Jan 31, 2013, 7:36 AM EDT
Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times writes this morning about the relationship between the Drug Enforcement Agency and Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis clinic investigation. They are not working hand-in-hand:
While the league’s investigators are attempting to learn as much as they can about the report, they are hamstrung by players’ longstanding refusals to speak to them and by the federal government’s reluctance to provide baseball with information it has uncovered in its own investigations.
The lack of player cooperation Schmidt refers to is the refusal of players to talk about other players’ drug use which he contrasts with the cooperation cyclists have given the Unites States Anti-Doping Agency. Ratting out each other in exchange for reduced suspensions and the like. Which should be pretty understandable at this point given that Joint Drug Agreement entered into between the league and the union provides no basis for leniency in punishment. It’s, by design, a zero-tolerance program. If you start letting guys off for ratting out other guys, you don’t have a zero-tolerance program.
Indeed, what you have is a breeding ground for mistrust and a strong incentive for those players for whom a 50-game suspension is extremely financially harmful to throw their teammates under the bus based on either real or fabricated information. The players obviously wouldn’t want that. But the owners — and their employee, Bud Selig — wouldn’t want that either in all likelihood because in addition to violating baseball’s longstanding rule of “what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse,” such a setup could serve to destabilize teams and create problems for managers, GMs and owners.
As for the lack of government cooperation with Major League Baseball: well, good. Major League Baseball is a private business, not an arm of the government and I have never been comfortable with the idea of the government doing special favors for private business, especially in a law enforcement context. If they want to do their own investigation, let them (and they are).
As Buster Olney noted on Twitter this morning, the fact that federal investigators gave drug dealers like Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee leniency for cooperating with the Mitchell Report investigators was ridiculous. George Mitchell did not represent the government. His interviewers worked for DLA Piper. We think of baseball as some greater institution, but that setup was no different than a cop compelling someone to talk to McDonalds or Microsoft or Wal-Mart. If law enforcement is to give leniency to criminals in exchange for cooperation, that cooperation should be to the benefit of the public good, not to the benefit of the corporate good.
This all goes back to what I was talking about on Tuesday: what are the priorities here? Is the priority to get headlines with famous names being hung out to dry or is the priority to break up what may very well be an illegal drug distribution network? Back in 2007 the feds, led by the overzealous-in-the-extreme Jeff Novitzky, decided that it was more important to prosecute famous people to get their names in the paper. That didn’t really work out too well, so it’s understandable now that the feds might not have all that great an interest in putting the squeeze to A-Rod — which is what would be the purpose of cooperation with MLB — and a much greater interest in taking down a drug operation. That would be benefited by NOT talking to folks outside of law enforcement. Folks who, you know, like to do things like leak information to the New York Daily News I-Team.
So good for the feds for treating this like any other law enforcement operation. The folks who are mad that government power isn’t being used to either make headlines or make a billion dollar corproation’s p.r. operation smoother probably need to ask why those things are important to them in the first place.
May 19, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT
In the top of the sixth inning of today’s series finale in Baltimore, Rays right fielder Matt Joyce blasted a 3-2 fastball down the right field line, initially ruled a double by the umpires. Watching it live, it seemed to go foul, but when reviewed in slow motion, it was clear that the ball caromed…
May 19, 2013, 5:17 PM EDT
From Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest comes word that the Rangers have placed second baseman Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list with an intercostal muscle strain and recalled top infield prospect Jurickson Profar to fill the roster vacancy. Kinsler suffered the strain Thursday while trying to duck out of the way of a…
May 19, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT
Logan Morrison is finally making steady progress in his recovery from September 2012 knee surgery. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins first baseman is scheduled to begin playing in minor league rehab games on Monday with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads. He’s spent the past week-plus taking at-bats in games at extended…
May 19, 2013, 3:35 PM EDT
Veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt should be back in the major leagues at some point in early-to-mid June. According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Oswalt allowed just one hit — a leadoff bunt — over five innings Saturday in an outing at extended spring training against a group of Brewers minor leaguers. He struck out nine…
May 19, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT
The Phillies might, yet again, be without starting catcher Carlos Ruiz for an extended period of time. Ruiz was lifted from Sunday afternoon’s game against the Reds after straining his right hamstring while running the bases in the bottom of the second inning. Ruiz will presumably be placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday, and…
May 19, 2013, 1:59 PM EDT
From Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post: Right fielder/first baseman Michael Cuddyer said he is feeling much better after receiving a shot Tuesday to relieve the stiffness and soreness in his neck. He resumed baseball activities Saturday — throwing and hitting in the cage — and said he’ll be ready to come off the disabled…
May 19, 2013, 1:10 PM EDT
Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that the Pirates have scratched center fielder Andrew McCutchen from their starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Astros because of soreness in his right knee. Starling Marte will slide over to center, Travis Snider will play left field and Garrett Jones will get the start in right. Gaby…
May 19, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT
As first reported by beat writer Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have activated infielder Mark Ellis from the 15-day disabled list. Tim Federowicz was optioned to the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque to open up a roster spot. Ellis is in the Dodgers’ starting lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Braves,…
May 19, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
From MLB.com’s Evan Drellich comes word that Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew is out of the starting lineup again on Sunday against the Twins due to lingering discomfort in his lower back. Pedro Ciriaco will get the start in his place. Drew also sat out of Saturday’s game, but he is not believed to be…
May 19, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT
Ike Davis went 0-for-4 in the Mets’ loss to the Cubs on Saturday and is batting just .156/.238/.359 in 39 total games this season. But the Mets’ decision-makers still aren’t ready to do anything drastic. Despite some reports to the contrary, Davis was assured Saturday by Mets general manager Sandy Alderson that a demotion to…
May 19, 2013, 9:40 AM EDT
The Rays confirmed late Saturday that 23-year-old right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who was acquired from the Royals this winter in the James Shields trade, will make his debut for Tampa Bay in Monday afternoon’s series opener against the Blue Jays. This from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Odorizzi is filling for staff ace David…
May 19, 2013, 8:54 AM EDT
Because the Cardinals have been just as hot and currently hold the top spot in the National League Central standings, the Reds’ run of success over the past couple of weeks has flown somewhat under the radar. Cincinnati was at it again on Saturday evening at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, routing the host Phillies by…
May 18, 2013, 11:55 PM EDT
It was not a matter of “if”, but “when”. All good things must come to an end. And other cliches. Today, the Orioles finally lost a game when leading after seven innings for the first time in 110 games, per ESPN Stats & Info. The Orioles led 6-4 over the Rays heading into the ninth. Closer…
May 18, 2013, 11:25 PM EDT
Even at the age of 37 and less than a year separated from an Achilles injury, David Ortiz can still hit with the best of them. The slugger entered tonight’s game against the Twins with a .999 OPS, including five home runs and 23 RBI in 98 trips to the plate. Since joining the club…
May 18, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT
The Athletics designated first baseman Daric Barton for assignment earlier today as the 27-year-old was carrying a sluggish .143 average through 23 plate appearances. On the other side of the country, the Mets have just about hit their tipping point with Ike Davis as D.J. Short pointed out earlier. Davis is hitting .156 with 46…
May 18, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT
The Evan Gattis story keeps on getting better. With the Braves struggling to put together any kind of offensive threat against Dodgers starter Chris Capuano, trailing 1-0 heading into the eighth, Evan Gattis provided a pinch-hit two-run home run against reliever Kenley Jansen to give the Braves the 2-1 lead and eventually the win. A…
May 18, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT
J.A. Happ was hit on the head with a Desmond Jennings line drive on May 7, suffering a minor skull fracture. While falling to the ground, Happ twisted his knee, and it is the latter injury that is causing him to progress slowly as the lefty has yet to pitch off a mound. Manager John…
May 18, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT
With Franklin Gutierrez working his way back into playing shape after landing on the DL with a strained right hamstring, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times suggests Endy Chavez could be the odd man out to create room on the roster. Chavez has a .288 on-base percentage and .310 slugging percentage. Meanwhile, Jason Bay and…
May 18, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT
Padres lefty Cory Luebke has suffered a setback in his quest to return from Tommy John surgery, stopping his throwing program for the second time in 2013 according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Luebke posted a 2.61 ERA in five starts last year before landing on the DL in late April and undergoing TJ surgery in…
May 18, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT
The Braves just received some bad news on reliever Eric O’Flaherty, as the lefty was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Losing O’Flaherty means the Braves have just one left-hander in the bullpen in Luis Avilan. As a result, the Braves signed Joe Beimel to a minor league contract per Tim…
- Umpires use replay on controversial Matt Joyce home run 0
- Rangers put Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list and call up top prospect Jurickson Profar 1
- Carlos Ruiz leaves game with strained right hamstring 1
- Andrew McCutchen scratched from Pirates’ starting lineup 5
- Ike Davis assured by Mets GM demotion is not imminent 9