Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Author Archives: Brien Jackson

Miami New Times explains cautious PED reporting

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.

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Nova confident of place in rotation

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.…

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One more for the Braun-over-brains file

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.

For example, his attack on Shyam Das, the longtime MLB arbitrator who heard Ryan Braun appeal, is something even for Lupica:

The appeal Braun is talking about came after he tested positive a year or so ago for testosterone, with record-breaking numbers still discussed around baseball the way tape-measure home runs are. He was given a suspension for 50 games and appealed and won the appeal, apparently because the arbitrator decided that because Braun’s samples were kept over the weekend at the collector’s house, the guy having missed the last weekend pickup for FedEx, they had somehow been compromised.

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More on Bosch as Braun “consultant”

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.

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Campos ready for Spring Training

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.

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Bring out the witches!

I’ll be blunt: as I said on last night’s podcast, I’ve been a bit uneasy about the allegations that Tony Bosch was running a massive PED ring out of his anti-aging quackfest since they first surfaced in the Miami New Times. I certainly wouldn’t call it out and out disbelief or anything, but the combination of a small outlet beating the big boys like Yahoo or the New York Times to a major story like that and the inclusion of 2012 Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez in the report even though he admittedly was not linked to any banned substances gave off a distinct vibe that the paper was primarily trying to be the first ones to post a list of juicy names and claim a sure-t0-be-huge story as their own.

Well we’ve certainly reached that point now, haven’t we? The latest reports in the story amount to nothing more than an airing of certain names who appear in Bosch’s records (including Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero), even though said records don’t seem to tie them directly to doping, and apparently without seeking comment from the accused first.…

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On the Money 2/5/2013

On tonight’s episode, Stacey and I discuss the latest developments in the ongoing Miami-based PED scandal (there are Cervelli jokes, in other words), and I also express my misgivings about the direction the reporting on the matter is beginning to take. We also tackle the issue of outfield configuration, and get far too serious about Michael Kay’s eating habits. Yeah, this last week is going to be a rough one, but it’s going to be over soon. Enjoy!

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On the Money: 2/4/2013

I may have been half past delirious, but the show must go on, and that’s just what On the Money did tonight. I’m n0t gonna lie: my best efforts to get my mind off of the Superbowl were not particularly successful, and I did spend a good chunk of time babbling about that, but I would like to think we made it semi-pertinent a week away from the opening of camp. We more or less reflected on the emotional extremes of fandom, and I even spun off a media critique or two. Just give me until tomorrow, then it’ll pass.

On the baseball side of things, we did kick around some Yankee related topics of varying significance, including Derek Jeter’s workouts and non-statement on le affaire A-Rod, as well as my peevishness with respect to the Yankees policy of retiring un-retired numbers. Enjoy!

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