Pettitte not playing in WBC

Need a quick interlude in the latest episode of “As A-Rod Tuns?” Well here you go: via Ken Rosenthal, Andy Pettitte will not participate in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Pettitte was originally slated to play for Team USA and former manager Joe Torre, but was not on the provisional roster that was recently released. That coincided with reports that the Yankees didn’t approve of the idea, though they couldn’t bar Pettitte from participating. Now, however, it seems to be official. Continue reading Pettitte not playing in WBC

A-Rod denies new PED accusations

Alex Rodriguez has released a statement denying reports from today’s Miami New Times that he used banned substances as recently as 2012. From Joel Sherman’s Twitter feed, here’s the statement:

“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”

With the language here, Alex is actually denying not only that he used illegal drugs, but the other stories that he was even connected to Bosch. Meanwhile, the paper has published every mention of A-Rod from the files they reviewed.

Something tells me A-Rod is going to regret this statement. Continue reading A-Rod denies new PED accusations

Sickels ranks farm system 14th in MLB

Yesterday, John Sickels of Minor League Ball ranked the Yankees’ farm system 14th in Major League Baseball, up two spots from last year’s ranking of 16. Sickels comment on the Yankees was as follows: 14) New York Yankees (16): Strengths: quartet of young hitters at the top, with Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and Slade Heathcott all potential impact prospects, though all have some questions. Good depth in C+ types behind them. Weaknesses: impact pitching. I don’t count Manny Banuelos as an automatic Tommy John recovery. Wildcard: Rafael DePaula, who could vault up lists quickly once he pitches against Continue reading Sickels ranks farm system 14th in MLB

What Juan Rivera Brings To The Yankees

Yesterday, the Yankees signed 34 year old Juan Rivera to a minor league contract. He will try out for the fourth outfield spot come Spring Training, along fellow right-handed hitters Matt Diaz, Russ Canzler, and Thomas Neal. Rivera came up as an outfielder in the Yankees’ farm system, and made his short debut in pinstripes in 2001. By 2003, he earned a more permanent gig with the team, and finished his season with 185 plate appearances, and a .266/.304/.468 triple slash. After being traded for Javier Vasquez, Rivera went on to hit .275/.325/.444 over the next 9 seasons with the Continue reading What Juan Rivera Brings To The Yankees

A-Rod, others, accused of illegal doping

After the Daily News reported over the weekend that a Miami anti-aging clinic was under federal investigation for supplying HGH and other banned substances to professional athletes, the Miami New Times has an explosive story out this morning that connects at least half a dozen MLB players, including Alex Rodriguez, to banned substances through Anthony Bosch and his clinic, Biogenesis. The Times reports that the personal records kept by Bosch detail illegal doping by A-Rod, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Barolo Colon (the last three, of course, having all failed drug tests in the past year), Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzalez (though it’s a little unclear that Gonzalez is actually being accused of doping).

Here’s what the paper claims about A-Rod’s doping, which they claim includes HGH use as recently as 2012:

Take, for instance, one patient list from Bosch’s 2009 personal notebook. It charts more than 50 clients and notes whether they received their drugs by delivery or in the office, how much they paid, and what they were taking.

There, at number seven on the list, is Alex Rodriguez. He paid $3,500, Bosch notes. Below that, he writes, “1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.) creams test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet.” HGH, of course, is banned in baseball, as are testosterone creams.

That’s not the only damning evidence against A-Rod, though. Another document from the files, a loose sheet with a header from the 19th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine, lays out a full regimen under the name Cacique: “Test. cream… troches prior to workout… and GHRP… IGF-1… pink cream.”

IGF-1 is a banned substance in baseball that stimulates insulin production and muscle growth. Elsewhere in his notebook, Bosch spells out that his “troches,” a type of drug lozenge, include 15 percent testosterone; pink cream, he writes, is a complex formula that also includes testosterone. GHRP is a substance that releases growth hormones.

Yuri Sucart, A-Rod’s cousin who was implicated in running PEDs for Alex, also appears in the records, as do transactions involving HGH, IGF-1, and other banned substances.

It’s hard to say what this will mean for A-Rod at this early juncture (he’s already going to miss most of the season and I don’t think MLB can suspend anyone without a failed drug test), but you can definitely bet that this will be huge tabloid fodder and hang over Alex all season, if not longer. If proven true, I’d also wager that it likely means A-Rod has better than even odds at never making the Hall of Fame, what with going back on that contrite apology in 2009 and lying about when and how he was juicing. Continue reading A-Rod, others, accused of illegal doping

Countdown to Spring Training: 14

There are so many great players in Yankee history and so many great seasons by Yankee players that we sometimes overlook the player and/or the season. Maybe it’s because he was more well known with other teams, maybe it’s because he was on the Yankees before I was sentient, but sometimes I forget that Rickey Henderson was a Yankee. While his entire career was brilliant–and his time with the Yankees equally brilliant–1985 was the finest of those seasons. What does that have to do with 14? In 1985, Rickey Henderson racked up 9.8 bWAR, good for 14th all time on Continue reading Countdown to Spring Training: 14

On the Money: 1/28/2012

If you like it when I get into delivering long, not always on point thoughts on sports, well then this is the show you’ve been waiting for my friend. I start the festivities by reflecting on what may have been the most awesome experience of my sports loving life this morning in Baltimore, before proceeding to deliver a rant about Luke Scott (and the Rays’ “bad apples” in general) two years in the making. In between, Kevin Gengler of DRays Bay joins us to talk about the 2013 Rays. We end the show with a little bit of everything. Nick Johnson, Carl Pavano Michael Kay, Javier Vazquez, Juan Rivera, and Randy Choate all make rhetorical appearances. Oh, and A-Rod. Go figure, huh? Enjoy!

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Continue reading On the Money: 1/28/2012

Pineda taking positive steps toward his return

Via Eric Boland of Newsday:

Michael Pineda is ready for his next step of rehab. Threw last flat ground session today, progressing to half-mound tomorrow

This is good news and it pleases me greatly. I am hoping for the best for Michael Pineda. I hope his rehab is setback free and if it is, I still think he can be a major contributor when he returns to the team.

I also hope that there aren’t obsessive reports about Pineda’s velocity like last season. I really think that had an effect on him and could have possibly played a part in his injury. Of course, I’m not a doctor, I don’t play one on TV and this is my own wild speculation but it just seemed awfully fishy to me that so many reports came out about his “low” velocity and then suddenly, after he starts trying to throw hard, he injures his shoulder. Continue reading Pineda taking positive steps toward his return