According to Major League Baseball:

During season play (beginning with Spring Training through the end of the Regular Season), all players will be randomly selected for testing at unannounced times for steroids once. The office of the Commissioner has the right during the season to administer additional random testing at unannounced times for steroids. The number of tests and the timing and schedule of these tests is determined by the Health Policy Advisory Committee, and players are subject to any number of additional tests during the regular season.

According to Jose Bautista on Jim Bowden’s SiriusXM radio show, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger has been tested for performance enhancing drugs fifteen times in the last three years. Fifteen times! Of course, all of these tests came back negative.

We’ve heard about the amount of random testing before from Bautista.

Not everybody on the team gets picked every single time that they test, but our team has gotten tested once a week for the last four weeks, and I’ve gotten tested twice in that span. I know what kind of person I am and how I achieve things, so I have no problem answering these questions. If playing good baseball and playing good and hitting a lot of home runs and being successful leads to people asking these questions, I have no problem answering them, because I know I haven’t done anything wrong.

Being somewhat sheltered by a supportive fan base in Toronto, it might not be as obvious here as other places that mouth breathers, without any evidence, armed only with the shadows of understanding of what steroids do to the human body and the effect they can have, still believe that Bautista is juicing. Whether he actually is or isn’t is beside the point, it remains unreasonable to accuse him.

As my colleague Andrew Stoeten (whose photoshopping skills are second to none) so delicately put it:

Yes, genius. Jose Bautista is the only player in Major League Baseball to have found an undetectable amazing steroid that turns ordinary ballplayers into superhuman baseball Gods without causing any physical changes, and whoever is supplying it to him refuses to sell it to anybody else, Bautista won’t give any to his countless shitty teammates, and he just [Getting Blanked]ing happened to start taking this magical drug that– again– whatever shady mother[Getting Blanked]er he gets it from, for some incompre-[Getting Blanked]ing-hensible reason refuses to sell to anybody else, at exactly the same time he made noticeable changes to his swing.

Still, cynics abound. As CBS Sports’ Matt Snyder says,

Now, I can hear the cynicism already: “How do we know that’s true? He’s lying. He could be using HGH anyway, because that’s untestable.”

The human growth hormone excuse is the most ridiculous of all, and represents how foolish the entire witch hunt is for any player that finds a new level of success. Ask anyone who has ever worked in a lab about HGH and what it does to the human body, and I guarantee that their answer will be similar to Daniel Engbar’s.

What’s the difference between steroids and HGH? For starters, we know that a baseball player can beef up on steroids and improve his athletic performance. But most clinical studies suggest that HGH won’t help an athlete at all….So far, no one has been able to connect the increase in lean body tissue caused by HGH with enhancement of athletic performance. Unlike steroids, growth hormone hasn’t been shown to increase weight-lifting ability; in the lab, it has a greater effect on muscle definition than muscle strength. And it doesn’t seem to help much with cardiovascular fitness, either.

The commonly held beliefs on the effects of HGH and steroids as well, remind me of that section in Farenheit 451 when Guy Montag is running from the authorities and watches as they capture another man, completely unrelated to him, and they impose punishment immediately because the dystopian authorities are more concerned with finding a scape goat for optics sake than further investigating and finding actual answers.

So, maybe before we begin burning the reputations of baseball players right after they find a measure of success, we should consider things such as actual evidence that’s not based merely on their own performance. I’m not so naive as to think that competitors in a highly competitive field aren’t going to seek out every advantage possible over their competition, but I’m also not naive enough to trust my limited understanding of what gives them that advantage to the point of vocalizing accusations.

And The Rest

“In ‘old school’ terms, I realize my proposal would be considered radical,” writes the aforementioned Jim Bowden while putting together his regional realignment leagues, seeming to not care that even in “new school” terms, his proposal is less likely than me using human growth hormone to become a Major League superstar. I honestly can’t get over what a waste of time this article is, and I don’t just mean for the people reading it, I mean for Bowden himself. What was the point of spending time putting such a ridiculous notion together?

I’ve got more to write about realignment, but we should give credit to the story that broke news this weekend that MLB would be considering a more balanced approach to its schedule.

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel breaks down the decrease in broken bats.

Peter Gammons called Wrigley Field a dump.

Joe DiMaggio was apparently rather protective of anyone taking pictures of his bat.

The Atlanta Braves are over .500 for the first time since 1923 . . . as a franchise.

Is Latin talent overpriced?

Imagine if we could evaluate catchers based on their ability to frame pitches for strikes. Surprise: we can!

Vin Mazzaro’s luck bounced back yesterday when the Royals pitcher allowed five hits, walked five and did not strike out a single batter over seven scoreless innings. Five double plays didn’t hurt the pitcher’s chances.

This weekend, several media outlets reported that an Andre Ethier jersey was found with Bryan Stow’s blood on it. Media outlets were wrong.

Things got a little bit testy this weekend in New York with Joe Girardi and Manny Acta.

I’m not sure who’s more deserving of scorn, Ryan Dempster for his impression of Will Farrell’s impression of Harry Caray:

Or this insufferable [Getting Blanked]:

Yep. Definitely, the insufferable [Getting Blanked]. She’s like the opposite of Hallelujah.