Author Archives: Brien Jackson

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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On the Money 2/6/2013

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!

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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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Yankees 10th in Law’s organization rankings

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.…

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Silly unions doing union things

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.…

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