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Robinson Cano, Scott Boras shoot down PED test rumor

Sep 21, 2012, 8:29 AM EST

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

Yesterday afternoon rumors began popping up all over Twitter that Robinson Cano had tested positive for PEDs and had a suspension looming.  Cano and his agent Scott Boras forcefully shot that down yesterday:

“Not at all,” Cano told The News. “There’s no test or anything.”

Cano’s agent, Scott Boras, also told The News that the rumors were baseless. He said his office had traced the allegation to a rumor that originated in the Dominican Republic, a reporter in the U.S. and a rival agent who has been saying that a prominent Latin player has been mired in baseball’s appeals process.

I have no idea what rival agent he’s referring to, but the reporter in question was Dan Tordjman of WSOC TV in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He took to Twitter yesterday and reported that Cano had tested positive and that Major League Baseball was going to make an announcement to that effect later in the day.  The catch: he didn’t actually have any information about it besides that rumor Boras mentioned and, indeed, said in his tweets that the information was “unconfirmed.” Several reporters who do cover the Yankees immediately spoke with the team or the player and found it to be baseless.

Which makes one wonder why in the hell Tordjman was reporting it.  I realize this territory is sort of tricky and the line between news and gossip is often blurry. But it strikes me as one thing to note an explosive rumor is floating around (i.e. “there are rumors that a big star has a PED test and may be suspended soon”) and another thing altogether to hear the rumor, make a specific report on it — “Cano to be suspended later today”– and all the while claiming “hey, maybe it’s not true!”  I think that when the rumor in question is about something serious and something which can impact someone’s reputation like a drug test — as opposed to say some random trade rumor — far more caution and at least some sort of confirmation from a source in question is essential.

As it was, Tordjman was actually on Twitter asking random people with no connection to the Yankees or Cano if they had heard anything more specific about it.  I’d show you the tweets now, but between yesterday and today Tordjman locked his Twitter feed.  Probably a good move on his part.

The kicker about all of this is that, given the nature of the process — a player who tests positive has an appeals process during which a few people know about it but the rest of the public does not — the ground for rumors like this is terribly fertile. Indeed, we saw a hint of this with the Melky Cabrera suspension when word of it circulated prior to the announcement.  So it’s entirely possible that, in the future, word of a positive PED test will come out like this.

If it does, however, one would hope that the people who hear it are at least trying to see if it checks out beforehand with someone in a position to know and reports it with the skepticism and caution such matters deserve.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Leave A-Rod alone!!! Oh wait….

  2. frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Funny. This same thing happened to Melky. Emphatic denial and all. Even resulted in an apology from a writer.

    And we all know how that turned out…

    • paperlions - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      I can’t recall any coverage of Melky being suspended, how did that all turn out?

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:55 AM

        It turned out alright for all – he won the batting title!

      • paperlions - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        Sweet! Good for him.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

        I don’t think the vote for the batting title happened yet. He’s losing ground in the polls.

  3. largebill - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    I understand the desire to stand out and that being first to report is one way to stand out, there is way too much journalistic laziness excused by “can’t confirm yet” or “anonymous sources say.” Whether they believe it or not, the public can wait for them to actually confirm a report before besmirching someone’s reputation.

    • psousa1 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      It’s true. They can just attribute anything to ‘an unnamed source’ because they know they will not get called on it by anyone and when it usually is proven to be untrue it will pass and everyone will forget about it. Remember how “Ryan Dempster’s trade to the Dodgers was all but final and was already on a plane to LA”?

      Of course the fact that he went to the Rangers and said he would never play in LA was largely forgotten about.

  4. bdkite - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    I bet you it is true, They better test Granderson too.

    • badintent - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      I smell a Red Sox fan. Sh*t smells

  5. skids003 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Typical of the new media. They no longer report, they are all about like the National Enquirer.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      This guy is a TV reporter. Not sure why he’s “new media.” Guessing people will still blame the Internet anyway.

      • mJankiewicz - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:11 AM

        skids, did you mean “today’s media”?

      • drewsylvania - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        I think he’s talking about the attitudes of reporters and writers these days. Many of them are just trolling and trying to commit character assassination.

      • atworkident - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        There is a chance he is a newspaper guy frustrated that his black and white with the rabbit ears don’t get the reception they used to get.

      • cur68 - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Ah, just Ignore that buffoon, skids(insernumberhere). He got conspiracy hiding behind every bush. He the Less Nessman of the intertubes.

      • skids003 - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Actually, I meant “today’s media.” And cur, just to prove my point, does it again. Where’s the conspiracy theory in this? You need to be tolerant of others, remember? At least that’s what you hypocrits try to tell us.

  6. stex52 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Pretty pathetic for a guy claiming to be a reporter. This is a blog. We can fling all the crap we want, and we typically do. But once those guys take the title of “reporter’, they should be expected to do their actual job, which is “report news.” If you hear a rumor, call someone and trace it down. Too much effort for him, I guess.

    • deathmonkey41 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      I have unconfirmed reports that stex52 throws dead kittens at buses with sick orphans as he urinates on torn out pages of the koran. Hey, you know, that felt pretty good. I might go back to school and get a journalism degree.

      • stex52 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        Busted! Except for the Koran part. I was actually born into a Kenyan Mormon community and have 14 wives.

      • cur68 - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        Duuuuude! Me too!

      • badintent - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        Don’t bother, you can do the Shaq, just go on line to U of Phoniex.I have unconfirmed reports that the Vatican was yanking Kennedy’s pole to stay in Vietnam to establish a Catholic Preisdent there in a country of 90% budda buddies.Which is why my friend came home in a box..Give all Kennnedys a pair of skis and a video camera..

  7. inthearex - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Slander.

  8. mJankiewicz - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    I live in Charlotte. It’s hilarious to think any of the news people here would have any kind of clue about what’s going on in sports outside of the Carolina Panthers.

  9. johnnyb1976 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and I hate that for Cano there’s only a couple of yanks I like and he’s one of them.

    • indaburg - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is a fallacy. In other words, if enough people repeat something false often enough, it becomes true. Sometimes what appears to be smoke is something else altogether. I hate to defend anything Yankee related, but this is patently unfair.

      • johnnyb1976 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM

        Ask Melky about smoke and fire. Ask Braun about it. When rumors start, investigations do as well, thats all im saying.

      • indaburg - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        And all I’m saying is that sometimes what appears to be smoke is actually just liquid nitrogen evaporating. And Braun was framed, I tell ya, he was framed! Seriously, the amount of testosterone detected in Braun’s urine sample was ridiculously high. It’s hard for me not to believe his sample wasn’t tampered with at some point.

    • badintent - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Why are all the Red Soxy fans coming out of their broom closet now ? Nothing else to do since your clowns are out of the wildcard or in LA.? Try cricket matches, you phony snobs love those white sweaters, so preppy and so keeping up with the Jones crowd.

  10. crispybasil - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Damn, and WSOC TV is usually my go-to source for all things baseball.

  11. randygnyc - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Apparently WSOC denied he was an employee but rather he was a freelance worker. Strange they bothered making that distinction. Also, after he posted on twitter, I heard he walked it back. Yankee beat writer Murti spoke to the Yankees who in turn spoke to MLB. He came back yesterday afternoon and reported this rumor was “baseless”. It’s one thing to have a player called out and deny it (as in melky’s case), and here, where the player, agent, team and MLB deny it.

    As for me, I hope it’s not true. Nothing in today’s game can surprise me, but we all hope the talent we root for is wholesome. With that said, I’d personally hold it against “my” players as I would any other players.

    • johnnyb1976 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      I wouldnt trust WSOC to tell me where my dog is at, but this sort of thing is normally where investigations get started. I hope its not true, but stranger things have happened.

  12. willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Dear Sweet Baby Jesus –
    Please let this be true. I so want the Yankees to enter this playoff scrum minus their poor 2nd baseman, the guy that was so vehemently booed in Kansas City this year. Then we can laugh all the way home as they exit the playoffs and have to deal with an off-season of New York Post stories about Dominican connections and friends, strippers, late night parties, and how we all “should have known the whole time”.

    Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus for this tease. Make it come true.

    Amen.

    • kiwicricket - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      Put it back in your pants.

      • Reflex - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Nice. Best possible reply.

    • pauleee - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      You know, we ALL love to hate the Yankees. It’s tradition. But you don’t have to be a dick about it.

      • henryd3rd - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Spoken like a true Mets fan.

      • atworkident - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        Right, because only Yankee fans are allowed to be a-holes.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Even little baby Jesus thinks you are a dick. Hopefully he denies your request on principle.

  13. uyf1950 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Just a personal observation from an old timer. These social media sites like FB and Twitter that allow third rate reporters like the one mentioned in the piece to reach millions upon millions of people due more harm than good in most cases. This reporter, newsman or whatever he is isn’t worth of a library card never mind unfettered access to the minds of millions of people. Like I said just a personal observation from an old timer.

    • willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      And if it’s all true?

      • uyf1950 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM

        Even IF and I repeat IF it’s true it doesn’t change what I said one bit. This type of reporting that effect both a persons reputation, livelihood and career based on unsubstantiated rumor(s) is unacceptable. PERIOD.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

        will…. BTW, and if it’s not true? If you will allow me, it does not good to close the barn door after the horses have bolted.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        correction: it does “no” good….

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        Whether he turns out to be right or wrong, how about having some ethical standards? He first posts a rumor based on @incarceratedbob, who throws more shit against the wall rumor wise and amazingly gets nothing to stick. Then the reporter is called out on it but plenty of yankee fans only to say, slow down I’m not confirming anything, just saying it’s a rumor. Check the Heath Bell Twitter article as I posted a couple of his comments.

      • bigharold - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        “Whether he turns out to be right or wrong, how about having some ethical standards?”

        Ethical Standards?? Now that’s funny!!

  14. willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    This is the world in which we live: Twitter stories – factual or rumor – are going to land in the public domain. It’s our job to NOT LET OUR ONLY NEWS SOURCE BE TWITTER OR FACEBOOK.

    Confirm the info and if it’s crap, it’s crap. Move on. Twitter wasn’t ever built as a machine to dispense up to the minute truth. It was built to dispense up to the minute THOUGHTS and it does that quite well. Is it always truth? NOPE.

    And as for Facebook – I have come to the conclusion that it’s the most ridiculous site on the interwebs unless you are:
    1) a gossipy individual
    2) a pink hat sports fan
    3) taking pictures of dinner

    I’m still hoping this is true and that Bud Selig will allow a member of his precious Yankees to be busted.

    GO B12!

    • bigharold - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      While the reasons you note are in fact why twitter is the way it is none of those reasons amount to an excuse for it to be used the way it was in this case. Not to mention the individual sending out those tweets should be held to a higher standard as he is supposedly a professional journalist.

      So, in the end no story but at least you had a few measly hours to think about the possibilities. But, hey if everybody comported themselves like adults how would Yankee haters get their fix?

  15. gwylie1 - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Baseball is still very tainted with PEDs.

    • drewsylvania - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      Food is performance-enhancing.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      I think PEDs go in the cheek, not the taint.

  16. willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I’m a different breed of Yankee hater. I’m in Boston and absolutely WILL NOT go to Red Sox games and chant “Yankees Suck”. As a matter of fact, I’ve gotten so tired of listening to Red Sox “fans” bitch and complain about the Yankees that I have grown a deeper respect for their past accomplishments and just wish the Red Sox would get their shit together and win like they did in the 20th century, but we’ve seen the aftereffects of Red Sox wins and it’s ugly. VERY ugly.

    I like Jeter. I think he’s talented, classy, and definitely gets grade A thigh.

    I like to see the Yankees lose because:
    1) I hate that the team overvalues – therefore overcharging – their seats in Yankee Stadium, much like every other business in NY with the products they are selling AND the Yankees play in the dump known as the Bronx. Do that math.
    2) ESPN loves them so much and ESPN sucks donkey balls.
    3) Even though other teams wear pinstripes, they are seemingly the only team that wears pinstripes.
    3) John Sterling.
    4) NY in general is CHEESY and overrated.
    5) Susyn Waldman.
    6) That god damn music they play when you walk into Yankee Stadium…so epic…so heroic…so VOMIT INDUCING.
    7) Yankee fans that go to other ball parks, get drunk, and try to tell you that their team is the “bestest” because they “know how to win” and are “so classy”.
    8) the nickname – “The Bombers” or “Bronx Bombers”. Every time I hear this I give it a Bronx cheer.
    9) The insistence – on both sides – that the Red Sox and Yankees actually have a rivalry. It’s not a rivalry. It’s nothing. The Yankees have MURDERED the Red Sox pretty consistently save for 2004. You want rivalry? Watch Dodgers – Giants.
    10) Wade Boggs riding around on that damn horse…(couldn’t think of anything else).

    Most of these reasons have nothing to do with the players or the actual team. I just don’t root for them and want to see them lose.

    So…

    GO B12 and take Robinson Cano with you to the Melky party!

    • 4cornersfan - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      So… I gather you are not a Yankee fan but you think Jeter is OK?

      • willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        Yes. Absolutely. He’s a talented player and I am waiting for him to break the Pete Rose hits record.

    • Jeremy T - Sep 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      most of these seem like sour grapes or matters of taste, but I’ll agree with you on John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

    • psousa1 - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Will – I am in Boston area too. But don’t forget the people hear in New England, that we are subject to who claim they are Yankee fans, could not tell you who Robinson Cano is and think Derek Jeter plays Quarterback.

      Spent enought time in NYC/NJ area for work related stuff to realize, despite the Yankees success most of the die hard Yankee fans in the tri state area question every move by the manager and believe something bad is always going to happen just like we do.

  17. sabatimus - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    And people wonder why reporters suck. Now there’s going to be heightened suspicion about something that is, as far as any evidence is concerned, totally baseless.

    As an aside, right field in Yankee Stadium may as well be a PED.

  18. uschawk - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Maybe Robby thought they were tic tacs.

    • willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Nope. These guys always want to portray themselves as stooges, but they know EXACTLY what they are putting in their bodies. I will not be convinced otherwise. Are you going to tell me that Bonds didn’t know what the cream and the clear were doing or what it was? Or how about Roger with his B12 excuse?

      These guys think baseball fans AND writers are all dopes and we’re not. I mean, we pay silly prices to see a bunch of guys stand around and play a game so we are KINDA dopey, but come on…they know what they’re doing.

      And is Cano gonna get busted? I don’t know. But if he is, I will never believe in a million years that he didn’t know what he was doing.

      • uschawk - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        Dude it’s a joke in reference to A-roids interview where he said he knew they weren’t tic-tacs that he was taking.

      • bigharold - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        “And is Cano gonna get busted? I don’t know. But if he is, I will never believe in a million years that he didn’t know what he was doing.”

        You are aware that the report was completely refuted? Hate the Yankees and New York all you want but at some point you need to stick to the facts? I mean you’re not a reporter so you have an excuse, .. sort of, .. but facts are facts. And, as a matter of FACT Cano hasn’t been accused of ANYTHING by MLB.

  19. jjfi689 - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    If theres dirt…theres craig.

  20. 4cornersfan - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Just about everybody seems to discount the report that Cano used PEDs but wishes it were true because he is on the Yankees and they just hate the Bombers. I guess what Reggie said about getting booed on the road is true, “They don’t boo nobodys.”

    • willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Well, in Reggie’s case just ass holes.

  21. mazblast - Sep 21, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    As much as I loathe the Yankees, I have to side with Cano on this one, mostly due to the timing. It’s a rumor, nothing more, until there’s some proof–and any “proof” at this stage of the season would rightfully be viewed as suspicious. The time for suspensions, even if warranted, should not be right before the post-season, as it would be seen as trying to influence post-season results too much.

    I’ll also mention how much I hate taking any position that’s been taken by Scott Boras.

  22. badintent - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    @willclarkgameface

    Nice to know you use the name of a southern bigot. Must make you real proud of that fact,eh ?? How’s the white robes fitting you these days ? still fit over that big belly of yours ? Still drinking Budpiss ?Next time you’re in the mall, stop over and have a large order of New York Fries .Get an extra order to take home to watch the WS with the Yankees winning with their Asian and Hispanic Superstars.Then take that big wooden cross an and set it on fire. Your anger management class is starting.

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