On Wednesday night, Stacey and I hosted David Greenwald as our guest on On the Money. Dave is vying for a spot in MLB’s fan cave, and is the only Yankees fan from New York left in the running, which is about all it takes to get the coveted IIATMS endorsement in the contest. So if you’ve got a minute, consider giving Dave a vote, and enjoy this video he made as an application.
A steroids free show for you tonight! Eschewing talk of doping and media reports for the evening, Stacey and I discuss the Mariners giving Felix Hernandez the largest contract ever for a pitcher, and then we wrap up our tour of the A.L. East competition by breaking down the division’s prohibitive favorites north of the border with Ruhee Dewji of Double Switching. Enjoy!
As the Biogenesis scandal moves into its next phase, the obvious question is what repercussions, if any, the players associated with Tony Bosch will face. MLB would like to investigate the matter, but most of the records are in the possession of the Miami New Times, and they aren’t sure they want to hand them over to MLB:
Here’s the truth: We haven’t yet decided what do with the records from Tony Bosch’s clinic. We’ve shared many of them already, posting them online last week after carefully redacting names of people we didn’t think were well enough confirmed or sufficiently newsworthy.
The question of whether to release the records is thorny, and there are few precedents. They were given to us by a source who requested anonymity. We will not divulge that person’s name. We take this responsibility very seriously.
Moreover, reporters are not law enforcement. Nor do we discipline anybody for anything. Our job is to transparently lay out the facts and let the public — and responsible parties — decide whether action is needed.
Of course, we do want justice. And as a parent of three kids who play sports, I want badly to discourage use of these drugs that endanger peoples’ health.
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Via Dayn Perry, the Miami New Times has released an editorial explaining why their initial reporting on the Biogenesis scandal included only some of the players apparently implicated in Anthony Bosch’s records. I don’t really have anything to say about it, but I have voiced some feelings to the effect that they may have sensationalized the first reports over the past few days, so it’s only fair to re-post the statement here:
Yahoo!’s story raises an obvious question. If Braun’s and Cervelli’s names appear in the Bosch records at the heart of New Times’ investigation — and indeed, Yahoo!’s report does appear to match New Times’records — why didn’t we report them in our first story?
Simple: an abundance of caution.
As Yahoo! notes, the records do not clearly associate either Braun, Cervelli, or a third player who this morning denied all ties with Bosch (Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia) with use of supplements. Yahoo! apparently obtained copies of just these page of Bosch’s notebooks independently of New Times.
2012 was not a good year for Ivan Nova. After a very strong finish and 3.70 ERA in 2011 catapulted him into the role of number two starter for the 2011 ALDS, Nova became an extra base hit allowing machine and saw his ERA balloon to a whopping 5.02 before a shoulder injury ended his season early. So after coming into camp as a hot commodity, this year he’s damaged goods fighting a battle for the final spot in the starting rotation with David Phelps, who will be playing that same darling role Nova occupied last spring.
Nova, however, remains confident in his abilities, and isn’t outwardly worried about his place on the team. “I’m going to be there,” Nova told Anthony McCarron after a workout in Tampa yesterday. “Just do my work. It doesn’t cross my mind that I’m going to be in the minor leagues. I’m going to be in the rotation, that’s what I’m working for.” Nova also told McCarron that he falls into a habit of throwing pitches even though he knows he can’t command them, which is probably not a good approach.
My guess is that this is one of those kind-of-but-not-really “competitions” the Yankees have been putting on of late, and that Nova is the early favorite to win the spot. That’s mostly because Phelps has already shown he can handle multiple oles out of the bullpen, however, whereas Nova would likely have to go to the minors. That said, I don’t think that Nova is going to get that much rope, so he’ll definitely need to at least be respectable in Spring Training to hold the job.
I’m pretty sure we’ve reached the pinnacle of incredibly hysterical things that can be said/written about doping in baseball today and, wouldn’t you know it, it was Mike Lupica who took us there. There are so many terrible things about today’s column, and that is to be expected, that it’s almost worth gliding right over, but, like comparing a union defending guaranteed salary benefits to “gun nuts,” much of it goes past the point of inanity and into the realm of the offensive.
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In tonight’s episode, Stacey and I examine the likely implications of the latest Biogenesis news to Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis’ new batting stance and, um, face, and I explain why I don’t really care for MLB Network in general and Clubhouse Confidential in particular. Enjoy!
Like most baseball writer types, I am not a lawyer. Unlike writers with big time column space, however, I don’t think having a platform from which to write things about baseball makes me an expert on the law or common practices employed by real life attorneys. There are lots of real lawyers out there, though, one of whom actually does double as a great baseball writer. That would be Wendy Thurm, and she has a piece up at Fangraphs on Ryan Braun’s claim that Anthony Bosch served as a consultant to his defense during his appeal of a positive drug test. Her verdict: There are still questions worth asking, but it’s definitely plausible.
More importantly, she addresses why a defense team would consul a “bad guy” like Bosch:
Why Bosch? Why use someone who’d already been linked to banned substances? I don’t know for sure, but it makes sense to me to his lawyers would consult with someone who had experience with a player (Manny Ramirez) who had tested positive and had been given a 50-game suspension. If you’re a lawyer defending a client accused of participating in a drug cartel conspiracy, you want to consult with people who knows how drug cartels work. Sure, there are law enforcement experts that you’ll want to testify for the client, but you also would like to consult with former drug cartel members. It’s entirely possible that Bosch had information from Ramirez’s situation that was useful to Braun’s lawyers in preparing their appeal.
In other words, it’s not so much naive to think that a defense team should only talk to angels, it’s just not really practical. To mount a vigorous defense, you need to know what you’re talking about, and that includes getting information from people who actually do what you’ve been accused of sometimes.
Meanwhile, back in the realm of serious journamalism, Tom Haudricourt thinks this can all be put to be promptly if Braun’s attorneys just do the right thing and throw away their careers/violate Braun’s basic legal rights. Hey, we’ve already established that a collective bargaining contract ceases to carry force of law when it conflicts with baseball writers’ collective sense of outrage, why not toss attorney-client privilege into the garbage as well?
The last ten months or so have been downright brutal for the Yankees’ farm system in the pitching department, but perhaps they’re getting off to a good start in 2013. Via George King, Yankees’ player development chief Mark Newman confirms that Jose Campos has completed his throwing program and is ready to return to the field this spring. Campos, 20, got off to a scorching start with Charleston last April before being sidelined with a mysterious elbow injury. He went on to miss the rest of the season. I would imagine that he’s ticketed for a return to the Riverdogs this year, but the main goal will have to be keeping him healthy over a year of full season ball.