Wednesday, March 26, 2014
While the lengths have not been finalized, a person involved with the talks said Wednesday the most likely penalties would be about 80 games for an initial testing violation and a season-long ban for a second.
“It will be a significant deterrent because players will know they’re not going to just easily walk back into a lineup,” Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said in a telephone interview. “It probably is the best policy in professional sports.”
For use of a limited group of substances, the sides were discussing giving the arbitration panel that hears appeals grievances the authority to reduce suspensions by as much as 50 percent if the player proves the positive test was caused by unintentional use, the person said.
Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:24 PM | 25 comment(s)
Friday, March 14, 2014
He wants baseball’s drug testing program strengthened and says it’s impossible to believe the game is totally clean without it. He wants Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun to once and for all divulge the details that led to his drug suspension instead of vague apologies. He wants the Hall of Fame to be off limits to any player linked to performance-enhancing drugs. And, if it’s not asking too much, he wants every player to hustle to first base.
When the St.Louis Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta to a four-year, $52 million contract this offseason less than two months after the shortstop served a 50-game suspension for his links to the Biogenesis doping scandal, Ziegler reacted to the controversial deal on Twitter: “It pays to cheat. Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use.”
Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:18 AM | 33 comment(s)
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols dropped a defamation lawsuit against Jack Clark on Monday after Clark issued a statement retracting his previous comments alleging that Pujols had used performance-enhancing drugs.
Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:28 PM | 42 comment(s)
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Maimonides, the great scholar of medieval Jewish thought and practice, writes about sin and repentance that “one who verbally confesses to his sins and does not affix it to his heart to abandon them is like one who immerses in a mikveh (ritual bath) while clutching on to a reptile. For such an immersion is to no avail until the reptile is gotten rid of, as it is written, “One who confesses and forsakes his sin will be shown mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
Ryan Braun needs to return his MVP Award from the 2011 season. Having admitted that he used steroids during that ignominious year of personal achievement, the award itself remains in his possession “like one clutching to a reptile.”
Quite simply, the apology is not whole, the repentance is not complete, until the 2011 MVP Award is returned to Major League Baseball.
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.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
*Testosterone Lozenges (nicknamed “gummies”)*: “Sublingual” steroids are placed under the tongue. A-Rod was instructed to place a “troche” under his tongue just before game-time.
*Cream in the Morning, Cream at Night (nicknamed “pink food”)*: Two different types of “transdermal” creams, one applied in the morning and one in the evening—or “a combination of the two above creams applied in the evening.” Except on the days when drug tests were imminent! In April 2012, Rodriguez allegedly messaged Bosch to ask for advice as a drug test approached. Bosch told A-Rod if he was asked for a urine sample to “wait the longest you can and don’t use the pink until after.”
*Two Shots a Day (At Least) In Phase One*, Rodriguez was instructed to inject hormones under the skin in the morning and the evening, with an extra midday dose on Mondays and Friday.
Vitamin C! Amid all the HGH, testosterone, and GHRP, good old Vitamin C oral doses.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Michael Weiner knew that PEDs were bad for the game, potentially worse for the user and worst for the non-user who’s struggling with the question “to do it” or “not do it.” Instead of squelching debate from within the union like Fehr did, Weiner protected potential users from themselves and allowed the staunch anti-PED player to have a loud voice. Bud Selig didn’t necessarily have the support of the players, Michael Weiner did. Weiner believed he negotiated a fair deal to rid the game of PEDs.
One of the keys of the deal is confidentiality. An aspect of the deal that Selig’s ego just couldn’t allow him to follow. The entire sport of baseball is supposed to be the last bastion of class in sports. Instead, Bud Selig acted like Yasiel Puig.
Instead of following the protocol set in the joint drug agreement, Selig sent a baseball representative to make a statement to 60 Minutes. The CBS news show had an extensive interview with Alex Rodriguez’s PED provider. MLB crushed A-Rod in front of the arbitrator and won their case but they had to show him up too.
A motion filed Monday on behalf of Clark seeks dismissal of the defamation lawsuit filed by Pujols in October. The suit followed comments Clark made on his St. Louis radio show, “The King and the Ripper Show,” in August. Among other things, Clark said he knew “for a fact” that Pujols was “a juicer.”
. . .
Clark and his WGNU-AM show co-host Kevin Slaten were fired within days of the comments, and the station’s owner broadcast a lengthy apology and posted similarly contrite statements on its website. The lawsuit names Clark but does not name the radio station or Slaten.
Clark’s attorney, Albert Watkins, said Clark’s on-air comments were too vague to cause real harm to Pujols.
“You call someone a juicer, in fact, there are multiple definitions of `juicer,” Watkins said. “It could mean illegal performance enhancing drugs, legal performance enhancing drugs.
“Simply saying that my client asserted that Mr. Pujols was a `juicer,’ under the law that governs defamation actions, is not enough,” Watkins said.
I’d let the jury decide if they were talking about the Florida Sunshine Treat.
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.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Asked whether players linked to PEDs should be allowed in, Thomas referenced current Hall of Famers he has spent time with and their vehement stance against steroid users joining the club.
“I’ve got to take the right stance too,’’ Thomas said. “No, they shouldn’t get in. There shouldn’t be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame.’‘
Thomas hit 521 home runs and drove in 1,704 runs in his 19-year career, impressive credentials but surpassed by the gargantuan numbers put up by Bonds (762 and 1,996) and, to a lesser extent, Palmeiro (569 and 1,835), Sosa (609 homers) and McGwire (583 homers).
Yet none of those four got even 35% of the votes due to their close connections with steroids, whereas Thomas was elected on his first year of eligibility with an 83.7% mark.
Bonds and Clemens, regarded as the dominant players of their generation and among the all-time elite, saw their support shrink in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Clemens went from 37.6% to 35.4%, Bonds from 36.2% to 34.7%.
“As to what they did, I don’t think any of us will ever really know,’’ said Thomas, who played football at Auburn and was an imposing 6-5, 250 pounds, “but I can tell you what I did was real, and that’s why I have a smile on my face right now, because the writers definitely got it right.’‘
Posted: January 09, 2014 at 02:10 AM | 171 comment(s)
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Or as Hochman rabbled…“There are a lot more Aardsmas than Peraltas.” Gee, not according to my census book.
Peralta’s signing also indicates that the Cardinals believe that Peralta not only has served his time, so to speak, but that he is capable of performing at a high level even without the steroids. After all, Peralta will face a 100 game suspension if he tests positive again. If Peralta can perform as he has in his better years, this will be a good signing for the Cardinals, but if he cannot do that without PEDs, it will not. The Cardinals must know this and believe that Peralta does not need PEDs to post an OPS+ in the 110-120 range. The Cardinals almost certainly would not have singed Peralta if they thought his production was dependent on PEDs. If the Cardinals, a team reputed to be one of the smartest run franchises in the game thinks that a proven steroid user, who is generally speaking good but not great, can play well without steroids, perhaps steroids are not the magic slugging pills they have been portrayed to be for well over a decade.
Peralta’s signing has led to some criticism of the Cardinals as well as to the suggestion that cheating pays in baseball. However, Peralta served his suspension and, barring future infractions, should be allowed to play. The Cardinals are taking a risk in assuming that the steroid-free Peralta will be a valuable player, but most free agent signings involve risk. Peralta’s signing is thus a very interesting case for baseball. If he gives the Cardinals four good years, many around baseball, including many baseball fans, will have to rethink many of the things they think they know about PED. On the other hand, if Peralta stumbles, doesn’t hit or tests positive again, the PED controversy will be stoked to new and different heights.
The context in which this signing occurred also underscores the extremely capricious, even personal, attitude baseball has taken towards PED use. Peralta, less than three months after coming back from a suspension, signed a contract not much different than what he would have gotten had he never been linked to steroids while MLB continues to try to destroy Rodriguez’s career and while the BBWAA will almost certainly once again keep some of the game’s greatest players ever, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out of the Hall of Fame. Alternating between being forgiving towards players like Peralta and vengeful and petty towards others continues to be baseball’s way of addressing the PED problem. It is an approach that has not worked. Perhaps a clean and productive Peralta could help change this and force MLB to address PED use more carefully.
Posted: November 30, 2013 at 03:55 PM | 19 comment(s)
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Braun answers all the pertinent questions!
Why did you lie?
“Obviously I’ve been through a lot and as I expressed in my statement that I felt was pretty lengthy and specific, I got into a lot of details at that point. I’m not really going to go into any further details….
What was worse in your opinion, using PEDs or lying about it after the fact?
“As I’ve stated, the goal for me is just being able to move forward. I’m not going to get into too many specifics about what happened other than saying I’m extremely remorseful….
Have you had anything to say to Bud Selig?
“I did. I wrote Bud a letter. But other than that, I’m not really going to get into too many specifics.”...
Knowing you got away with a positive test, why did you have that news conference in Maryvale where you lied and essentially threw Laurenzi under the bus?
“I’m not really, again, going to get into too many specifics….
What was the injury that you referred to in the statement?
“Again, I’m not going to get into the specifics and continue to go backward. I’m moving forward and I’m not going to get into too many specifics on that.”...
What has this done to your relationship with Aaron Rodgers?
“I’m not going to get into our specific relationship ...
Don’t you think you owe everybody to talk about the specifics?
“Yeah, I completely understand where you guys are coming from and a part of your job is to ask those questions, but I hope that you guys can understand and respect that in an effort to move forward that I’m just not going to continue to discuss that stuff.”
Posted: November 27, 2013 at 01:03 PM | 92 comment(s)
Monday, November 25, 2013
“It pays to cheat,” Arizona Diamondbacks reliever and player representative Brad Ziegler tweeted Sunday. “Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use.”
Ziegler was referring to the willingness of clubs to reward drug cheats, but he knows the players are just as responsible for the Joint Drug Agreement (JDA) as the owners.
The pitcher said in a separate tweet, “We thought 50 games would be a deterrent. Obviously it’s not. So we are working on it again.”
Indeed, if players are going to reap financial benefits after serving PED suspensions, then the solution is to make them forfeit even more salary through increased penalties.
There appears to be momentum behind moving away from strict liability and towards a two tiered system.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Two sources confirmed Rodriguez and the Yankees probably won’t learn the status of the player’s 211-game suspension until early January. Here’s the timeline:
1. Both MLB and Rodriguez have until Dec. 11 to file written briefs to independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, and another 10 days after that to file replies to each other’s briefs.
2. Once Horowitz has received all of that information, he has 25 days to issue his decision. [...]
Back to Rodriguez and his complaining about “The process.” The process that has proven eminently fair to players — too fair, many people on the management side will tell you.
Not surprisingly, Rodriguez’s PR strategy of turning Bud Selig into the villain has succeeded, at least based on my communication with fans. Plenty of folks are complaining about Rodriguez’s lack of due process, his supposed right to confront his accuser.
It’s complete bunk. This is a private worker issue, not a private citizen issue. Rodriguez is fortunate to belong to one of the country’s most powerful unions. His “due process” comes in the presence of Horowitz.
Besides, I’m not exactly sure what Team A-Rod thought would occur with Selig taking the witness stand. Were the attorneys hoping for a re-enactment of “A Few Good Men,” with Joseph Tacopina asking, “Did you order the Code-Rod?” and Selig screaming, “You’re damn right I did!”?
Posted: November 23, 2013 at 09:24 AM | 16 comment(s)
Monday, November 18, 2013
I choo-choo-Chooch you.
The noise you hear coming from Philadelphia way is “Choooooooooch.” The Phillies signed popular catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal Monday for $26 million that includes an option for a fourth season. Reporter Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer had the terms first.
Jayson Stark of ESPN says the contract/fourth-year buyout breaks down like so.
Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, batted .268/.320/.368 with five homers and 16 doubles in 341 plate appearances — though nearly all of his power came in the second half. About this time a year ago, Major League Baseball announced that he was suspended for the first 25 games of the 2012 season because he tested positive for a banned stimulant.
Monday, November 04, 2013
Ms. Moon said that in the affidavit, Ms. Delgadillo recounted visits by M.L.B. investigators to her Miami home in February. On Valentine’s Day, Mr. Mullin, the investigations unit chief who had interviewed Ms. Delgadillo, sent a bouquet of flowers to her home with a note thanking her for her help. When Ms. Delgadillo called Mr. Mullin to thank him, he offered to take her to dinner during his next visit.
Over the following weeks, Ms. Moon said, Mr. Mullin met with Ms. Delgadillo three times, treating her to dinners and drinks at Town Kitchen and Bar and Akashi Japanese Restaurant, and a meal at Big Pink in South Beach.
Ms. Moon said that Ms. Delgadillo said in the affidavit that she and Mr. Mullin became intimate, and he spent the night at her home.
Mr. Mullin, through M.L.B., denied that he had an inappropriate relationship with Ms. Delgadillo, an allegation that was also included in Mr. Rodriguez’s lawsuit against the league. Ms. Moon said her client accepted $100,000 from Mr. Rodriguez’s representatives in exchange for the card signed by Mr. Mullin that came with the flowers, his business card and access to her phone for text messages.
Ms. Moon said Ms. Delgadillo told the M.L.B. investigators in February that she had “no firsthand knowledge about Major League Baseball players being treated by Biogenesis.” [...]
A March 24 police report in Boca Raton, Fla., revealed that a car had been broken into and client records from Biogenesis were stolen from the vehicle. Among the people the police interviewed was a man named Gary Jones, who told them in mid-April that he did not steal the records and that he had not been in touch with M.L.B. about them, according to the police report.
Around the same time that the car was broken into, Mr. Mullin, on behalf of M.L.B., bought two batches of Biogenesis files from Mr. Jones. The men met twice at the Cosmos Diner in Pompano Beach to exchange the clinic’s records for cash. Baseball officials said that they paid Mr. Jones a total of $125,000 for the two sets of records.
Both men brought people along to video one of the meetings — and later, Mr. Rodriguez’s lawyers paid $200,000 for a copy, according to people briefed on the matter.
Records from the case show that Mr. Jones said that he told Mr. Mullin that the first collection of documents had been stolen from Biogenesis by an employee, and that the second had been taken from the car.
Mr. Courtney, the spokesman for Major League Baseball, said the league officials did not know about the police report when they purchased the documents and Mr. Jones did not tell them they were stolen.
Posted: November 04, 2013 at 12:40 AM | 27 comment(s)
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