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.
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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!
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!
The Yankees’ farm system isn’t quite as impressive at first blush as they were at this time last year, but they still have a lot of talent (albeit towards the bottom of the system), and they still stack up pretty well against the rest of the league. In fact, Keith Law thinks they have a top ten system, putting them in the tenth spot in his just released organizational rankings. That corresponds pretty closely with the rankings of Baseball America (11th) and John Sickels (14th), putting the Yankees squarely in the top half of the league. After trading away Jesus Montero and having Manny Banuelos and Jose Campos go down with injuries in 2012, that’s a real testament to the work Brian Cashman and the front office has done in investing in player development recently.
On a quick programming note: You should probably expect light blogging from me over the next two days. I have a small parade to attend tomorrow that will occupy most of my day, and as for today, well frankly I’m far too distracted/exhausted to find many interesting things about baseball. We’ll still be on top of any developing news and what have you though, rest assured, and if that just doesn’t do it for you, On the Money is going to a four day a week schedule now that February has arrived, and Stacey and I will be live at 9:00 P.M. through Thursday. I apologize in advance for my meandering into football talk tonight.
It’s been a while since we had some fun with a Lupica column here, but this A-Rod/PED business was just made for him, wasn’t it? There’s not really much of a point in hashing through the whole column, which is more of an exercise in pointless analogy than anything else, but this shot at the players’ union really does take the cake:
It is still early in the game with Rodriguez, you have to know that. Of course the Yankees want him to decide, when and if he recovers from hip surgery, that he is nothing more than a shell of the player he once was, either retire at that point, so they can score insurance money off him, or decide to settle with the Yankees so they can release him once and for all.
Or — this appears to be even more of a longshot — they want the commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, to hit him with a drug suspension so they can start exploring ways to void his contract, even though the Major League Baseball Players Association will fight to protect guaranteed money in baseball the way gun nuts protect their guns.
Never change man.
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It isn’t the best month of the year by any means, and heck, I started my day by waking up to a couple of inches of snow and cancelled schools, bu I’d be ying if I said I didn’t immediately realizing that it’s February 1st, and that the dreaded black hole that is January is finally over. This year wasn’t even that bad by comparison, what with my local football franchise going on an incredible playoff run and all, but I’m still ready for baseball to come back.
We’re getting close everyone. Today is truck day, if you actually recognize that as a thing, and pitchers and catchers report in 11 days. And just three weeks from tomorrow, the Yankees will take the field in Orlando for a Spring Training game with the Braves. Hooray!
I’m not going to get down in the weeds with every single one of these articles, but for the record let me say that this is both ridiculous and reckless nonsense from a major media outlet:
If baseball’s investigation corroborates the Miami New Times’ story about Tony Bosch and his ballplayers, what if Selig stood at his bully pulpit and decided to turn Alex Rodriguez into the honorary sacrifice of the steroid era? What if A-Rod, the guy who confessed once before and may yet again, becomes the skin Selig displays on his wall to ward off future intruders?
That might be asking too much, but by the power vested in Selig by the new Joint Drug Agreement, he doesn’t need a positive test to dole out suspensions. If he has evidence, he can suspend Rodriguez — or, if you’d prefer, El Cacique — for 50 games or more.
Calcaterra gives it the full fisking it deserves here. Long story short: No, Bud Selig can not suspend A-Rod for more than 50 games (at least not without some extraordinary new details coming out first) because the CBA explicitly prescribes the punishment for violating the JDA, and A-Rod can’t be arbitrarily singled out for an exception.
The thing I want to note, however, is this apparent trend in which some columnists have decided to write columns on the premise that the CBA is a mere set of guidelines subject to the whims of the commissioner and not, you know, a legally binding legal document that Selig has no choice but to abide. I understand that it makes good copy and that this is all just noise at the end of the day, but frankly, you’d think people who are supposed to be professionals might be just a little bit embarrassed by the sheer volume of ignorance they’re trafficking in. Between this line of thought and yesterday’s “insurance fraud ain’t no thang” thread, I daresay the nation’s baseba writers are coming away from this looking even more ridiculous than Alex.
Rumors started swirling yesterday that talks between the Yankees and Travis Hafner were getting serious, and today Chad Jennings reports that the two sides are so close that the agreement could be announced as early as today. In fact, he says that an agreement has already been reached, and it’s now all about haggling over the contractual language. No salary figures have been disclosed, but it’s believed the deal will be close to the $1.1 million salary the Yankees gave Raul Ibanez last winter.
According to Jennings, the plan is to use Hafner strictly as a platoon DH.
If there’s any hope at all of the Yankees getting out from under the second half of Alex Rodriguez’s record contact, it’s the possibility that his continued use of banned substances led to his recent hip injury that will sideline him for mos t of the 2013 season. It’s not a slam dunk, but depending on the wording of the contract and the view of whomever makes the final decision, such a revelation could at least give the team a fighting chance.
Unfortunately for them, there doesn’t seem to be much of a chance that’s the case. “I still don’t think any PED would have had an effect on the injury or the surgery,” said Dr. David Geier, via Dan Martin. “They can impact tendons and muscles, but not what he had.”
“Even if this turns out to be true, it wouldn’t impact the hip joint. His problem was one of anatomy. I can’t imagine any effect.”
Another doctor also told Martin that he doesn’t see how Alex could be deemed unable to play as a result of the surgery, so forget all of that stuff you read about insurance payouts yesterday.