Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Wednesday's Game
2006-03-29 18:49
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Behind their last B-squad line-up of the spring, the Yankees beat the Tigers on the road 4-2


Johnny Damon CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Bernie Williams RF
Jorge Posada DH
Andy Phillips 1B
Russ Johnson 3B
Bubba Crosby LF
Felix Escalona SS
Keith McDonald C

Subs: Damian Rolls 3B, Wil Nieves C, Rudy Guillen RF, Mitch Jones LF

Pitchers: Jeffrey Karstens, Scott Erickson, Ron Villone, Kyle Farnsworth, Matt Childers

Big Hits: Doubles by Russ Johnson (1 for 2 with two walks) and Felix Escalona (1 for 4). Andy Phillips was 2 for 3 with a walk, scoring twice.

Who Pitched Well?: Jeffrey Karstens retired the last ten batters he faced, allowing just two runs on a walk and two hits in five innings, striking out two. Ron Villone retired the only two batters he faced to finish the seventh inning for Scott Erickson. Kyle Farnsworth pitched around a Delmon Young double for a scoreless eighth. Matt Childers kept his scorless spring intact despite a hit and a walk in the ninth.

Oopsies: A fielding error by Felix Escalona

Ouchies: Johnny Damon said, "I'm as close to 100 percent healthy as I can be." (AP). Jorge Posada (1 for 2, 2 walks) will catch tomorrow's game and will indeed be behind the plate for Randy Johnson in the season opener despite catching just seven of the Big Unit's innings to Stinnett's 22 1/3, largely due to illness and injury.

How'd Randy Do Anyway?: Pitching against single-A Phillies with Torre and Guidry in attendance: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K. If nothing else, I'm sure it was good for Johnson to pitch in relative obscurity while all the flack over his situation with his baby's momma dies down.

Roster News: Scott Proctor has officially made the opening day roster, filling Aaron Small's swing man spot at the back of the bullpen. His spring line: 6 G, 2 GS, 17 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 BB, 14 K, 1.06 ERA, 1-1. With Proctor on the 25-man roster, there is just one spot left which could go to either a seventh reliever or a fifth bench player. That is unless Jaret Wright is put on the 15-day DL since he won't need to start until April 15, in which case the Yanks will have room for both a bench player and another reliever.

Catcher Keith McDonald, meanwhile, was reassigned to minor league camp after going 0 for 3 in yesterday's game.

Comments (53)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-29 20:49:20
1.   joejoejoe
What do you think the Opening Day roster will be for the Yanks?

IF: Giambi, Cano, Jeter, A-Rod, Cairo, Phillips
OF: Sheffield, Damon, Matsui, Williams, Crosby
C: Posada, Stinnett
SP: Johnson, Mussina, Chacon, Wang
RP: Rivera, Sturtze, Farnsworth, Villone, Myers, Proctor

That's 23 players.

Small and Pavano will start on the DL. So who am I missing? Did Felix Escalona definitely make it? You mention Wright might start on the DL as well. I'd rather see Russ Johnson or Mitch Jones than a 3rd catcher. Who will fill out those last two spots?

2006-03-29 21:36:17
2.   brockdc
With Cairo on the roster, Escalona is redundant (though, something tells me that wouldn't preclude Joe from keeping him). I wouldn't mind Jones as a big bat off the bench. How's his defense?
2006-03-29 22:46:56
3.   Freddy Toliver
Mendoza and then Escalona (if Wright starts on the DL).

I think Jones was already optioned as was Erickson (today?)

2006-03-29 23:05:58
4.   joejoejoe
If you are reassigned to minor league camp is that the same thing as being optioned? This is from the Yankees transaction wire at

3/19/09 - "reassigned LHP Frank Brooks, RHP J. Brent Cox, C David Parrish, INF Marcos Vechionacci, INF Ramiro Pena, INF Eric Duncan and INF Mitch Jones to Minor League camp"

I think you have to be on the 40-man roster to get optioned. Mitch Jones was a non-roster invitee and is listed as a 'cut' under Players on the front page of this site. Maybe Cliff or Alex or someone can quickly explain the difference between cut and optioned.

2006-03-30 03:48:51
5.   Rob Gee
great quote from Myers this morning in the Times:

"It's not like you wake up and say, hey, I can't wait to be a left-handed specialist," said Myers, who has that job for the Yankees this season. "Nobody wants this role. It's something you just fall into because of lack of ability."

And hopefully Myers keeps screaming this from rooftops around the city - just so Torre doesn't forget either!

2006-03-30 03:49:07
6.   Rob Gee
great quote from Myers this morning in the Times:

"It's not like you wake up and say, hey, I can't wait to be a left-handed specialist," said Myers, who has that job for the Yankees this season. "Nobody wants this role. It's something you just fall into because of lack of ability."

And hopefully Myers keeps screaming this from rooftops around the city - just so Torre doesn't forget either!

2006-03-30 04:37:12
7.   The Mick 536
The thing I love about baseball is that the level of mediocrity is kept at an absolute minimum. The thing I don't like is its disingenuousness.

Mr. Myers humility, aside, he made a Yogi statement.

2006-03-30 05:43:28
8.   Knuckles
Not to be picky, but if the Yanks played the Tigers yesterday, then I'm pretty sure the Farns would have pitched around a Dmitri Young double, rather than one by Delmon Young...though I would much rather have that young masher in the AL Central than on the D-Rays for the next dozen years.
2006-03-30 06:17:54
9.   Levy2020
4 Reassigned is different from being optioned because you were never on the big league roster in the first place and your option ticking time clock does not start.
2006-03-30 06:25:13
10.   singledd
.... from:

"Manager Joe Torre is talking about how impressed he is with both Bernie's enthusiasm and his play in the corner outfield positions.

Torre sounds like he may want to give Gary Sheffield more rest as a rightfielder and perhaps Hideki Matsui a day off here and there in left field, and it is beginning to look like Williams is going to get outfield at-bats in addition to plate appearances as the DH. .... that means 450 at bats and a key role on the team.

My prediction is that Bernie will have a productive comeback year, in the vicinity of 20 home runs, 80 RBI's, and a .280 batting average. He will also play a valuable role in the outfield rotation and will do a good job in both right or left fields."

This guy has pinstriped colored glasses.

2006-03-30 06:26:46
11.   Knuckles
I think baseball is opening up a huge can of worms with this steroid investigation. Not sure what Selig's motivation is other than to nail certain guys as guilty (Bonds, and who else?). But why not just let the fans and HoF voters make their own judgments in the years to come? We know players are/were dirty, and they're gonna be shooting themselves in the foot if they turn over a stone and find evidence of 'good guys' having been on the juice- someone like a Bagwell, Helton, Thome, etc. because it's not just the extreme meatheads like Bonds/Giambi/Sheff/McGwire/Sosa that were on them.
2006-03-30 06:31:55
12.   mikeplugh
In case anyone cares....

Daisuke Matsuzaka took the mound for Seibu this evening (Japan time). He took the loss in a 2-1 ballgame. The losing run was unearned. He threw an 8-inning complete game: 129 pitches, 9 hits, 6 K's, and 3 walks.

Not his sharpest effort after a 10 day layoff and a trip halfway around the world, but he settled down after some shaky innings early and looked dominant. He could have thrown 150 pitches easy tonight.

If you want to read the recap and my thoughts, go to Canyon of Heroes. I'll be putting up video highlights as soon as they're available....Possibly Thursday night US time.

2006-03-30 07:09:14
13.   Shaun P
I'd like to see one of the Kevins get recalled, but Escalona will probably get the extra bench spot. As for the 'extra' spot in the 'pen, my vote is for anyone not named Scott Erickson!

Knuckles 11 I think this investigation will turn up nothing concrete enough to definitively say anything - except that Bonds used. There's no way the investigation will be full or complete - they'd have to investiage the owners, front office and other club personnel, and oh, Bud himself. Never gonna happen.

This is a PR move which will likely result only in MLB taking some kind of action against Bonds because he might break the hallowed career HR record. That's what Bud thinks 'the public' wants, after all, and Bud has always made his big decisions based on what he thinks 'the public' wants.

I'm quite cynical about the whole thing, in case you couldn't tell.

2006-03-30 07:10:28
14.   sam2175

Knuckles, you are right. This has all the ingredients of a witch-hunt, and as delusional as barry Bonds may be, next time he talks about people trying to get him, he might actually have a point.

If steroids are bad, then just selectively picking players based on their accomplishments on the field is not likely to be much productive except for some mud-slinging and ballyhooed sanctimonious record protecting. The scope of such an investigation has to include everyone who was involved in whatever capacity, be it administration of the game or actually playing the game. That includes all players, successful or not, managers, GMs and owners.

Rather than knowing about individual players, more interesting could be answers the following questions:

1. How pervasive was steroid/steroid variant usage?
2. What kind of players were taking it? Broad categories may include starting pitchers, relief pitchers, sluggers, infielders etc.
3. Why were they taking it?
4. Did the GMs or managers suspect that something was going on? If yes, did they act on it? Why or why not?
5. Did the owners take possible steroid use into consideration when signing players? Why or why not?
6. What did the Commissioner know about this at the time? What action did he take based on that knowledge?

2006-03-30 07:19:17
15.   bp1
10 I made almost that exact prediction for Bernie when his contract status was still up-in-the-air this winter and people almost laughed me off the blog. :-)

From your keyboard to God's eyes, eh?


2006-03-30 07:32:35
16.   rbj
Spot on 14 sam2175. If MLB is going to investigate steroids, the whole sport needs to be investigated. Players, coaches, doctors, front offices, owners, and the commissioner. Hell, throw in tv (ESPN) and the fans too; there were rumors but the media generally did not investigate and we fans for the most part did not care. McGwire didn't hide his andro in 1998, and there was no real hullabaloo about it and Bud was silent about it. Any report that comes out with just a finding that some/many players did steroids and leaves it at that is a whitewash.
2006-03-30 07:46:53
17.   Shaun P
Seems that the fifth spot on the bench has been filled - by Wil Nieves. I see that nothing has changed in regards to the bench.

2006-03-30 07:49:53
18.   Rob Gee
11 Knuckles et al. -

The investigation is a political slam dunk for Selig, and thus an easy choice for him. Congress was calling for one and 80% of fans ( poll this morning) think it's the right decision.

I agree with the other comments - the real problem is where it ends and what the resolution is. Buster has been saying for a while that both Selig and Fehr should take the hit - they are most culpable for allowing it to get as bad as it did. I see that as the only solution that doesn't take a wrecking ball to the last ten years. And the fact is: Players weren't doing anything wrong because the stuff wasn't illegal.

The funny thing is someone like Pete Rose saying players should be punished - except how many greenies was he on throughout his career? How many hits should we take away from him?

1 The same Tyler Times article that quotes Myers also has in the end notes that Nieves made the team. It doesn't say who the final pitcher is but my guess is Wright.

2006-03-30 08:08:50
19.   Rob Gee
17 Seriously Shaun - who's to blame?

It's not like this is rocket science. Here's the bench right now - in black and white:

GOB (but he'll be a starter for April)

Seriously, what will we get from this group?
Some pinch running? Any thing else? Is Cairo even a defensive upgrade any where?

2006-03-30 08:42:29
20.   Shaun P
I hate the Yanks' bench construction, and have for years. As I've said before, this is Cashman's tragic flaw. That one flaw does not make him a bad GM, however.

In fairness, every team needs a backup catcher, and most teams don't employ good ones. I'd like to see the Yanks be smart about it, but Girardi wasn't a great offensive player either.

Otherwise, I agree Rob 19. That bench is almost useless. Bernie can draw a walk, but so can every starter except Cano - and if you take Cano out for Bernie to PH, then Cairo enters the game. Ugh. So Bernie's ability only comes in handy when one of the regulars isn't starting - except why wouldn't you just pinch hit with that starter, again unless its Cano. Basically Bernie's ability to draw a walk is only useful if Cano didn't start the game at 2B. Which, barring injury, probably won't happen much.

Otherwise, Crosby can pinch-run and play CF in the 9th (presuming his spot wouldn't be coming up to bat if the Yanks were losing). And that's really it. No power, no defensive upgrade, nothing.

If any of these guys has to play for 2 weeks (or longer) because a regular gets hurt, the Yanks are in deep trouble. (Unless Bernie's ghost re-discovers his late-90s form for 2 weeks, like Tino did last May.)

2006-03-30 08:58:55
21.   brockdc
2006-03-30 09:08:32
22.   Rob Gee
21 Shaun -

I've never said a certain GM is bad. He's average, ordinary, mediocre - but definitely not extraordinary, great, or superb.

The bit about catcher is true esp. of other teams. But if we had a decent apprentice C, then Jorge can go to the bench or DH two days a week. Then Stinnett is a great option as the 3rd C. Actually, I guess that's the reason for Nieves (besides not losing him) - it allows us to DH Jorge or pinch hit him and not insert him defensively. Problem is, now we lose offensively AND don't develop anyone in doing so.

That said, it's the last sentence I agree with all too much. At least this spring showed me we do have other options in the minors for at least OF and 1B (Bullpen and maybe SP too). Question is: are those options realistic to the current administration (What more did Thompson have to do?). Injuries do mean we are in deep do-do and I shudder to see what trades will bring in May or June.

Ryan Church someone mentioned. Carlos Pena too. Anyone else have ideas about what can be had now for a decent price?

2006-03-30 09:45:46
23.   brockdc
I agree that the bench is an ideal place to cultivate young talent, not has-beens or never-wases.

I still think Thompson's a solid option down the road. Still, I don't say that with complete conviction, simply because it took him until age 25 to get to AA.

2006-03-30 10:01:29
24.   wsporter
Rob 18 I agree that the investigation is a slam dunk for Selig. It has to be broad based; that is, more than a myopic look at Barry Bonds but one that extends to other players and personalities. Given however that what appears to be the great bulk of published material containing specific allegations of use against specific parties is the result of potentially illegally leaked grand jury materials and that despite its "AWSOME" power and "STAGGERING" grandeur MLB has no subpoena power I'm not quite sure what "new information" it is they intend to investigate. Nor am I clear as to why anyone even remotely connected with this scandal who has no contractual relationship with MLB would cooperate with their "investigation".

It seems to me that Mr. Mitchell and his staff are going to be paid a lot of money to interview some tangentially related parties and collate a large number of documents. Good work if you can get it especially for the guy who chairs Walt Disney. You know Walt Disney; they're the folks who own ESPN. You know ESPN, they're the folks who show all the ball games and make all the money. I wonder if they have an interest in creating the perception that something is being done, especially in light of the sponsors who said yesterday that they either intend to downplay or ignore the upcoming Bonds milestones. No couldn't be, no one could act that cynically, could they? Yes Uncle Bud has to do something and he's working hard as hell to keep that something a bare minimum.

I would take issue with the notion that steroids weren't illegal. They are and have since the 50's been controlled substances; illegal to distribute or purchase or possess without license or prescription. MLB in its infinite wisdom just hadn't gotten around to banning them. If someone wants to do a real investigation that might actually turn up some real nasty stuff why don't they look into the silent acquiescence extended by both MLB and MLBPA that allowed that condition to exist for as long as it did?

This is just more of the same happy horse shi* being shoveled down the pipe to the consumer. These boys have some big brass ones. I really hope no one buys in.

2006-03-30 10:29:43
25.   Rob Gee
24 wsport -

I agree it's all for political cover - lots of paperwork. But will the masses be satisfied if there's no public hanging. I think that's the question.

Now you know what I meant - you can't really suspend people or treat records differently if you don't do so for at least the last thirty years. What was right for the sport is not the same as what is permitted in the sport.

This problem started with greenies and just moved from there. How many records are inflated due to their performance enhancing capabilities? The hits record is just one I'm positive benefitted from the player's willingness to live a grey zone.

Buster today further notes the hilarity of investigating for evidence of performance enhancement in 1996 but throwing away evidence of PE in 2006.

Here's hoping Bernie found the age-defying miracle that is HGH.

2006-03-30 10:38:42
26.   Sliced Bread
Yeah, Selig's now searching for the truth about steroids like OJ Simpson is still searching for the real killer.
I just hope Giambi and Sheffield can remain focused on their games while Bud's private investigator pokes the flashlight of suspicion up their butts, plunging for evidence.
Could be a big distraction for the Yankee sluggers. Just what we need, right?
2006-03-30 10:48:07
27.   Shaun P
wsporter, its nice to see someone else as cynical about the whole mess as I am 24 - and I'm sorry to nitpick, but steroids became controlled substances under federal law as of January 1, 1990, not the 1950s.

Now amphetamines, those have been on the banned substances list since the 1950s. As Rob says 25, Rose's probable greenie use casts a shadow on the all-time hits record. How many other numbers/records from the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc. are also suspect because of amphetamine use? I doubt Senator Bunning, for example, is eager to call for an investigation into the allegations of rampant amphetamine use of the time, since it might implicate him and his 'golden-era' buddies.

That hypocrisy sickens me more than anything else. I've heard people argue that because they are only 'performance-enabling', greenies aren't as bad steroids. Bull----. If the greenies were the difference between a player taking the field that day and not being able to play - which anecdotal evidence suggests is true - greenies sure sound performance-enhancing to me.

Of course, back then team doctors were allegedly the primary distributors of amphetamines, so one could imagine some of the owners of the time - like Bud - wouldn't want to go there at all. The whole thing is a disgusting, corrupt mess.

Sorry for the long rant, everyone.

2006-03-30 10:58:42
28.   Kered Retej
I don't want this to turn into a steroids debate, and I suspect I am in the minority, but steroids don't really bother me much as a fan. What really bugs me about it is all of the Congressional hearings and intereference from the government. I'd rather my Congressperson or Senator be working on education, or patent reform, or healthcare, or tax reform, or any one of a number of issues that are probably much more important than whether Barry Bonds let another man poke him in the ass with a needle.

Athletes use all kinds or things to get an edge, so why do we draw a line at certain classes of steroids? An elite athlete might have a dietician that regulates his exact diet for maximum performance; s/he might spend hours watching tape, reviewing statistics and matchups, etc. to get an edge; s/he probably has at least one, if not an entourage of personal trainers, medical staff, workout equipment, etc. to get an edge; and the list goes on. Everyone is looking for an edge. My feeling is that if it isn't barred by a rule, then more power to you.

We see elite athletes "play though pain/injuries" and get cortisone shots. This is probably not healthy, but the team is looking for that edge. Are steroids really that far from something like Tommy John surgery? What is the real reason that people are in such an uproar over steroids? To me it's just one of many things that an athlete might do to get ahead. Yes, it is in a gray area, but my belief is that if it wasn't prohibited by a rule, then it should be allowed. So pass the rule, and start testing, but let go of all the asterisk talk, the grand jury investigations, etc. Do we put an asterisk by someone's name today because he has high speed cameras and computers that help break down a pitcher's arm motion that Ruth and Aaron did not have access to?

Apologies, now back to your regularly scheduled Yankee programming. I'm psyched for the Oakland games next week. I'm a New York transplant to the Bay Area, but I won't be able to make it to the Coliseum since my wife is due to give birth any day now. Enough with the spring training and WBC, let's play ball!

2006-03-30 11:45:14
29.   wsporter
Shaun P. 27 I meant controlled (FDA) since the 50's. Mine was at best an inartful statement and as I reread it inacurate. I am humbled.

"The whole thing is a disgusting, corrupt mess." I whish one of the asshats running this farce had the stones to stand up and say that. Yet, as it is, nicely done Shaun P.

2006-03-30 12:15:16
30.   wsporter
Rob, whose head are they going to stick on the pike and march through town? No one is going to stand still and be made the fall guy for this. If they go after Bonds and there is a can of worms to open do you want to bet he won't open it for them? I would be willing to bet that the guy has a dollar or two available to him despite what his business manager and ex-wife have said. So he won't sit still. There are any number of people they could go after yet the same result would inure; expended time and capital with no result. No, they'll wring their hands announce there is a problem, spread the blame to players, union, owners, management and the MLB hierarchy and move quickly and discreetly on. No sir, heads will not be rolling as a result of this. Money will but no heads.

I'm not sure that I particularly want heads to roll anyway. When everyone on all sides is guilty who is fairly culpable? They can't afford to shove everyone under the bus so I'd say if not everyone then let it be no one.

They all allowed this mess to occur. They all allowed the records to be sullied. We sat blissfully by watching and enjoying and cheering. It's too late to fix it now. We all got and will get what we deserve. Let's play some freaking baseball.

2006-03-30 12:19:31
31.   bp1
28 Right on. How many players in the 30's and 40's could have benefitted from Lasik surgery? You have to wonder what the deal w/ steroids would be if there was no associated medical risk. You also have to wonder what the deal will be when someone invents a steroid that has no nasty medical side effects. It will happen.

I wish you and your wife the best of luck.


2006-03-30 12:32:05
32.   Rags
Some real nice points there and best wishes to you and yours as you welcome a new member to your roster.

Selig is late and that's gonna bite him. Baseball never seems to be able to anticipate the future and this is not an exception. I wouldn't be surprised if Bonds is seen as a pioneer in 50 years. I don't like it anymore than you but technology, medicine, pharmaceuticals, these fields are not going backwards. The future of the human race is written in what we now call PEDs and other bio-engineering. People get ready, there's a train a-coming.

Personally, I feel baseball has broad enough shoulders to slough all the love-children, steroids, brawls, greenies etc. the imperfect children who love her can possibly conceive of. Think of all the good books to come. Ah shut up, I can't wait till Monday.

2006-03-30 12:38:12
33.   Rob Gee
28 kr -

Honestly I care more about the state of the Bench than the steroids stuff. But 80% of fans want an investigation.

30 wsport-

I agree with everything you say - really! Except - there are still drugs being used but are undetectable. How do you run a witch hunt today and throw out evidence at the same time?

Hopefully Bernie at least has found a good supply of HGH.

2006-03-30 12:42:46
34.   Shaun P
Thanks, wsporter 29. I share your wish. It would probably kill the story if Bud and Don Fehr admitted the truth and apologized on behalf of MLB, the MLBPA, and the owners and the players. Of course they never will.

And bravo, Kered Retej 28 and bp1 31 for pointing out the complexities involved when you sit down and really think about the issue.

2006-03-30 12:43:31
35.   Count Zero
I don't think we really are going to have any far-reaching steroids investigation...I think what we are going to have is an investigation designed to elicit an agreement from one particular player that he will go gentle into that good night without ever making a run at the most hallowed record in baseball. Period.

Over a year ago I predicted that Barry Bonds would not be allowed to break Aaron's record, although he might be allowed to break Ruth's. I still stand by that prediction. Just like Mr. Rose, evidence will be gathered, he will be summoned to the Commish's office, the evidence will be shown to him, and a deal will be made in private. And you know what? I'm OK with that. If that's what it takes to get Barry to walk away, then so be it. There's no way that asshole should be allowed to go down as a better HR hitter than Aaron.

As true baseball fans, we all see the Career HR record for what it is -- important...impressive...not the most important thing in the game. But we aren't at stake in this -- we will be watching MLB games in 2007 no matter how this comes out.

What's at stake is the casual fan...the guy who takes his kids to the game and spends $300...the mom that buys the overpriced team apparel her kid wants at the mall. Almost everybody in this country knows who the top 2 Career HR guys are -- their names are household commodities. People who have never been to a MLB game in their life know who Babe Ruth is. Therefore, that is the most important record in the books from a marketing standpoint. And there is no way that Selig (or the other owners) are going to allow it to fall under a shadow that will taint its prestige for the next 20+ years.

I'll say it again -- Bonds will never be ALLOWED to break Aaron's record. If it comes down to it, they'll hire Tonya Harding's brother to whack Barry in the knee repeatedly with an aluminum bat. It's not a baseball thing -- it's a business thing. There's too much money at stake for it to play out any other way.

2006-03-30 12:44:16
36.   Shaun P
And KR - good luck on the upcoming birth! The first few weeks are tiring but fun, as I'm sure you've heard. Hopefully you'll have a chance to see a little baseball.
2006-03-30 12:56:06
37.   Rob Gee

I disagree Count. On what basis will they hold him up? What evidence? Hearsay? Until there's a blood or urine test today, he can't be forced out or he'll fight. The drugs were not illegal in MLB when he took them - that's his saving grace. It was no different to MLB than eating Wheaties. Plus, that man will quit when he's ready not when the Man tells him to.

2006-03-30 13:03:43
38.   jayd
The Onion weighs in on this year's Yankee scapegoat:
2006-03-30 13:11:59
39.   Shaun P
Well, maybe this won't be a witchhunt after all . . .

"The probe will be limited to events since September 2002, when the sport banned performance-enhancing drugs. No timetable for the investigation was announced."

. . . or at least not at the start, but it could become one later:

"'Should Sen. Mitchell uncover material suggesting that the scope of the investigation needs to be broader, he has my permission to expand the investigation and to follow the evidence wherever it may lead,' Selig said."

Given this, I wonder why the're discarding urine samples from recent testing. Unless the drug policy calls for that move, of course.

Bob T also makes an excellent point over at The Griddle.

2006-03-30 13:26:16
40.   Knuckles
Discarding urine samples is probably written into the agreement under the guise of 'privacy protection.' But any idiot realizes it's there because Bud wants his negative tests to be able to say "See I told you it's not a problem" with no fear of there ever being re-tests for the kinds of substances that most of the other major sports in the world are diligently and proactively as possible cracking down on.

If they're doing a since-2002 style look-see, the better for baseball that they pour the piss down the sink before a viable HGH test becomes available and someone with the Good Face like Eric Chavez or Albert Pujols be outed as a juicer in an investigation whose sole purpose was only to throw a roadblock between Barry Bonds and 755.

2006-03-30 13:46:56
41.   Count Zero
Number 1: The drugs were not banned in MLB when he took them -- but they were illegal under US Federal law. Barry Bonds is not interested in serving hard time to prove a point. He ain't that kind of guy. :-) The government is looking for a scapegoat, and Barry makes a really good one.

Number 2: Think politics. Whatever you might have done in your life can be dug up if someone digs hard enough. Very few people are clean enough to stand up to that kind of scrutiny. Somehow, I sincerely doubt Barry Bonds is one of them. Do you really suppose that Selig & Co. will hesitate to come to Barry with evidence of extra-marital activities? Sleazy females who will be interviewed on TV over and over and over again? Or maybe Barry's coke-snorting buddies from many years ago? More TV interviews. Barry has think he's going to take it on the chin with his kids for a principle? You're kidding, right? Either that or you don't have kids. ;-)

Number 3: If you think they can never prove the steroid use, I direct you to a major indication of where Barry is sitting right now. Last week he filed a lawsuit against some people who said some very mean things about him in a book. What were the grounds of that lawsuit? That they illegally published information from a sealed Grand Jury transcript. What was NOT the basis of that lawsuit? Libel. Why did he not sue for Libel? Because he (and his lawyers) know the authors can prove what they said to be true. That alone tells you how shaky his position is -- if he thought he had a snowball's chance in hell of winning a libel suit, he would have pursued one because that would have been the best vindication available to him.

Watch and read what Barry says...everything he says keeps leaving him a way out...a way to retire suddenly and blame his knee, or his desire to be at home with his family. He knows exactly what Selig is going to try to do to him, and he knows quite well that he will probably lose. If he thought he held the upper hand, he would be ranting and raving, calling Selig a hypocrite, saying that it was all the owners' fault for encouraging steroid use, complaining that it's a racial thing, etc., etc. He knows things are going badly and he's on his best behavior.

2006-03-30 13:48:20
42.   Rob Gee
39 40

I'm not a biochemist but I think they don't keep the urine because it becomes unreliable when frozen/stored - unlike blood which they should be collecting.

2006-03-30 13:56:58
43.   Rob Gee

Count -

1. All the evidence is circumstantial (testimony and paperwork) - he was never caught with them. And even if he was, other first time offenders of drug possession laws are not suspended. In MLB's y2K eyes, BB did nothing wrong.

2. Barry doesn't care about politics or his reputation - that should be obvious. And kids get over far worse stuff to still love their parents, esp. when there a huge chunk of cash down the line waiting for them.

3. Libel is much harder to prove in this country. The burden of proof is on the plantiff not the defendent and it's a high standard at that i.e., they knew it was false, they disregarded contrary evidence, etc.).

You might be right Count - that's he done after this season. Even then - it will be like the Jordan first retirement theory - lots of conspiracy claims but little answers. But my bet is he plays this year out, regardless of said investigation, and he takes the Aaron score.

2006-03-30 14:04:32
44.   uburoisc
Kered, more people agree with you might realize; the whole issue is a great deal more complicated than it is being portrayed by the grandstanding politicians.
2006-03-30 14:12:25
45.   Schteeve
Barry Bonds will not break Hank Aarons record, and it will become one of sports most intriguing and mysterious stories.

I just believe that a host of cicrumstances like injuries, walks, something will "prevent" him from breaking the record.

2006-03-30 14:13:05
46.   wsporter
Shaun P, isn't that the point you made earlier? We know it (the evidence) leads directly to Selig's and Don Fehr's collective collusive door steps. Rob's point is, I think, at the heart of this nonsense; how can the unlicensed distribution and possession of the juice be illegal generally in the society yet tolerated by MLB? And how does MLB then organize an investigation without naming it's management council as targets?

Uncle Buddy has been commissioner since 1992, Don Fehr the E.D. of the MLBPA since 1985. During the entire tenure of Selig's "stewardship" the unlicensed distribution and possession of anabolic steroids has been illegal. It was only in 2005 that he worked to ban them in baseball. If he wants to know where the evidence leads he need only look in the mirror of one of his used cars.

2006-03-30 15:37:59
47.   Rob Gee

wsport -

That's been Buster's view at his blog, and he's said it's what would make all of this go away. I agree. If Selig and Fehr stand up and take responsibility "for allowing it to happen" then the blame is there where it needs to be. A resignation of both would probably help too.

But the fact is, if they try to pin that blame anywhere else (i.e., specific players) where does it end?

Question is: Are they true leaders?

2006-03-30 15:57:36
48.   Zack
Pavano bruised his butt going after that ball the other day and now may miss a day or two, according to lohud...My God, the man is beyond fragile...
2006-03-30 16:45:48
49.   bp1
48 The story of how a guy goes from the most sought after free agent on the market to a laughing stock in just over one season. Unbelievable.

For me, he's teetering somewhere on the edge between Kevin Brown-esque and Javy Vasquez. Part of me is rooting hard for a big comeback, and another part of me just rolls my eyes and is starting to not like the guy.

Anyone have any idea how this will play out this year?


2006-03-30 17:43:31
50.   Zack
Pavano has a big enough rear end that a simple dive shouldn't shake him up that much. Baseball is a fragile game, especially pitchers, I understand that, but first it's too cold, then he bounces a little too hard on the tuchus and has to take time off. Meat, grow a pair!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-30 17:46:43
51.   murphy
i am guessing that bonds will limp his way forward to break to HR and 715 and then call it quits. he doesn't care about aaron's record, he just wants to, for -cough-RACIAL-cough reasons, break ruth's.
2006-03-30 22:00:49
52.   brockdc
Meat reminds me of that kid in junior high, with the Cure T-shirt, who had a different excuse note on every day of P.E. class.
2006-03-30 22:47:19
53.   rilkefan
The NYT says Torre thought Pavano was throwing awkwardly and shut him down. Don't see how that deserves "grow a pair".

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.