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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

JAYS’ BAUTISTA NOT BOTHERED BY AMOUNT OF DRUG TESTS

Hell, I was once a sponsor for a tab-popping, nonpareil arm dotted friend of mine…and I was tired of the constant testing.

Bautista addressed his claim that he’s been tested by the league an above-average amount of times the past couple of years before talking about his team’s chances this upcoming season.

Bautista, who will be featured on the cover of the upcoming MLB 12 The Show, commented at a banquet in the Dominican Republic recently that he had been tested 16 times for performance enhancers over the past two years.

“(16) is an approximate number, and it’s hard to keep tabs,” Bautista said on TSN 1050. “It has increased in the last two years compared to before but I’m not complaining whatsoever. It’s a question that I was asked so I gave an honest answer. It’s not in my interest to make it seem like I’m getting picked on.”

The increase in drug tests is something that Bautista, who has led the league in home runs the past two years, said hasn’t and won’t change the way he goes about preparing and playing the game.

“I don’t mind it; it’s something that is not going to affect my focus and I’m not going to allow it to affect how I play my game,” Bautista said. “They are entitled to do whatever they want and test you as many times as they want. If I get picked to be tested a million times, that’s fine with me.”

Repoz Posted: January 31, 2012 at 06:30 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, projections, steroids

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 31, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4050188)
"I usually take a piss at least once a day anyway, so it's no big deal."
   2. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4050315)
“They are entitled to do whatever they want and test you as many times as they want. If I get picked to be tested a million times, that’s fine with me.”

If I'm being asked to pee in a cup 2,739 times a day, I would be very angry with the MLBPA for agreeing to that drug-testing regimen.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4050320)
Maybe he's into watersports, Dan?
   4. tshipman Posted: January 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4050322)
I read about this on Fangraphs (?) I think. If he really has been tested 16 times, it means he either failed a test--probably for greenies--or he's under increased supervision due to someone in the clubhouse reporting him.

He's walking it back pretty hard. Sorry in advance to Toronto fans when he becomes a pariah.
   5. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4050327)
If he really has been tested 16 times, it means he either failed a test--probably for greenies--or he's under increased supervision due to someone in the clubhouse reporting him.

How do you know this?
   6. Matthew E Posted: January 31, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4050368)
I hope he's not at risk for dehydration.
   7. Shazbot Posted: January 31, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4050386)
Wait, are you saying that the more negative tests come back, the more likely it is that he's using?
   8. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 31, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4050393)
It's also entirely possible that MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to do extra testing on anyone with a sudden spike in performance, so if one of them *is* doing something they can catch, they'll catch him before he starts breaking records.
   9. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: January 31, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4050394)
If he really has been tested 16 times, it means he either failed a test--probably for greenies--or he's under increased supervision due to someone in the clubhouse reporting him.

...or that he's become the best hitter in MLB the last two seasons out of nowhere.
   10. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 31, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4050423)
Wait, are you saying that the more negative tests come back, the more likely it is that he's using?

I think #4 is saying he's under increased suspicion for whatever reason.
   11. KT's Pot Arb Posted: January 31, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4050430)
Wait, are you saying that the more negative tests come back, the more likely it is that he's using?


MLB thinks he doth protest too little.
   12. McCoy Posted: January 31, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4050435)
If you fail a "greenie" test or get ratted on you are required to take more drug tests thus if Jose has had to do this many tests over the last two years that means he either came up positive on a test at some point or got ratted on.
   13. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 31, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4050440)
He would have fit in great on the Go-Go Sox, or the Whiz Kids.
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 31, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4050447)
How will this affect his Hall of Fame chances?
   15. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: January 31, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4050468)
If you fail a "greenie" test or get ratted on you are required to take more drug tests thus if Jose has had to do this many tests over the last two years that means he either came up positive on a test at some point or got ratted on.


Or it means that "random" only means being tested without prior knowledge and not that the names are drawn randomly out of a hat, or not that you get a specific handful of tests at random times.
   16. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 31, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4050517)
If you fail a "greenie" test or get ratted on you are required to take more drug tests thus if Jose has had to do this many tests over the last two years that means he either came up positive on a test at some point or got ratted on.

Again: How do you know this? Seriously, is this a codified part of the drug-testing program?
   17. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4050529)
This appears to be the previous version (2007-11), but here's the PDF of the drug agreement. Sorry my PDF cut-and-paste ain't working.

Everybody is tested twice -- within 5 days of reporting to spring training (maybe one reason players report late) and one unannounced in-season random test.

There are additional random tests. This random testing is capped at 1200 tests across all of baseball. Of "randomly-selected players". This can include off-season testing but is limited to 375-500 off-season tests.

Testing "ordered by the Treatment Board" may be conducted on a continuing basis and shall not count against that number above.

The Treatment Board comes into play in Section 3c. It says that if the league (or union) has "information that gives it reasonable cause" the player will be subject to "immediate testing or a program of testing." The player has the right to appeal the claim of reasonable cause to the Panel Chair within 48 hours for determination of whether reasonable cause exists.

It seems pretty clear that there's no way Bautista could have been tested anything close to 16 times in the last 2 years unless he was under a "program of testing." Such a "program of testing" could only be instigated if there was "reasonable cause". One assumes that "he's hitting lots of HRs" would not stand as "reasonable cause", especially not to justify a long-range testing program ... unless Bautista and the union didn't have enough sense to appeal. He got dobbed in or he failed a test.
   18. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 31, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4050530)
Yes, but the drug policy also mandates an automatic suspension for the first amphetamine positive. That might have been noticed.
   19. Completely Unbiased 3rd Party Lurker Posted: January 31, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4050541)
He got dobbed in or he failed a test.


...or he's lying and he hasn't been tested that many times.
   20. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 31, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4050542)
This appears to be the previous version (2007-11), but here's the PDF of the drug agreement. Sorry my PDF cut-and-paste ain't working.

Everybody is tested twice -- within 5 days of reporting to spring training (maybe one reason players report late) and one unannounced in-season random test.

there's a little known codicil to the CBA which states that: "if your numbers look like this: 15-->12-->3-->13-->54-->43, you get tested weekly"
   21. McCoy Posted: January 31, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4050547)
Yes, but the drug policy also mandates an automatic suspension for the first amphetamine positive. That might have been noticed

First positive test for stimulants is drug treatment not suspension.
   22. Gotham Dave Posted: January 31, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4050554)
I hope Bautista is proven to be an amphetamine user so we can see the Oldheads twist themselves in a knot trying to explain why it was okay for Willie but not for Joey.

I guess "it's against the rules now" would be the simplest defense, but I find it unsatisfying (nobody is cutting McGwire slack for not breaking rules when he did 'roids).
   23. John Northey Posted: January 31, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4050602)
You see drugs are bad for this generation but the guys in the 60's had no real effect from them.
Crimes against baseball in the 60's (many writers childhood or favorite memory period) - forgiven.
Crimes against baseball in the 90/00/10's (when writers are older and 'get off my lawn' types) - super evil and require eternal damnation.
   24. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 31, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4050622)
It seems pretty clear that there's no way Bautista could have been tested anything close to 16 times in the last 2 years unless he was under a "program of testing." Such a "program of testing" could only be instigated if there was "reasonable cause". One assumes that "he's hitting lots of HRs" would not stand as "reasonable cause", especially not to justify a long-range testing program ... unless Bautista and the union didn't have enough sense to appeal. He got dobbed in or he failed a test.


It's an extra 6 tests a year, versus an expected 1.5 or thereabouts. Doesn't seem too far fetched that somebody would get that "lucky".
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 31, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4050628)
...or he's lying and he hasn't been tested that many times.


I'm kind of enjoying the idea of a freelance urine-collector posing as a representative of the league, actually.

In a couple months, we'll see jars of Gem-Mint Bautista Juice start showing up on EBay.
   26. Bug Selig Posted: January 31, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4050664)
Doesn't seem too far fetched that somebody would get that "lucky".


In college, several of us that the coach knew were good to go came up "randomly" every single month.
   27. Ron J Posted: January 31, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4050671)
#19/20 wasn't there a story linked here about Luke Scott getting tested a lot?
   28. McCoy Posted: January 31, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4050676)
You see drugs are bad for this generation but the guys in the 60's had no real effect from them.
Crimes against baseball in the 60's (many writers childhood or favorite memory period) - forgiven.
Crimes against baseball in the 90/00/10's (when writers are older and 'get off my lawn' types) - super evil and require eternal damnation.


Basically around 2030 or so Barry Bonds will be looked upon as a god and will be defended from all those young upstarts looking to surpass him.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4050740)
Doesn't seem too far fetched that somebody would get that "lucky".

Assuming "16" is accurate ... it's maybe not as unlikely as I'd have thought but ...

Based on a quick sim of 10,000 trials, assuming that 1200 random draws are made each season, I get a mean of about 4.5 players out of 750 per year who would be selected 6+ times. So the chances of being one of those players in a season is about 1/167 or .006. The chances of that happening two years in a row to a given player is very low. The chances of that happening to some player two years in a row will be a lot higher but that player being a guy who came out of nowhere to be the best hitter in baseball seems a wee bit much of a coincidence.

There are plenty of other ways it could work. Most likely, Bautista is mistaken or exaggerating the number of tests. Possibly they randomly select, say, 240 players and they get 5 random tests each -- then the probability of Bautista getting selected twice is about 1/9 (but also only 12 tests total). Or maybe the selection is stratified and over-sampled -- e.g. "starters" more likely to be selected. On the other hand, I used 30*25 as the player population while the population might be 40-man rosters or current rosters plus DL or whatever which would reduce the odds.

Anyway, the key thing isn't why he's been subjected to lots of testing, the key thing surely is that he's passed those tests. Being on a testing program (assuming he is) doesn't mean he's done anything "wrong." At worst he tested positive for a stimulant once -- and who knows how long ago that may have been. Or somebody accused him or his name popped up in some investigation -- which is nothing more than, at worst, an accusation.

Questions for our lawyers:

1. Is there likely to be any sort of "statute of limitations" on this reasonable cause? Say he tested positive for a stimulant in 2004. A nobody player, maybe the league didn't bother asking for expanded testing. Then he breaks out in 2010 -- could they still claim reasonable cause based on the 6-year-old test?

2. And on the flip side. Assuming the reasonable cause and the break-out are roughly simultaneous, how long are they likely to be able to keep him under an expanded testing program if he keeps testing clean?

I don't expect anybody to know the exact answer (which would presumably be negotiable in a contract) but rather if there's any general standard for employee/athlete drug testing.
   30. McCoy Posted: January 31, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4050815)
I wonder how often Mike Morse gets tested each year.
   31. base ball chick Posted: January 31, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4050834)
Gotham Dave Posted: January 31, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4050554)

I hope Bautista is proven to be an amphetamine user so we can see the Oldheads twist themselves in a knot trying to explain why it was okay for Willie but not for Joey.


GEEZ LEWEEZE

how many times i godda splain this to youse? first of all, it was BITGOD. second of all, you are talking about WILLIE EFF MAYS!!! third of all, jose didn't do the right thing and have the correct career progression. if he was like, say, albert pujols, then he could be accused of changing his age like youse know how all Those Peeple do it.

tell you this - if i was jose and i WAS clean, i'd sure WANT a lot of drug tests because nobody thinks you can't beat a couple lousy tests

   32. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 31, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4050878)
mean he's done anything "wrong." At worst he tested positive for a stimulant once -- and who knows how long ago that may have been. Or somebody accused him or his name popped up in some investigation -- which is nothing more than, at worst, an accusation.

Well, there is also this:

The player has the right to appeal the claim of reasonable cause to the Panel Chair within 48 hours for determination of whether reasonable cause exists.

If players aren't notified of their 'special' status it would seem an empty recourse to create an appeal system to get off the list.

From Jose's words, I'm guessing he hasn't been notified of any such thing.
   33. dr. scott Posted: January 31, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4050890)
So I see no reason not to go to an expert on whether or not Jose is Juicin...

http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_400/491_victor-conte-interview.html

Funny thing is I thought Conte was actually training Bautista till I read that... turns out its Marlon Byrd that has Conte on his payroll..

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=6127757
   34. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 31, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4050898)
It just seems to me that Jose understands what he's done is a historical aberration and realizes that some people are going to be suspicious, and accepts the "extra" testing as part of the territory.
   35. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 01, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4050918)
It just seems to me that Jose understands what he's done is a historical aberration and realizes that some people are going to be suspicious, and accepts the "extra" testing as part of the territory.


My guess is that Jose understands what he's done is a historical aberration, realizes that some people are going to be suspicious and is exaggeriating the number of tests he's taken and passed because he thinks passing additional tests makes him look more "unguilty" to those who doubt him (not realizing that goofballs like us will try to figure out exactly why he's taking more tests than average and wonder if there's some kind of accusation or failed test behind it).
   36. outl13r Posted: February 01, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4050923)
Here's a gem from the Victor Conte AskMen interview linked in 33 (emphasis mine):

If you’ve got a bunch of athletes already in the Baseball Hall of Fame that have used performance-enhancing drugs, is it fair to keep those now that are using performance-enhancing drugs? Also, some of the athletes that didn’t use may have faced a pitcher that used steroids. Or Barry Bonds, if he was on steroids, there’s a good chance he was facing pitchers that were on steroids.


Way to keep the dream alive Victor!
   37. Ron J Posted: February 01, 2012 at 07:46 AM (#4050959)
#29 The arbitration ruling that allowed probable cause testing allowed on demand testing of Tim Raines for the rest of his career based on his admission of drug use 7 years prior to the ruling.

MLB was allowed to test Raines in 2002 for something that happened in 1981.

I'm reasonably confident that there's no statute of limitations. The key is that there's an on point arbitration ruling and I'm pretty sure that the PA would have to bargain this point -- and therefore it would be part of the policy.

Now admittedly we're talking recreational drugs not PEDs and the probable cause isn't a performance spike, it's drug use that's a matter of public record. Maybe that matters.

Incidentally the discussions I've read of reasonable cause testing have zip to do with performance spikes. It was either something that was a matter of public record (Manny Alexander was in fact tested after that famous incident) or MLB would have to make a case based on patterns of behavior.

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