Obviously, given the fact that he ended the year suspended, and bizarrely attempted to create a website that would make it look as though he had inadvertently taken a banned substance, a link between the Jays’ big off-season free agent splash, Melky Cabrera, and PEDs is hardly shocking.

Seeing a reference to his “cocktail of drugs,” perhaps is, though.

Reading him called a “slugger” definitely is, and it’s about there where one might start wondering– fairly or not– about how players’ drug use is being characterized in the explosive new Miami New Times article that implicates Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, and many others in having procured performance enhancing drugs from an allegedly corrupt anti-aging clinic in Miami.

Here’s the section of the piece pertaining to Cabrera:

Although A-Rod is the biggest name in Tony Bosch’s records, he’s far from alone. Melky Cabrera is mentioned 14 times throughout. A switch-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Cabrera had enjoyed a steady but fairly middle-of-the-road career until signing with the San Francisco Giants last year. Suddenly, he began pounding the baseball, whacking a team record 51 hits in May alone. Three months later, he nabbed more votes than any outfielder for the All-Star Game and won the game MVP after going two for three at the dish.

Cabrera’s dream season screeched to a halt in August, though, when MLB announced a 50-game suspension after his blood tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. Cabrera quickly admitted he’d used a banned substance and didn’t fight the suspension. But what substance did he take?

It might be what’s listed in a 2012 notebook from Bosch’s office. Under a heading labeled “Melkys/Mostro,” Bosch writes, “April 4th drop off, has enough meds until May 4… next visit deliver and infuse $9,000 to RPO and $900 exp. and charges. Call him for expense. Missing this mo. troches and pink cream.”

Another document in the files, labeled simply “Mostro” — his nickname for Cabrera — and dated December 21, 2011, lists his regimen: a cocktail of drugs including IGF-1.

(There’s also an odd, handwritten letter by Bosch in his notebook that seems to refer to Cabrera’s suspension for elevated testosterone. Addressed to a “Juan,” Bosch rails against Cabrera, writing that “in helping him, I put my business and all my doctors at risk by fabricating patient charts and phony prescriptions.” He adds that the slugger should “man-up” and pay $9,000 he owes, adding, “I am on the ‘line’ here!!”)

IGF-1 certainly sounds like a complicated, medically-engineered compound, huh? But according to a two-year-old article by Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports, it’s actually a naturally occurring substance harvested from deer antlers, which acts like human growth hormone. It’s classified a performance enhancing drug, but studies have shown that these sorts of substances don’t produce the kind of anabolic effects that steroids do (i.e. increased muscle mass), though they do aid in recovery times. (Studies like the ones cited in this, admittedly, old piece from Sabernomics, and mentioned in the TeachPE.com guides to both HGH and IGF-1).

Now, I don’t want to downplay it too much, or to pretend at all like I have a handle on the medical science here– obviously TeachPE.com, or whatever else I quickly Googled, isn’t exactly the most compelling resource on anything– but I think it’s important to have a little bit of perspective on just what Melky might have been doing, given that people will be quick to paint him with the “filthy fucking cheater” brush they’ve already taken out of their holsters, readying themselves to smear all over A-Rod’s face.

Or… I guess you can’t not call him a cheater, but I just worry about us losing the distinction between this kind of stuff– which Andy Pettitte has been allowed to entirely skate on, for example, and which may well have a clinically-administered, safe, “clean” future– and the Barry-Bonds-turning-into-the-Stay-Puft-Marshmallow-Man kind of stuff that’s so closely associated with PEDs in most minds.

I don’t know. At one point I might have joined in on the crusade here, because I do find it somewhat objectionable to think that players may be forced to turn to drugs in order to just maintain a roster spot, but it’s all so damn murky, and so many people want to talk about it like it’s black and white that I just don’t have the wherewithal to get righteous about it.

We just don’t know how much this stuff actually helped a guy like Cabrera– there is a very strong case to be made that his crazy 2012 numbers, which are not high power numbers traditionally associated with PEDs, were inflated by BABIP, which was about the same, league wide, during the steroid era as it is now. We also have a hard time coming up with arguments about why it isn’t objectionable that, in order to keep their roster spots, players need to work their bloody balls off to stay conditioned, and take cortisone shots, get Adderall exemptions, and consume a host of supplements and products that go right up to the edge of the artificial boundary we’ve created between what’s fair and foul. And we certainly don’t give a shit when it’s players in a sport with numbers that aren’t so bizarrely sacred, despite spitballs and greenies and the exclusion of black players that helped produced the best ones of the revered past.

“I use the spray all the time,” then-Bengals safety Roy Williams said in Wetzel’s piece. “Two to three times a day. My body felt good after using it. I did feel a difference.”

And I’m sure that admission was met with all outcry that the New Times piece is today, right?

Which isn’t to suggest that two wrongs make a right and we therefore shouldn’t care at all, but… I’m having a really hard time getting up in arms about any of this. Especially on Cabrera, perhaps, because we already knew he was doing something he shouldn’t have during this period. And, shit, maybe because he now plays for the Jays. But I don’t think so.

I mean, I don’t want baseball to become the All Drug Olympics or anything, but it’s harder for me to get angry about the stuff that doesn’t turn players into gargantuan, cartoonish versions of their former selves, and the whole witch hunt thing is just really, really tiresome. Especially since it’s not like there’s an end in sight.

Players– who are admired when, in other ways, they push themselves right up to the edge– will always look for a way to beat the tests, and the science of both doping and testing will keep evolving. I don’t want to be so apathetic about the question that I find myself becoming of the mind that they shouldn’t even bother to test at all, but… yeah… this is a thing that happened. It almost certainly happens a lot, and it probably shouldn’t. Those who fail tests should be punished, and the program should be continuously expanding to have the best, most reasonable list of banned substances possible. But can’t we just leave it at that and skip the retroactive witch hunting, the insufferable character assassination, and the flat out wrong assumption of cause and effect that comes with all this stuff?

Do we really have to act like it’s the fucking heaviest and scream “cheater!” in the faces of everyone involved until the end of time? Because I just can’t…

 

Image via CBS Sports.

Comments (141)

  1. Miami New Times needs to fuck right off and not bring up shit like this. Who the fuck cares, half the guys named have already tested positive. Testing is being increased, and the cheaters will be caught. Hard to see what good this report does other than bring traffic to the Miami New Times website.

    • To add to that, there’s no need to continue tainting baseball – we know there are still cheaters. So what? They’re going to get rooted out.

      Nothing but bullshit can come from this report.

      • Sorry Lucas, but Baseball does zero blood testing and zero out of competition testing. That is all the signs you need that not enough is being done to root out the cheaters. Not enough are being caught, clearly.

        • the game would be a hell of a lot more boring if you take the roid ragers out of mlb history.. its come to a point where more people are just gonna say fuck it. Integrity comes from within.. Do we really need to keep pointing out how unfair baseball really is? People care about the show.. not the clean Johnny Mac who cant hit for shit.

          • Each to their own, but I prefer to know what I’m seeing is real.

            • Damn straight, skippy! I don’t watch the Olympics anymore beacause of the drugs. Stopped watching boxing when I was a young teenager because I figured out what punch drunk meant. Football and hockey are gone because of concussions. Baseball is all I have left…Drugs OUT or I start watching…lawn bowling? Croquet?

          • I would argue that non-enforcement of the pitching clock does way more to contribute to the snore-factor of the game than would fewer extra-base hits.

        • It’s also about protecting the athletes. If pumping yourself full of cutting edge supplements is allowed then you’re adding a serious workplace hazard for them.

          Professional sports needs to be tough on (some) drugs so that there isn’t dangerous one-upsmanship

  2. *yawn*

    Can, spring training start already?

  3. Whatever has been written/will be written about Melky’s drug use is completely irrelevant. What is important is how he performs without drugs next season. It’s not like we didn’t know he was juicing.

  4. Would it have been too hard to Photoshop Parkes’s face onto the dude standing next to Melky in the picture?

  5. I won’t pretend to know what IGF-1 is or where it falls on the “drug evilness” scale, but it’s probably worth pointing out that many of the substances banned by the MLB are readily available in over-the-counter supplements that sit on the shelf at pretty much every health store right beside the regular, “sport-approved” whey powders and Muscle Milk that many players drink freely in the dugout. The line separating the “okay” supplements from the banned ones has to be at least somewhat arbitrary, and it’s silly to get our panties in a bunch and declare a state of moral emergency at the idea that some players may have stepped over it.

    • Lots of things are available over the counter, doesn’t mean they are all harmless. Enough tylenol is lethal. The argument against PEDs is for every 1 pro athlete using there are hundreds of kids using, the health effects are going to come into play when you’re talking about that much usage.

      These doctors are really the scum of the earth though. They can make a ton of money working legally and benefit society, but instead they waste their talent to help athletes gain an illegal chemical advantage?

  6. Loooool deer Antlers

    • my fuckin dog loves to chew that shit like every day. he’s a monster too. He had a tidy 6dWAR last summer.

      • Minor league contract in the works, maybe a spot in NH? Plays for the jays for a couple years, then gets traded and ends up with the rays and wins the AL MVP?

  7. That picture is great.

    That is all.

  8. I’d never heard of the Miami New Times before. Ever. ‘Nuf said.

    • Not enough said. You never heard of it, therefore it is… making stuff up? Isn’t well-known enough to be worth anybody’s time, regardless of content? A good source for investigative reporting? The best place in greater Miami to post a classified?

      • Nope. I merely suggest that this is a rag looking to up it’s page hits by rehashing old news. And you are backing them up us a solid news source? What’s in it for you? Surely you don’t work for the Miami News Times!?!?

        • How accusatory! I would never back up a publication I heard of this morning as a solid news source.
          Also, as I mentioned below, I disagree with the notion that Bosch’s notes are ‘old news’.

        • Thank you! Someone who understands what I’m saying…

  9. Wow, this newspaper’s really on the ball with new information. Maybe next they’ll report on the Marlins/Jays trade.

    • If you knew about Bosch’s records already, you missed out on a nice payday in selling this story to a more high-profile outlet.

    • Arod taking PEDs until 2012 rather than only in 2001-2003 as he previously insisted is quite new. Not to mention these records implicate players who have never been linked to PEDs before like Nelson Cruz and Gio. This could result in suspensions, so no, this is not old news.

  10. Well, AA knew stuff like this could leak when melky signed. Im more concerned about his performance and how he will do this year. PED’s cant make that much of a difference. Can they? Also, im also a bit worried if MLB has the grounds to suspend him again if they found out he took something else he wasn’t caught for.

    • The PA wouldn’t let them Suspend him again i wouldn’t think, he would have to fail another test. And Im agreeing with the fact that he used PED, but still couldn’t park very many in the bay?

      Most of the guys that have been accoused of juicing, where good players in the first place. Guilty by ability in 90% of the cases if you ask me.

      Who cars, lets see 100 runs scored from a non using Melky, and everyone will shut up.

  11. Im curious as to how the large majority of fan base in Toronto will greet the Melkman. I know i will be standing his first at bat cheering a drunk mess.

    • Athletes from New Zealand and other countries — swimmers and mountaineers to rugby players and golfers — have used velvet antler to increase strength, vitality and endurance. Other athletes and professionals requiring strength and endurance are also using antler as a legal substitute for anabolic steroids. Researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, tested antler’s ability to increase strength and endurance on cadets from the Edmonton police academy. The researchers found that use of velvet antler significantly increased blood plasma testosterone levels in the men participating in the study.

  12. The real story here is ARod. He is the guy that the media sharks will feed upon. ARod went on Oprah or whatever and admitted that he used when he played in Texas but didn’t use anything once he became a fucking Yankee.

    If ARod’s name appears on the medical charts at this aging clinic, then its a story and the Miami rag has every right to publish the story.

    Melky’s name appears to be related to 2011 and early 2012? Hopefully, double jeopardy will apply and exempt him from further suspensions, but one never knows with Bud Selig and the drug police at MLB.

    MLB has announced a new random blood test protocol for 2013. Hopefully, this measure will be enough as I doubt that Bud Selig wants another Mitchell Report on his hands.

    • Why would you hope that a cheat got away with it?
      I hope he isn’t exempt. His numbers clearly reflect someone who took a big step forward in 2011. Now we know why. If this guy bats anything like the last two years in 2013 in a Jays shirt, I’ll know exactly why.

      • I don’t condone cheating dude. Melky got caught last year if you didn’t know, and served a 50-game suspension for it.

        Ryan Braun avoided a lengthy suspension on a procedural legality. Melky deserves the same benefit if one believes in the double jeopardy doctrine.

        • Not if this is linked to something else. He got caught for taking drugs that one time, this clearly shows he took drugs multiple times. I would imagine baseball’s statute of limitations for punishing past drug use stretches back longer than a year or two. I can’t hold him to a different standard because he’s not a Blue Jay.

          • Right, because people who take steroids just do it once. GTFO. The suspension wouldn’t have been for longer if this information was available then.

            Now, if he was caught again AFTER serving his suspension…

          • last date he was mentioned was April 2012? correct? he was cought after that? Owned up to it, served his 50 games, and even drop his name from batting champ – which he won – so yaye, hes done his time,

            you going to stand infront of a jail yelling at everyone thats released should be sent back, because OF COURSE they are guilty of other shit becuase they got cought before……Well thats just being a dick, and not very Canadian I might add…..eh?

            • To indulge in your analogy. If someone got convicted for a murder they committed in April 2012, served their time and got out and it was later found they also committed a murder in 2011, wouldn’t expect them to be tried for that separately? Of course you would, so your point doesn’t fly.

              • There is no proof that he did it anymore then what he was already caught for. I am starting to think you dont know how PEDs work….you dont just take a shot in the ass and its done. You Cycle……4 weeks on it, then cut for 4 weeks, then back on it, and so on. So yes that Murder analogy is correct, but you missed the point of what i said. He used, he got caught, but you dont get punished per injection!

          • Obviously, you don’t like Melky. I get that. But as a MLB ball player with certain specified rights that are contained in the CBA, Melky has the right to benefit from legal protection against double jeopardy. What you are saying are simple suppositions, not fact.

            Bud Selig can still suspend Melky even though there is no new failed drug test, but he cannot do so without a full investigation which would include a hearing with Melky and his representatives.

            If you want to jump to conclusions, go right ahead.

      • His numbers absolutely do not “reflect someone who took a big step forward in 2011.” They’re about the same as the year prior, and follow pretty clearly what you might expect his aging curve to be. They’re well below his peak production.

        And, um, no, we won’t know anything if Cabrera bats anything like the last two years. Nor will we know anything if he doesn’t. He BABIP spike looks unsustainable, PEDs or no, and that’s going to be the key going forward. You think PEDs increase BABIP? Cite the example. You think they’re catch-all turn-bad-player-into-good wonder drugs? Really? You have an explanation why he didn’t turn into some kind of power hitter the way your reductive view of PEDs would expect?

        • People want to categorize drugs into neat little groups. Such as:

          Anabolic = Muscle
          Testosterone = Speed
          HGH = Recovery

          It will never be this cut and dry. PED’s could have numerous positive, and even negative, effects on a players game.

        • At the end of the day, if banned substances would not make a player more productive, increase earning potential, etc. compared with what he would otherwise be, why would he risk his reputation taking them? I keep coming back to this question.

          People (particularly athletes) are proud folks, which may help explaining why so few of us are open and frank about what we did and why when it falls outside the rules of our workplaces. Reputations matter at least as much as dollars. The validity of such reputations is a whole other issue.

          None of us can demonstrate a positive correlation between use of PEDs and BABIP; nor can anyone explain why ballplayers would lay it all on the line through use of a banned substance if they didn’t have good reason to believe it would lead to a tangible benefit in their performance.

        • The sports I follow have led me to become pretty versed in performance enhancing drugs the benefits of some, the benefits of others. It isn’t all about strength, but recovery at times also.

          If a player is on a tough schedule of games and his numbers are sliding due to exhaustion, there are some drugs out there that will help him recover and then go back to producing numbers he might otherwise produce while clean. Indeed, the player who is clean and doesn’t choose to go down that path suffers by comparison AND in the long run that can affect who gets the better contract or a position on a team.

          It’s that reasoning, that PED’s can affect those that do not take them when it comes to their career positions, that bothers me. It’s nothing against Melky personally – I don’t know him – but he’s a doper and I’ve no place for them.

        • Melky’s batting average pre 2011: .267
          Melky’s batting average post 2011: .322

  13. Meh unless he gets suspended its hardly new news

  14. I don’t think we should grant Melky any kind of a free ride because he is now a Blue Jay. The guy has clearly cheated before and this is proving that it wasn’t a one time thing either.

    And if the products he took were not that beneficial to him, why would he take them at all? Micro-doping in order to pass tests? Or as masking agents to something else?

    There is definitely a question to be raised by how it affects those who do not wish to take drugs and therefore might lose a spot on the roster because of it. I mean, what kind of message does the Jays signing Melky send to Goss who has lost is position in the outfield to him? Goss could easily see it as a case of a player who took drugs to inflate his numbers to earn him a contract and a place ahead of him on the team. He’ll say, ‘Well, it was clearly worth the risk because the worst that happened was he got a 50 game suspension, but still got a contract with the Jays afterwards because his numbers while on drugs were good enough for them. I know what I’ve got to do.’

    I wouldn’t want my kid watching Melky in a Jays shirt and aspiring to such sporting levels as kids will do while realising just what it took for Melky to get there.

    Listen, I’m all for second chances but Melky showed little remorse and has said little in the way of taking a vocal and public clean playing stance going forward. Which leads me to the Toronto baseball media in general. There has been very little questioning the signing or going after Cabrera to find out why he did what he did and why we can now suddenly believe he’s clean? It was left to a Miami based media outlet to tell us that no, we can’t trust him.

    Though reading a lot of the comments on here already I am lead to think that perhaps the media don’t care to dig for the truth and ask the awkward questions because there is little appetite among fans to know whether what they are seeing or not is real, or chemically enhanced and thus fake. I guess that is why thousands can turn a blind eye to the fact they don’t actually hit one another and still cheer on the good guy in the WWE.

    And on a slightly side note:

    You mentioned ‘and take cortisone shots’ and it begs the question, is this actually legal in baseball? I know in a number of other sports testing positive for cortisone will get you a two-game ban. Granted baseball only appears willing to suspend first time offenders for an un-detering 50-games, but the point being that cortisone still chemically and unnaturally enhances your ability to perform.

    • Stop just stop

    • Whoa, what?

      1) Players do lots of stupid things that they believe have effects that really don’t. Corking bats, stupid bracelets, etc.

      2) Gose wasn’t ever going to be a left fielder. And the Jays knew Cabrera had been suspended anyway, so… not really.

      3) Before you get all righteous about your what you’d want your kid to see, shouldn’t you maybe try to understand just how much or little an effect this stuff had?

      4) This stuff appears to be the same stuff he was suspended for, so no, it wasn’t left to a Miami outlet to tell us anything.

      5) Cortisone shots are not on the banned substance list.

      • 1) Performance Enhancing Drugs do have an affect hence why they do them and why they’re banned across many sports.

        2) It’s not about whether he would have made the team, it’s the perception it gives to Goss and other young players.

        3) I know all too well how much an affect these have. And even if the affects are minimal … there’s still something, and they’re banned for a reason.

        4) He was suspended for failing a single test. This would indicate that he was using drugs on multiple occassions.

        5) I think that’s poor that cortisone shots are not banned. I’m a cycling fan and have seen my sport dragged through the dirt because the fans care about exposing the cheats while other sports are more than happy to turn a blind eye. That stuff like cortisone isn’t tested for, that there is no out of competition testing, and that the suspensions are minimal bordering on pointless, only confirms to me that baseball isn’t as serious as it ought to be.

        On that note, maybe you’re right. Maybe I ought to bury my head in the sand and accept that baseball is a sport were drugs are a part of the culture and not to ask questions. Accept the testing they do, forget the fact that only an idiot should get caught, and happy clap these magnificent performances that leave me saying, “That was unbelievable”, because it is.

        Fair enough.

        • Now your getting some where Rick.
          It is unbelievable what they do, but whats even more unbelievable is that you are cycling fan.

        • Dont think anyone was saying “bury your head”

          think what people are saying, myself included here, is that just because he fail a test and just because he end up on the list, doesn’t mean he needs to keep on being punished, he messed up, owned up to it, did his time, moved on.

          So the question is, why can’t you?

        • 1) You asked why they would do them if they weren’t beneficial, and I provided you an example why they very clearly might. You’re arguing a different point. Still, HGH, for example, aids in recovery time, it doesn’t add muscle mass or make you into a better baseball player, so no, not all PEDs are created equal. Nor is there a whole lot of consistency on what constitutes one, which is what helps make the subject extra pointless.

          2) You mean the perception that if you do PEDs you get caught, and consequently make a whole lot less money than you would have otherwise, even though those PEDs very plausibly didn’t actually impact your performance in the way that people want to believe? Yeah, I think they can live with that.

          3) No, no, I’m talking about the effect on performance of a baseball player, and Melky Cabrera in particular here. You don’t know this at all. What percentage of his performance do we discount because of it? You have no idea.

          4) You’re just being purposefully naive to prove a point. You really think the single test suggests that this was the only time he did anything? That’s the standard we should set, and we should suspend someone every time?

          5) Maybe as a cycling fan you have no choice but to think the witch hunt was worth it, but I certainly don’t think you can quite characterize it as some noble pursuit.

          And pardon me for interrupting your charming righteousness, but it’s not that we’re not asking questions here, it’s that we’re asking questions you don’t like– such as, why should one substance be considered immoral and unacceptable and others not? How much should we even care about it? Why does it send such an evil, awful message to not care that someone took a specific kind of workout aid? How is that stuff any more harmful to the precious children and people following examples than good old obsessive, single-minded, anti-social amounts of practice, working out, using “acceptable” supplements, etc.?

          These aren’t easy questions, and you’re not helping by skirting them with your insistence that you already have all the answers, and clouding it further with the righteous indignation.

          • You should have been a lawyer, not a bloger!

          • 1. It doesn’t matter what they do, the fact is they are banned in the sport. I know all too well that different drugs do different things and a baseball player can use a drug for recovery as well as he can a drug for power, but the fact remains whether they make you 10 times the player for your career or twice the player for a week, they’re performance enhancers and they’re not legal in sport.

            2. If they didn’t impact performance then why would they take them? Every performance enhancer that is on the banned list (and many that aren’t on the banned list in baseball) aid your performance in some regard or another. Does that guarantee you gain a place on a team because of it? No? But no doubt there are some out there who haven’t got places on teams or contracts because at some level or another someone took drugs and someone choose not to. That’s been spoken of from numerous athletes before.

            3. The fact he’s taken drugs and failed a test I don’t believe he’d done it once and that’s it. By going down that road and being foolish enough to get caught in a sport where it’s easy to avoid a positive test, Melky has opened the door to outright suspicion by any fan that cares.

            4. You fail a test in, say, April: You serve a 50 game suspension (or whatever the minimal term is), if you’re later found to have taken drugs prior to that again, then of course you should be punished again. I can’t comprehend that anyone would think you shouldn’t be? Indeed, if he fails a test again this year then he should face another suspension. On a side note, I don’t see why many Olympic sports under WADA should meat out 2 year bans for first time offences by comparison to the less deterring 50 games.

            5. Of course going after the cheats was worth it for cycling fans because we wanted to know what was real and what we watched was enhanced via chemicals and doctors. That USADA pursued the cycling angle so hard is probably in part because cycling fans do want to know the truth and aren’t happy to keep their heads in the sand and assume that because there’s a little testing here and there that this is enough and it’s keeping most in check.

            And yes you’re asking particular questions, but I’ve seen nobody from the Toronto media seriously question Melky as to his history of performance enhancing drug use, why he did it, who encouraged it, and whether he seriously intends to stand for clean baseball going forward. Further, questions of the Blue Jays as to what made them trust Melky and why we the fans can then buy into that trust. Perhaps these questions will come, perhaps some will investigate it, who knows, but I won’t bank on it.

            At the end of the day, it’s each to their own and this is just my opinion on it. Perhaps I should watch sport with my head in the sand … watch sport with rose tinted shades and just take the entertainment for what it is because it means little in the real world after all. To hell with those who want to compete clean, that’s between them, their team-mates who may be cheating, and their league, right? Taking that simplistic view of sport probably would make for easier, enjoyable watching.

            • Anyway, I’ve made my point here and I’ll leave it at that. I’ll grant it, I’m deeply cynical when it comes to the subject though I’ll excuse that as from years of watching doped athletes from whom you can thank.

              I know some people will keep their opinion and will forever be happy to turn up to the ball park and clap without a care in the world as to whether there is doping or not and whether baseball is doing enough, but I hope a few have considered the alternative on the likes of Melky. Then again, maybe I’d be better taking that simplistic approach.

              G’Night.

    • Rick you must have some underlying issues that need resolving. Did the Melkman drop off “Melk” at your house and not return? Bowchicabowow!

      • Lazy Jays, I am just someone who doesn’t like doping in sports and I have seen enough of it in enough sports to see the problems it causes. It doesn’t matter than it’s Melky for me, unlike to yourself and many others on here who don’t want Melky getting in trouble over this because he’s a Blue Jay.

        • Rick, you are the worst,.

        • Rick, everyone should get a 2nd chance shouldnt they?

          Or do you have a problem with the whole forgive and forget thing most people live by.

          How did Bush Jr put it

          “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

          • No. I think second chances are more than warranted. But only when the apology for the first offence is contrite. Melky said little in the way of sorry, or meaning it, he said nothing about why he did it, how he did it, and what he took. It was a case of ‘sorry I got caught’. He has shown nothing in the way of advocating playing clean going forward. And to be fair to him, the Toronto media have done absolutely nothing to question or investigate him further.

            • what do you want from him, his carreer will always have the * beside it, everytime he goes 3-4 someone will Say – He must be Juicing again”

              He will live with it forever……..and he did own up and apologize, and him bowing out of the NL Batting champ race – even though he is the NL Batting champ – shows some type of remorse, doesn’t it?

            • Judge, jury and executioner right here, all in one tidy package.

            • Honestly Rick, who the fuck cares? Do you know how many guys get prescriptions for steroids and testosterone every day? It doesn’t make them into baseball players magically. It’s such a silly moral stand for everyone to take.

              • So then, are you one of those people who believe Lance Armstrong would have won the Tour without drugs?
                What the hell kind of logic is this? The fact that an average person wouldn’t become a professional baseball player merely by taking PEDs has absolutely nothing to do with whether the use of PEDs will give someone an advantage that they would of otherwise not have had.

                • What do I want from him? A contrite apology wouldn’t hurt. The truth wouldn’t hurt either. Why he did it, who encouraged it, how often he did it and to come into this season with an honest stand against drugs having recognised his mistake.

                  Is that too much to ask for? Of course it is, but that also doesn’t mean I’ll close my eyes and say, ‘Oh, you served your little ban, and you can go ahead and represent the Blue Jays now because you must now be clean’.

                  • In fairness, I don’t think anyone believes that Melky will stay ‘clean’ in the future if he can help it.

                    With that said, I’m on Team Rick. He’s gone overboard on some of the arguments but the core point is valid – it’s not legal and it’s not fair. On the other side I see more overboard arguments, lots and lots of excuse-making, and attempts at turning the debate into something it’s not – I’m all for adding to the list of banned substances, for example, but that debate doesn’t change what is banned right now.

    • I’m just going to chime in about the part where you say that a 50 game suspension is un-deterring. Dude, that accounts to losing nearly 1/3 of your salary. Secondly, who the fuck likes their name being tarnished for eternity? If anything, when Gose see’s the swarm of media surrounding Melky, asking him the same questions over and over again at spring training and away games, I would guess that Gose will see doping isn’t worth the risk.

      • 1/3rd of your season. Other sports: 2 years, second offence: 4 years. 3rd offence: life-time ban. There’s many lobbying WADA to institute life-time bans straight up with zero-tolerance.

  15. I care so little about any of this, that I don’t even perk up at mention of Arod being named. And he is my most hated player.

  16. Some great points Stoeton.

    I disagree with you on BABIP. If you hit the ball harder (not longer, necessarily) it has a much better chance of finding the holes.

    • Then explain the lack of change in league-wide BABIP during the height of PED use. You could be right, but just because it seems like it maybe could be right isn’t compelling to me.

      • I dunno, during the “height” everyone was doing it? Or half, a third, whatever, and those players heightened the mean? It seems logical to me that PED’s, which make you stronger/quicker would have a dramatic effect on bat speed. Thus, a greater chance of finding the infield holes or gaps – just like Melky did.

        What would be very telling is hitters bat speed – before and after i.e. before suspected PED use (difficult I know) and after suspension? Who knows.

        • Increased bat speed =/= increased BABIP

          • Until the total #s of players who used durring the “hieght” and the use now, it is almost impossible to judge what affect it had on BABIP was – the HR race of Bonds and Soso on the other hand…..that paints a clear pitchuer

        • I also have, no proof, but a sense that Bautista and Encanacion have been taking HGH. HGH, before this year, has not been tested for after Spring Training. I would not be surprised if both of those players had their numbers fall this year.

          Though I would be crazy upset about it as I want nothing more than Blue Jay success this year.

          • Ridiculous. For one, you have no idea how much it might have helped them if it were. Look at the Mitchell Report– this stuff does not turn average players into superstars. Lots of shitty players took it and still sucked.

            • BUT, it does help some players dramatically. (see BRADY ANDERSON, BENITO SANDIAGO). I’m just putting it out there. I have a suspicion that Bautista and Encarnacion have taken PED’s – HGH. Maybe I’m wrong…we’ll see.

            • Shitty players may have taken it and it moved them from good minor leaguer to poor major leaguer. It could move a player from A to AA and so forth. For some it might do nothing at all. But for others it does make a difference. That’s a fact, it’s been proven through enough sports.

              MTGJays, Who knows about Bautista and Encanacion, I hope of course that both are clean and neither have been linked to any doping scandal or positive test that I’m aware of and deserve the benefit of the doubt for that reason, but sudden surges in statistics from one season to another do amount to suspicion in the cynical mind. The cynical mind comes from years of watching doped athletes thinking at the time it was all rosy.

          • I have, no proof, but a sense that you’re an idiot.

            The Barak Obama Birther Society for Morons Who Make Unsubstantiated Claims is meeting over at Breitbart. I suggest you join them.

        • But that’s what I’m saying– if they heightened the mean, why aren’t we seeing it in the data?

          Here are the league average BABIPs since 1995:

          .297 – 2012
          .295 – 2011
          .297 – 2010
          .299 – 2009
          .300 – 2008
          .303 – 2007
          .301 – 2006
          .295 – 2005
          .297 – 2004
          .294 – 2003
          .293 – 2002
          .296 – 2001
          .300 – 2000
          .302 – 1999
          .300 – 1998
          .301 – 1997
          .301 – 1996
          .298 – 1995

          Where are all the guys finding these extra hits in the years prior to when suspensions started in 2004?

        • Not sure about your intuitive reasoning here. It seems totally reasonable that a drug could increase power but not hand-eye coordination. So a squarely hit ball would go further, but there wouldn’t be any more squarely hit balls. A line drive in play is almost always going to fall for a hit statistically anyways, and I bet steroids wouldn’t help that.

    • It’s where you hit them – not how hard. That’s what BABIP is all about.

  17. Nice piece. pretty much summed up my thoughts exactly.
    It seems like mlb has to draw this artificial line with regards to what is allowed and what is not, until actual evidence shows how much various peds help in baseball. which leads people to believe it is gospel and they can distinguish between cheaters and non cheaters

    • Yes, it’s totally coincidental that Bonds jacked 73 in his late 30′s after his fucking head and feet grew full sizes. Keep telling yourself that.

  18. So basically, if there’s any evidence Melky took PEDs after his suspension–and from my quick reading so far there isn’t–then he can’t get suspended again, because that would be getting suspended twice for the same crime.

  19. Hey Stoeten, can you do an article on the best bars to watch a Jays game in TO or something along those lines.

    • Good idea – but i would rather go to the field if i was in TO

      Maybe one on best places in say….AB, BC, NS stuff like that.

      • Don’t know if he has any knowledge of that but hells ya. I would be more than willing to do the research out here in BC

      • in Calgary its definitely a f.a.t.s.
        fifth and tenth street northwest.
        last WBC they turned off all hockey, let us watch the canada usa game with sound, and the bartenders did shots with us whenever canada scored.
        easily 40 beers on tap

        • Sounds great….used to live in Inglewood close enough to down town and 17th that it was impossible not to find a reason to party to even Euro football . Yeah I said it………

        • Thanks! Been to fats for half-priced pizzas but never realized they were a good baseball joint.

  20. So much for nothing to talk about

  21. The reason BABIPs haven’t changed from the height of the steroid era to now is that everyone was using them.

    For example, Roger Clemens juiced which helped him pitch…but Barry Bonds counteracted this by juicing which helped him hit…but A-Roid juiced which helped his range which helped him field the ball.

    But in our “clean” contemporary era, Melky’s BABIP spike just shows how much PEDs can do because, unlike Bonds, he doesn’t have to face a juiced pitcher and fielder. Most likely.

    It’s all very scientific if you think about it.

    Seriously, though, as long as Melky doesn’t get another suspension, who cares?

    • Lol your theory is everything but “scientific”. Your theory assumes that PED’s have the exact same affect on every person/player, and while I’m no doctor, I can guarantee you that’s not true.

  22. From my read of the article, Melky’s PED culpability coincides with his getting busted. I.e., this is not “news” as in new, but a rehashing with some details.

    Whereas Arod’s name raises questions because he didn’t take no stereos after a 3 year period so please can we all stop talking about it and let me get back to me centaur painting. i.e., he’s a big fat liar.

    On the other hand, is the Miami New Times a legit source? Seems like “Metro” that’s available free on the TTC here in Jaysland.

  23. Know what else aids in recovery time… Chocolate Milk, vitamins, fruit, eating healthy in general, sleep, rest, a positive attitude.. . . dot dot dot.

  24. Fuck man, this guy hasn’t played a game as a Jay and you’re already his #1 apologist. You keep talking about how maybe it doesn’t improve performance. If that’s the case, why the fuck does everyone take them? They obviously think they do, so at the very least an intent to gain a benefit exists in the part of the player.

    And for you fucking idiots saying, “Well, everyone takes them so what do you expect?”, go fuck off. When I was a kid,George Bell was my idol. If I had found out he was cheating, I would have been fucking devastated. What message is being sent to kids if we tell them that everyone cheats, so it’s okay?

    I’m sure I’ll be loving Melky if he rakes. But some of you guys act like WAR trumps everything, and that’s fucking bullshit. Integrity matters in the real world, so why should baseball players be excused?

    I have no problem with examining and debating all aspects of this issue. But quite frankly, Stoeten’s attitude toward it is embarrassing.

    • We’ve got a regular Helen Lovejoy here, it seems. Stoeten’s attitude on this issue is actually quite intelligent, thoughtful and refreshing. It’s the kind of open-minded perspective that you don’t often get from most media types, especially on this particular issue. If you took the time to get past your ignorance regarding PEDs and your righteous indignation about their use in baseball, you might see that as well.

      • It’s fitting that you’re named after Fullmer, the jacked beast who could barely get the ball out of the infield.

        I’m sick of reading “who says PED even work” as a defence of their use. So what if Melky isn’t a home run hitter? Last time I checked, bat speed was important to all hitters.

        Bottom line, players who take PED are cheating all those who don’t. That doesn’t mean I have no sympathy for guys who have gotten caught. But let’s not start saying it’s okay. Because it’s not. People who follow the rules should not be penalized.

        • I may have been thinking of Segui. In any case, go fuck yourself.

        • Why isn’t it OK? It’s certainly OK for others in our society to take performance enhancers for various reasons in their lives, but it’s not OK for athletes to do it in their chosen profession? The inherent hypocrisy of this issue has always been quite incredible to me.

          • It’s okay for people who need it for medical reasons. Otherwise, no.

            Did you read the article in the Miami paper? According to the AMA, only 45,000 people in the US actually need HGH. Yet it outsells prescription allergy medicine. Doctors in the US skirt the rules because of course doctors in the US are allowed to skirt the rules.

            Know anyone in Canada who’s prescribed HGH? Probably not. Because doctors here actually have to follow rules.

    • Roid rage? Or lots of lonely nights? Wooosaaaaaa, woooosssaaaaaa……remember to rub the ear!

      People are saying….if he gets caught again, punish him, but he did his time, give him another chance. Didn’t see anyone say it was ok that he used? Can you show me?

      • Seriously, buddy, that’s your response? I have lived and died with the Jays since ’82. My life would have been completely different without them. I’m not going to apologize for being adamant that players should respect baseball’s rules, especially that one.

  25. The evidence of Melky’s business with this ‘clinic’ is dated prior to his suspension? So, this is just where he got it in the first place and not necessarily that he’s used PED’s since his suspension?

    Melky used PED’s and this just seems to me to be a story about where he got them. That’s just how it looks to me.

  26. “Cheating” is a matter of opinion, and its been engraved in the culture of pro sports since the beginning of time. Do whatever it takes to win, and don’t get caught. Who gives a fuck really. It’s a business, and winning puts people in seats. MLB didnt give a shit when McGwire, Sosa and Bonds were putting up ridiculous homerun totals. There’s so many examples of players gaining whatever advantage they can, controvsial or not, throughout history.

    So throw a fucking man in a white shirt in the bleachers. Scuff up the baseballs. Create a man made air current in your home stadium and only turn it on during home at bats. Keep stealing signs. Take whatever PEDs you can take without getting caught. If it means we win more, I’m all for it. The landscape is fucked anyways, with teams like the NYY and Red Sox spending so fucking much and continually dominating the division. Fuck, the Sox won the World Series (as did the Yanks and so many other teams) with most or all of their star players taking PEDs. So let them write what they want, I don’t think most fans really give a shit. Let the players be. Except for A-Rod. Ban him for life for being a douche bag, but don’t let the Yanks off the hook on his contract.

    • a-rod has to be the biggest fucking dick ever. I’m a Jays fan and may sound biased, but did you see what he fucking did a couple years ago, where he yelled at one of our players, in order to make him drop the ball. Then the motherfucker goes out and denies it, saying he just muttered to himself. After that, I just said ‘fuck him’ and prayed he broke both his legs and never could play again.

  27. funny, cause a-rod has been complete shit for the last couple of seasons

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  30. [...] few nights ago I hopped onto an unofficial Blue Jays blog to gather what the fan reaction might be and was left stunned as the article seemed to question [...]

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