MLB Notebook: New Steroid Policy, Same Old Red Sox, and a Buckner Follow-Up

Sean Crowe@CroweKnowsSenior Writer IApril 11, 2008

MLB Enacts New Drug Policy

The Mitchell Report made for some fantastic bathroom reading back when it first came out.  MLB’s new drug policy, while not as entertaining, is certainly worth reading as well.

The new policy starts by letting Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons off the hook, repealing their 15-game suspensions. 

The only surprise here is that Jay Gibbons is still on a professional baseball team somewhere. 

They also decided that the players named in the Mitchell report will not be disciplined.  No word on whether or not the players named in Jose Canseco’s new book will get the same protection.

There is now an Independent Program Administrator, who will oversee the drug program for a minimum of three years.  Not exactly the independent party that some were hoping for, but since they put the word “Independent” in his title, it should trick the media into thinking it’s the same thing. 

They now have a “Treatment Board” who will have authority to punish for recreational drugs, which means there’s now officially no chance Ty Law ever follows his lifelong dream of becoming a professional baseball player. 

The total number of annual tests jumps from 3,000 to 3,600, which coincidentally is the same percentage Bonds’ average jumped after his head tripled in size.   They’re also upping the number of offseason tests to “up to 375”. 

By the way, I’m assuming those are overall and not per-player.  If they are per-player, congrats to MLB for finally getting a REAL drug program.  If you can’t test for HGH, at least make it impossible to do since they’ll be spending every waking moment peeing into a cup.

It’s brilliant, really.

They will now test the top 200 prospects in each year's amateur draft.  If you test positive, then you’re a cheater and should be ashamed of yourself.  If you have performance anxiety and cannot pee in a cup, then you can’t be drafted.

Baseball players have agreed to spend $200,000 (not each, combined…or something like .0000000000000001% of their annual salary) to teach kids about the dangers of PEDs.  No word on whether they’ll be wearing muscle shirts while giving the lecture.

The Independent Program Administrator (who isn’t really independent) will issue an annual report summarizing the number of tests administered, the number of positive tests resulting in discipline, the substances involved in the positives, the number of Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted by category of ailment and the number of non-analytical positives.  I copied this line verbatim from the associated press.  I have nothing to add.

An automatic stay for an initial suspension is expanded to players disciplined for conduct unrelated to a positive test.  I’m not even sure what that means.

They’ve added insulin-like growth factor, gonadotropins, aromatase inhibitors, selective estrogen receptor modulators and antiestrogens to the banned list.  They’re also thinking of banning the gamma rays that were responsible for the Incredible Hulk.

Lastly, the Commissioner will not make any player’s name public until punishment is dished out.

So fear not, Jason Giambi—they’re still not testing for HGH!  Keep making us proud, white Barry Bonds!

Chien-Ming Cy Young?

Maybe I underestimated the Japan trip’s effects after all?

How else can you explain the dead-bats of the Boston Red Sox. 

The Sox spent three hours on Friday turning Chien-Ming Wang into Sandy Koufax.  The stats show that he was brilliant. 

Reality shows he was helped immensely by a Red Sox offense that currently lacks the ability to make pitchers pay for mistakes (save for one game against the hapless Detroit Tigers).

Wang’s sinker wasn’t working right, which led to fourteen fly-ball outs.  

Only JD Drew was able to make him pay for leaving a sinker up, and even that should have been caught. 

Abreu is so afraid of the wall that he tentatively backed into it and pseudo jumped, allowing the ball to clear his outstretched glove by about three centimeters.

David Ortiz is batting an incredibly .077. 

I’m pretty sure I could bat .077. 

Grant it, we’re only eleven games into the season, and I’m not exactly in panic mode. 

I’m just not liking what I’m seeing, that’s all.

Saturday features Josh Beckett vs. Mike Mussina, which normally would be an automatic W for the good guys.  Not so sure if that’s going to be the case this time around. 

We’ll have to wait and see if Mussina’s geriatric fastball can help wake up the formerly potent Red Sox lineup.

Follow-up on the Buckner Article

Couple of things were pointed out by readers that deserve to be mentioned...

1) Rich Gedman should have been mentioned in Blame List for game six.  I’m not sure how I forgot him.  His ridiculously poor attempt to stop a semi-bad Bob Stanley pitch allowed the tying run to score.

2) According to some, Bob Stanley did more than just generally suck.  He also made no effort to cover first base on the Buckner play. 

So part of the reason Buckner, playing on two bad ankles, maybe pulled up early is because he had to rush to the bag rather than just under-handing the ball to the covering pitcher. 

I’m not 100 percent sure if this one is true (I can't bring myself to look it up on Youtube to find out), but it was pointed out by more than one person.  If it is true, Stanley may move ahead of Clemens on the Blame List.

3) I might have been a little hard on Ed Berliner, though I still vehemently disagree with his article.   Regardless, I never should have called him Shaughnessy. 

That was completely uncalled for and I apologize.

Red Sox ownership isn’t exactly covering themselves with glory the last few weeks. 

Between the ridiculously over-the-top opening day celebration, the Sweet Caroline debacle, and the auctioning off of Green Monster seats for huge bucks, only to give “some” of the proceeds to charity—let’s just say it hasn’t been a good PR week for Bud’s favorite ownership team.

Of course, my dislike of the current ownership stems from their decision to not build a new ballpark and instead raise the prices at Fenway so astronomically high that only high-society pink-hatters can actually afford to go to a Red Sox home game.

Well, that's not exactly true. 

Most of us can still afford to go to the nine home games they play in Baltimore every season. 

I’m SeanMC.

SeanMC is a Senior Writer at Bleacher Report. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.


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