About Brien Jackson

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.

Yankees could be close with Hafner

According to Rob Bradford, the Yankees may be close to a deal with former Cleveland DH Travis Hafner. Hafner, who hit .228/.346/.438 in 263 plate appearances in 2012, fits the Yankees’ profile as a power and patience slugger, but health is a major concern, to say the least. Hafner has appeared in at least 95 games just once since the 2007 season, and he’s more or less incapable of being anything but a designated hitter at this point, even on an irregular basis. Still, the Yankees have a pretty significant need for a DH right now, and the left-handed Hafner owns a 117 career wRC+ against southpaws, so a reasonably priced deal would seem to be a great fit. Continue reading Yankees could be close with Hafner

The Yankees can’t void A-Rod’s contract

The idea of the Yankees attempting to void Alex Rodriguez‘s contract pops up every now and then even when A-Rod isn’t in the middle of a major ongoing story involving continued use of banned substances, so I certainly can’t say that I’m surprised it’s become all the rage with columnists both national and local since the Miami New Times story came out yesterday. Still, there’s no more chance that the Yankees can actually do it today than there was last week.

The first, and biggest, problem for the Yankees to clear is that A-Rod’s contract is guaranteed, and iron-clad under the rules of the CBA. The Yankees can not simply decide, unilaterally, to abrogate the contract, nor can they go before a judge or an arbitrator making ad hoc arguments as though the law had to be made on the fly due to unclear rules or something. Disciplinary reasonings won’t help either, since the CBA also spells out in detail the exact punishments for A-Rod’s alleged offense, and they don’t include the voiding of a free agent contract. If the league decides to take action, Alex will be suspended for 50 games as stipulated by the rules, and that’s that. Indeed, the fact that the punishment is explicitly prescribed by the CBA more or less shuts this whole discussion down, as there’s no way the Yankees can expect to find a judge who would find that they are somehow special and can operate outside the parameters of the CBA, which is exactly what they’d be doing. Continue reading The Yankees can’t void A-Rod’s contract

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

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

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

Kay signs multi-year extension with YES

Not a fan of YES broadcaster Michael Kay? Well then today is definitely not your lucky day. The television voice of the Yankees has reached an agreement on a multi-year extension with YES to continue serving as the lead play-by-play man for their Yankees’ broadcasts, the network announced today. Kay will also continue to serve his various other roles for the network, including hosting Center Stage.

Believe it or not, I’m pretty apathetic on the topic of Kay’s game calling skills. He’s got his quirks, not all of which are endearing, but that’s true of any broadcaster outside of a select few. He’s not in the top tier of game callers around the league by any means, but he’s also far from the worst, which is good enough for me. Congratulations to him on the new contract. Continue reading Kay signs multi-year extension with YES

MLB, DEA, investigating A-Rod contact

Major League Baseball and the Drug Enforcement Agency are investigating a Miami based contact of Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and other MLB players for connections to illegal PEDs, the Daily News reported Saturday. Anthony Bosch is alleged to have served as a contact for players looking to secure performance enhancing drugs, mostly through his father, Pedro Bosch, a doctor who came under suspicion with MLB back in 2009 when he was connected to Ramirez after the then-Dodger was suspended for failing a drug test.

According to the report, Bosch “advised” A-Rod on nutrition, diet, and training, and also consulted with Alex on a blood test. It does no appear as though A-Rod himself is under any significant scrutiny and, again, Bosch has been on MLB’s radar since 2009, so this isn’t much of a breaking development. MLB is apparently looking to stamp out a ring of drug suppliers linked to HGH and synthetic testosterone, especially in the wake of several failed drug tests in he past year, most notably by Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Carlos Ruiz, and Yasmani Grandal. Continue reading MLB, DEA, investigating A-Rod contact