You know what I missed over the last few peaceful days? Rampant steroid speculation. Why, it seems like an eternity since a professional baseball player was last railroaded with allegations built on flimsy evidence or the handwritten notes of a buffoon.
What’s worse, without that endless news cycle tut-tutting, my life was empty without the statements of absolute innocence from pious athletes.
Thank heavens for Jeff Passan, who is here to uncover evidence considered too flimsy by the free alt-weekly which broke the Biogenesis story. Turns out some names in the mysterious notebooks kept by acknowledged boob Anthony Bosch weren’t directly linked to any illegal materials.
With so little to go on, the Miami New Times omitted some names from their initial report. Yahoo! Sports had no such qualms, splashing Ryan Braun’s name most prominently among those featured in name-only, with only a dollar figure attached to his name.
Ryan Braun famously tested positive for heightened levels of testosterone last winter, uncovered during a post-season urine test. The sample was compromised in the lab and the positive test ruled inadmissible, so Braun walked.
The single positive test plants seeds of doubt in the mind of the Salem Drug Squad, as Ryan Braun is now a cheat for life in the eyes of many. His name turning up in the Biogenesis ledgers only confirms what many already believed: Ryan Braun was just another University of Miami drug user.
Braun immediately issued a statement, claiming he enlisted the services of “doctor” Bosch as an expert during his “successful appeal” of the aforementioned positive test. The only thing getting tested around here is my patience, amirite?
Noted attorney and scientist Jon Morosi isn’t buying any of the weaksauce excuse making from Ryan Braun, adding that when the Brewers’ slugger walked last year it grated on Bud Selig and many in the league office, who won’t hesitate to try and burn Braun again.
There is nothing quite like guilt by association as baseball’s Red Scare continues unabated. PED fatigue is real and I think many fans feel it.
In sum, steroids in baseball is a topic likely to yield no worthwhile lessons. The next person to make sense of it all will be the first.
— Patrick Sullivan (@PatrickSull) February 6, 2013
How much to PEDs help? Do they had two home runs to twenty? Do they add 15 games played or 50? Do they add 2 MPH or 12? Does it matter? How can it not? If they helped Ryan Braun become so great, why didn’t they help the other players named in yesterday’s report — Danny Valencia and Francisco Cervelli — be little more than replacement-level players for their careers?
It’s complex. Few among us are qualified to speak on it intelligently. Plunking our heads in the sand and wishing this issue away is naive – it isn’t going to happen. The issue continues to dominate the headlines, especially during this time of year with precious little to push it from the front pages.
Until the Anthony Bosch story is told in full and baseball turns the page on the latest ugly chapter, we better get used to hearing his name and reading names out of his notebooks. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And the rest
Pitch F/X is not without flaws. Some Pitch F/X park factors [Beyond the Boxscore]
This is what Replacement Level looks like if you NAMED NAMES [Fangraphs]
The World Series Champs played a charity golf event at one of great shrines to the game, Pebble Beach. Check out the pants on Kruk!
No. 7 at Pebble – not a bad morning w my pals twitter.com/FlemmingDave/s…
— Dave Flemming (@FlemmingDave) February 5, 2013