August 3rd, 2013

Today's slate.

The Big Hurst - Francisco Liriano

skoormit - Max Scherzer

La Osa Rosa - Bruce Chen

The Big Hurst: Sally Jenkins in The Washington Post wrote this story yesterday called, "Alex Rodriguez's phony personality makes him a perfect target for a flawed process".  I won't reprint the whole thing, but there are some good quotes:
  • "The ritualistic rage at Alex Rodriguez feels less like justice than a public stoning, and it’s Exhibit A that the moral crusade against performance enhancement is as unhealthy as the thing it purports to correct. Whatever Rodriguez’s transgressions, is he really so much more culpable than any number of the people he played with or for, including baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who makes his living off the sweat of other men’s bodies and whose apparent idea of justice is to use the threat of a lifetime ban as a publicity tactic?"
  • "[W]hat we have here isn’t a genuine assessment of his offenses but rather a squeeze play by Selig, an attempt to pressure A-Rod into forgoing his due process. Whatever the evidence against Rodriguez in the Biogenesis affair . . . the commissioner is unmistakably less interested in a fitting penalty than he is in shutting up A-Rod — and at the same time bolstering his own weak reputation on PEDs."
  • "We can’t know what the evidence against A-Rod is because the commissioner hasn’t produced it."
  • "MLB officials have told Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch they would cover his legal expenses, indemnify him against litigation and put in a good word with any law-enforcement agencies if he cooperated with the investigation. Before Bosch made his deal with baseball, he tried to get money out of Rodriguez. All of that puts the commissioner in bed with a steroids dealer and semi-extortionist."
  • "[T]the commissioner is as bent as A-Rod is accused of being. If Selig can force A-Rod to make a deal, then we never have to see whether MLB’s evidence would hold up in arbitration or a court room."
  • "[Is A-Rod's] real offense failing to express the convenient meek acceptance that will make Selig look authoritative and spare him more bad publicity?"
  • "Yes, A-Rod is lawyering up . . . and what’s wrong with that? Technicalities matter: They exist to keep people from being railroaded, and they are the entire difference between adjudication and show trials. Otherwise what we get feels uncomfortably like judges writing confessions for defendants and forcing them to sign under threats of the gulag. Insisting on due process is not the same thing as protecting or coddling cheaters.  Without it, the whole anti-doping fight smacks of the worst hypocrisy. Among the things made obvious by Biogenesis is that baseball’s drug testing is failing: It’s not catching people or especially deterring them."
   One of few complaints about the article, really, is that it the headline buries the "flawed process" as second billing to A-Rod's "phony personality".  The article is about the wildly flawed process, but it's guilty of the same disturbing tactic as MLB - attracting attention by piling on an unpopular A-Rod.  Another complaint is this line: "He is a tone-deaf egotist who never understood the deep resentment he engendered by being baseball’s highest paid player and then not producing astronomic numbers."  Oh, I think he fully understands the resentment.  The third complaint is this: "The Web site Sabernomics once ran the math on the years he admitted taking PEDs and estimated they were worth a little more than one home run a season to him."  I haven't read this research, but I'm pretty sure these numbers would either be "inconclusive" or statistically insignificant.  I'd say it supports the opposite conclusion: that so-called "PEDs" don't really help you play baseball.



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