner’s office – not long after the Marlins completed a four-game sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles with a 5-3 win Thursday.
The statement said Gordon, who signed a five-year, $50 million extension in January, tested positive for “for exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, performance-enhancing substances, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”
Thursday, April 28, 2016
A little late on this story.
Sorry about the paucity of links the last few days. A family member has been dealing with a medical issue the last few days and I’ve been busy providing support. Luckily she’s now fine and her prognosis is good.
I’ve heard players, and I’m talking about some of the best players in the league,’’ Arrieta told USA TODAY Sports, “question whether I’ve taken steroids or not. Some of the things I hear are pretty funny, and some people are idiots, frankly.
“I’ll see on Twitter, ‘My close source revealed to me he’s on steroids.’ Well, the 10 tests I take a year say otherwise. I eat plants. I eat lean meat. I work out. And I do things the right way.
“If there are guys still on it, I hope they get caught. I care about the integrity of the game. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my family, my friends, my fans. That’s a huge motivating factor in doing it the right way.
“There are so many people that are counting on you, and leaning on all of us in this clubhouse to do some special things for the city of Chicago. To jeopardize that by taking banned substances, would be a ridiculous mistake.’’
He laughs at the cynicism and innuendo, without displaying the slightest hint of anger.
“Hey, that’s one of the best compliments you can give a guy,’’ he says. “I appreciate the fact that you think I’m pretty good, but taking steroids, that’s pushing it.’’
Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 90 comment(s)
Thursday, April 21, 2016
There will always be substances which are ahead of the testing.
“If you want to cheat, there is a window to do it. Guys are finding ways around the system. It’s pretty evident, pretty well-known that the people who are making these illegal substances are ahead of the testers.”
Posted: April 21, 2016 at 08:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
At the far end of the Mexican restaurant just off the highway in a Dallas suburb, he slides into a booth.
“I could still do it,” Rafael Palmeiro says. “If I had to play a full season, I could probably hit .270, with 25 home runs. It’s between the ears, man.”
The restaurant is half-full for lunch, and the pop music on the speakers drowns out any noise. A lanky, 30-something waiter comes by every five minutes, pauses and asks if he wants water, or if he’s OK. Each time the waiter leaves, he glances back at Palmeiro.
It’s awkward, but it’s not quite celebrity gawking—he doesn’t want a photo. His curiosity is more academic. He studies him. He knows this man, of course. We all do. He was once a sure-fire baseball Hall of Famer. Now the waiter is attempting to fold together the two defining points in this man’s life and make sense of it—the 500th home run followed by his name stamped onto the wall in what was then called the Ballpark in Arlington a few miles down the road, and the announcement he was a cheater two years later.
Palmeiro smiles politely. For nearly 11 years, besides the occasional phone interview and a documentary produced about his college baseball team, he’s disappeared from public life. But now he wants to empty his soul. When the waiter leaves he turns his shoulders to face me.
“This isn’t how I envisioned my life to be.”
Friday, April 15, 2016
For the Phillies, Stumpf’s suspension will actually make it easier to keep him on the roster. Rule 5 players cannot be sent to the minors during their Rule 5 selection season. But they also must remain on the active roster for at least 90 days before they are free and clear of Rule 5 eligibility requirements. Because of Stumpf’s suspension, the Phillies don’t have to worry about carrying him on the active roster for the rest of the first half of the season. Now 32 of those 90 days on the active roster could come after Sept. 1 when the expanded rosters means a team can carry a Rule 5 pick without otherwise limiting their roster.
What this suspension indicates is that there might be a need for a rule tweak in the next collective bargaining agreement. Because as it stands right now, the risk/reward of performance enhancing drugs for a potential Rule 5 pick is often dramatically slanted toward taking PEDs.
Friday, March 11, 2016
Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia will appeal the lifetime ban MLB hit him with for a third positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, the closer’s lawyer said Friday.
“My client feels he has no choice but to fight,” said Vincent White with Mejia by his side at a press conference in Queens.
White accused MLB of “dirty cop tactics,” and claims to have spoken with several witnesses, one of whom, White says, accuses MLB of hacking players’ online accounts….
White also said he’d been in contact with someone he would not identify who had “tangled with MLB before” who accused the MLB of “working with third-party contractors to enter players’ accounts and strip information from their social media for use in these investigations.” White said this witness was not a former player, but was a person of interest in a previous league investigation.
Friday, February 12, 2016
He won’t be on my Hall of Fame ballot.
Thursday, January 07, 2016
The Blue Jays were using all these PEDs and couldn’t even win a division title????
Ahead of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s announcement of the class of 2016 on Wednesday, former pitcher Roy Halladay tweeted his stance on allowing alleged PED users into the Hall.
“When you use PEDs you admit your not good enough to compete fairly!” Halladay wrote. “Our nations past time should have higher standards! No Clemens no Bonds!”
Halladay was referring to widespread suspicion that pitcher Roger Clemens and slugger Barry Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs during their playing careers.
After it was announced that Clemens and Bonds failed to garner the necessary votes for election for the fifth year in a row—Clemens received 45.2% of the vote and Bonds earned 44.3%—Clemens issued a statement, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26.
“I was asked to comment on the subject of the Hall of Fame once again by some of my friends in the media,” Clemens said. “I will say thank you again for those who took the time to vote. I have distanced myself from the subject and have moved on. Having said that, what is disheartening is getting a call or a text from family or friends about an ill informed player making an asinine statement. The latest coming from a former Blue Jays pitcher.
“Just to enlighten him, he was accused of using amphetamines by the ‘strength coach.’ You should be very careful when putting tweets out while not having your facts on the matter at hand.”
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman have each sued Al Jazeera America, reporter Deborah Davies, and hurdler Liam James Collins today in federal court for Al Jazeera’s report on athletes and doping, which included both baseball players. In their lawsuits, Zimmerman and Howard both claim one count of libel and one count of false light invasion of privacy while laying out similar issues.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Bonds would be the clear choice.
In what promises to be a bombshell move, if executed, all-time great slugger Barry Bonds is under consideration to become Marlins hitting coach.
Team higherups have quietly been discussing this possibility for weeks.
Bonds, known as a brilliant tactician, has worked as a special spring instructor for the Giants on occasion. It isn’t known whether he’s willing to move across the country for such a hitting coach job, but he has been working on brandishing his image and has a keen love of coaching.
Frank Menechino is expected back, but the Marlins would employ two hitting coaches to accommodate Bonds.
Juan Nieves also is said to be among the top considerations for hitting coach.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Of the 549 BBWAA members who cast ballots for the Class of 2015, 231—a pretty decent sample size for our purposes—agreed to “go public” by having their names and votes listed on the association’s Web site. Ninety-nine were honorary (retired) members, the other 132 still active in covering the game.
Bonds (36.8 percent overall in the actual Hall election) and Clemens (37.5), in their third year of eligibility, each received about half of the 75 percent approval needed for enshrinement. Given the monstrous statistics they posted and their on-field deeds, such lukewarm support indicates how gravely many voters have taken their betrayal of the game.
But if we break that down by class of voter, a trend emerges. Of those who released their ballots to the BBWAA’s own Web site, only 25 of 99 honorary members (25.3 percent) voted for Bonds, compared to 69 of 132 active members (52.3). Clemens’ support showed a similar gap, 25.3 percent versus 51.5.
Bagwell likewise had more backers among active members, getting 68.9 percent from them to 57.6 percent “yea” votes from honorary ones. As for Piazza, he would have been inducted in August with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio if determined solely by the current writers. They backed the former Dodgers and Mets catcher at an 83.3 percent rate, compared to 68.7 percent from honorary voters.
The pattern is likely to gain traction, too, as more honorary members lose their votes each year and additional newer writers qualify. Understandably, even media people want to see their particular generation of stars validated, those players they watched and covered. The Hall obviously has plenty of financial and institutional skin in the game. It needs baseball heroes on the stage for its annual induction ceremony, fresh plaques for its standing-room-only attendance all summer. And it soon might run low on the cleanest candidates, though Ken Griffey Jr. is expected to sail in this year without much whiff of cheating.
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