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Kudos for additional drug testing

Jan 11, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Commissioner Bud Selig and union chief Michael Weiner have worked well together.

No issue has haunted baseball over the last two decades more than steroids — look no further than this week's Hall of Fame vote for evidence of that — and the sport has rightfully been chastised for its unwillingness to address the issue throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s.

But let's give credit where credit's due, because the leaders of this game have done some mighty impressive work in the last few years in an attempt to make up for their previously shameful ignorance of the problem.

And they added one of the most impressive moves to date yesterday, announcing that all major leaguers will be subject to random, in-season, blood testing for human growth hormone beginning in April.

That makes Major League Baseball the first North American professional sports league to require such testing for HGH and further strengthens what has become by far the strictestRead more »

251 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SonnyG10 - Jan 12, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    MASN to air six Nats spring training games, beginning Feb 28 vs Mets.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 12, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    baseballswami, when Det got demoted to the bullpen and got his 2nd chance on July 17 he was like a different pitcher all due to a change in his approach.Once he adds girth to his frame he will increase his stamina further but right now he is pitching smart and the new approach is workingDet was the best of the Nats pitchers in the playoffs and that is an important footnote what he did in a decisive elimination game.

  3. MicheleS - Jan 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Sonny.. I hope 106.7 does more with Charlie and Dave. And I can't listen to that drunk guy that does the Cards games again this Spring Training. I am going through serious withdrawal.

  4. Gonat - Jan 12, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    MicheleS, that is so true on the Cards radio. Is that Mike Shannon & his sidekick? Its hard to believe they allow idiots to ruin a broadcast like that.

  5. baseballswami - Jan 12, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Ghost- I am fairly certain that Det was the winning pitcher when some of these young guys won the championship in the minors. It might not have been the majors, but it was playoff experience. I believe Randy Knorr was their manager? Maybe PNats?? #memory fail

  6. UnkyD - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Joe… I trek down 28 to Shady Grove Rd. every morning, so Sugarloaf and Seneca are on my left every morning…I'll wave, on Monday… :-)(Shady Grove…. How could I have forgotten Doc Watson?!)Here's a little Tony Rice… Watch that right hand….. All flatpickin', no fingertips… Yep, he can play….

  7. peric - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Its a shame its not from Poolsville via Whites' Ferry, used to be my one and only favorite drive from work.

  8. UnkyD - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Yeah… Poolesville is on the right, on the way in….. And I've taken the Gen. Jubal Early across the Potomac many times, over the decades…..

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Holy crap. The Magic just beat the Clippers!

  10. SonnyG10 - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Yes, I'd love to get Charlie and Dave for ST baseball. It would be great if they would do all or most of the games. I bet they would have a good following.

  11. SonnyG10 - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Wow, I thought my comment didn't take, but then noticed we're over 200 comments now. Come on Chase or Mark, we're in desperate need of a new post (or two)

  12. Joe Seamhead - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    UnkyD, I'm near Seneca on the river, not the townhouse community in Germantown, so when you come down 28 through Darnestown, I would be a few miles to your right as you are coming into town in the morning. Regarding Tony Rice, he is flat out my favorite flat picker. I've been fortunate to have seen him several times at both the new, and the old Birchmere..

  13. UnkyD - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Joe, haven't had the pleasure, but I have seen Doc 3 times, no slouch, himself…. But Tony is the top of the heap, no doubt. And worthy of Clarence's Martin…

  14. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    bit off topic:Just finished Godfather II.While Godfather I blew my mind, part II felt lengthy at times. De Niro was awesome as young Vito. Anyways, marvelous performances from everyone involved, from Brando to Luca Brasi, from Pacino to Duvall.

  15. UnkyD - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Oh…. I shoulda said "did see". Forgot we lost Doc, last year… RIP, Arthel…

  16. UnkyD - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Lol, Faraz! Off topic IS the topic, tonight…

  17. baseballswami - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    We started with drug testing, meandered all the way to neighborhoods and movies. Oy, do we have to wait all the way to Monday? I do have a question, though. I have seen a few tweets about people committing to the WBC. Is there anywhere to see the list so far?

  18. MicheleS - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Swami, No full list out, but they have lots of names on here: follow on twitter @WBCBaseball

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    haha unkyd. just noticed.

  20. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    UnkyD – great posts – my son who I have tickets with has been playing for 19 of his 32 years. He went to NYC to become a famous singer/songwriter and we can all guess how that ended. Actually it ended well as he met the love of his life while playing for terminally ill kids at a hospital. He did get David Bowie to join in with him on a song when he was busking around Washington Square. He only has about 13 guitars, a mandolin, uke, keyboard and drum set. Can you tell I am proud. Anyway, I saw Tony at both the Birchmere and Strathmore. One when he could still sing and the other basically picking away. I am guessing you have been to NC and Merlefest. If you get a chance, go to Sundloff Guitars on facebook and tell me what you think.Go Nats!!

  21. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    By the way, NatsJack – spent 2+ hours hiking up off the C&O near Great Falls today – it might be 83 in FLA but nothing can beat the beauty of our area.

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    So you were on the Maryland side. I grew up on the Virginia side. Whenever I bring someone to the D.C. area for the first time, the first place I take them id Great Falls Park on the Va. side.Everyone of them change whatever there preconceived assumptions of how I grew up.My Father was the first child born into the Forrestville Grange in 1921.

  23. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Yes, we were on the MD side but they both are beautiful. Great idea of yours to get them to see the beauty and actual wildness of the Potomac.OK, its late, we are obviously not going to get another post – I am going to lay out my plan for Mike Morse one final time. If NatsJack runs into a wall or injures himself, I will feel bad but I have given this thought. I understand its not the popular or the sensible thing but I think it has some merit.1. I extend him for 2 more years with basically the same deal they gave LaRoche. Two years, about 20+ million with a mutual option for a 3rd year and a 2 million buyout clause. This allows him to feel good about his future, his new wife and family to be are taken care of, and in spite of what Ghost of Steve says, I think if a team did try to trade for him, if he had several years left on a contract it makes him more attractive.2. I have Davey sit down with him before we extend him and let him know just what his role will be. First base against tough lefties, outfield as they need rest and an insurance policy for any injury. He will play all away games vs the AL either at DH or in the field. I will also count on him for clutch pinch hit appearances as needed. If it is obvious that someone who starts (any of the outfielders or LaRoche) is not doing their job, he will play. Its not perfect for him but he is being rewarded financially and gives us an added edge.3. I hate to add this, but if for some reason the Nationals are not in the playoff hunt and the trade deadline is near, I will guarantee him the option of trying to move him. He honestly should be more valuable at that time as teams have needs.OK, that is it. Now, for the negatives. Tyler Moore, who Boz has already said is a cheaper version of Morse would have to be sent to AAA to play every day. He has options and its not a bad thing to gain skill at first on an every day basis but I want Morse here. With Morse on the bench, you honestly don't need both Tracy & Bernadina. I realize one is strictly a pinch hitter and the other had a great season and can play defense but in my opinion Morse is more valuable. People can disagree of course but I wanted it out there one more time and like I said, its late.

  24. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    Faraz, after those, Godfather III could be something of a letdown. You do get to see Pacino really chewing up the scenery, though, if you like that sort of thing. :-)Bluegrass, love it. Never saw Doc live but have seen Ralph Stanley a few times. Ricky Skaggs as well.On topic, WBC sounds good to me. Heck, intersquad games sound good to me right about now. :-)

  25. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    I even miss hearing that ST beer vendor over the radio.

  26. Feel Wood - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    2. I have Davey sit down with him before we extend him and let him know just what his role will be. First base against tough leftiesSo right there you have Davey lying to LaRoche when he was trying to convince him to come back. He flat out told LaRoche "I will not platoon you if you come back." Now in order to get Morse to agree to stay, you have Davey promising him a platoon at first base.Rizzo said it right the other day when he signed LaRoche. He sees Morse as an every day middle-of-the-lineup bat. That spot is not open on the Nationals now that LaRoche is back. Rizzo will trade Morse as soon as he gets an offer befitting an every day middle-of-the-lineup bat.

  27. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:30 AM

    Feel, I realize you are probably correct and I also realize my plan has flaws I am sure others will shoot holes in it as well but its been a slow baseball day and I thought I would throw it out there.

  28. NatsLady - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    So, I was desperate for baseball talk yesterday and listened to the program that comes after Nats Talk.- Showalter didn't seem that interested in Mike Morse. – He expects O's payroll to be at or over $90 million this year- He said you "may not put your best foot forward every day" because you can't wear out your bullpen. He takes baseball a week at a time.

  29. UnkyD - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    308: Merlefest is still on my bucket list…(sigh). Didn't get any hits for Sundloff Guitars on Facebook, or even google….too bad, as I love drooling over gear…

  30. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    How about Delfest (to which I've not been either)? I've seen McCoury live a few times, too. (btw, being a Luddite and a non-Tweeterer, I don't do FB. However, I do enjoy my imaginary friends on here in addition to my good, old-fashioned face-to-face type friends. :-))

  31. Gonat - Jan 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    NatsLady said… So, I was desperate for baseball talk yesterday and listened to the program that comes after Nats Talk.- Showalter didn't seem that interested in Mike Morse. – He expects O's payroll to be at or over $90 million this year- He said you "may not put your best foot forward every day" because you can't wear out your bullpen. He takes baseball a week at a time.January 13, 2013 6:53 AM __________________________________ Kubatko‏@masnRoch Showalter: "I know from talking to Peter, if there's a deal there that everybody thinks works, we're going to go. Nobody's scared here."____________________________________They have done next to nothing except re-sign Nate McLouth. largest expenditure was on Nick Markakis who they signed years ago to a ridiculous long-term deal for a player who didn't deserve that deal. This year and next year he gets $15,350,000. I think it was said Angelos decided to pay Markakis that deal because he had a "man crush" on him. Their next largest contract is $10 million for ex-roider Brian Roberts. The Orioles got rid of their 3rd largest obligation with Mark Reynolds by turning down his option then DFA'ing him to avoid any arbitration.Their only obligations going forward is the arbitration eligible players they have.

  32. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    UnkyD – try Sundlof Guitars – I am not sure if he has anything on the google machine but I know he is on facebook – He has made my son one guitar and is now working on this beautiful piece of maple for another.

  33. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    hijacking the off-topic trend;1A, started watching Godfather III. five minutes into it, 3 things I have noticed I did not like: Pacino's hair, laughing out load jokes (I can't remember any in I and II), actress playing Pacino's daughter. I will likely watch the whole thing but I understand what you were saying.

  34. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Faraz: I think you will not be happy with III but it is quite a sage. Just did not compare to the first two in my opinion.I spent my time getting through Game of Thrones season II. Hell, I read all 5 books so I am going to watch the damn show.UnkyD – let me know if what I tried worked. I am just so bad with computers.

  35. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Sage = saga

  36. ehay2k - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    On topic – is the commissioner subject to drug testing? If not, he should be. I'm sure we can rule out performance enhancing drugs, given his performance, but I think recreational drug use is very likely, since he sometimes seems to have his own reality. (Same for NHL, btw)

  37. SonnyG10 - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    ehay2k said…On topic – is the commissioner subject to drug testing? If not, he should be. I'm sure we can rule out performance enhancing drugs, given his performance, but I think recreational drug use is very likely, since he sometimes seems to have his own reality. (Same for NHL, btw)January 13, 2013 12:04 PMThat's funny…and clever!

  38. c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 - Jan 13, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Back to a link posted yesterday: at the end of the Detweiler interview, he mentioned that Lohse said that the stadium was so loud at some points that he couldn't think. Personally, I think that's a good thing. As a Saints fan from way back (yes, even through the bag-over-head era), the fans in the Dome were deliberately loud at certain points to increase the chance of false starts or offsides penalties–on the opposing team, of course. If Nationals fans can get the timing right, the "10th man" can actually contribute. Just to be clear: I am not advocating the Wave, I don't care who's pitching.ArVAFan

  39. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Excellent post. :-)ehay2k said… On topic – is the commissioner subject to drug testing? If not, he should be. I'm sure we can rule out performance enhancing drugs, given his performance, but I think recreational drug use is very likely, since he sometimes seems to have his own reality. (Same for NHL, btw) January 13, 2013 12:04 PM

  40. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    So I am looking for anything new about baseball and ESPN has all kinds of articles. They ranked the top 250 players for fantasy. I have never played and don't know if it relates to the real game or not. Interesting to me was Strasburg as our #1 guy at 16. Gio was next and then I think it was Jordan Zimmnn, Desmond and Ryan Z. The big shock was our next player listed. Dan Haren with Harper one spot back. I am guessing whoever posted this list feels Haren can really contribute next season and I am hoping he and not Peric is correct.

  41. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    MLB Trade Rumors tidbit: Javier Vazquez is not in a hurry to sign.

  42. peric - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    OK, that is it. Now, for the negatives. Tyler Moore, who Boz has already said is a cheaper version of Morse would have to be sent to AAA to play every day.Well, not exactly. Especially National League wise. First. Morse has played a plethora of positions in his career both infield and outfield. He started as a major league shortstop when he weighed significantly less, had fewer injuries and was quicker/faster. He may not have mastered these positions to Natslady's specifications but he has shown the ability to quickly adapt to a new position. Clearly, he seems better situated in the infield as opposed to the outfield at this point in his career. But even given that his range is still superior to the younger Tyler Moore.Second, Morse is going to hit nigh on to .300 and he can be a pretty decent clutch hitter. Moore will likely never hit about .270 and hit for power the way Morse does. Moore is a more traditional power hitter … lots of K's maybe 30 or more homers … .250 to .270 batting average. Reasonable OPS. More like Adam LaRoche from the right side than a Michael Morse. And like LaRoche Moore plays only one position reasonably well and that is first base.Third: If the plan was to platoon LaRoche then Morse would likely be kept and shuttled between the outfield and the infield. But they are going to take the risk that LaRoche will produce close to what he did last season. I for one would not take that bet. I think its a bad bet to squander a promising season on. But, that seems to be what both Rizzo and Johnson plan to do.Fourth. Morse isn't that much older than Moore who at age 26 is an older prospect close to Zim's age. Morse is now 30. Right now NOT starting Moore hurts their chances of getting real value for him NOW when he is just about to hit his prime! Trading him now for that reason also makes a lot of sense. They do still have the younger Marerro and another older prospect named Matt Skole who is a left-handed power bat like LaRoche. Plus the Anthony Rendon move to third base with Zim to first is on the horizon. So, keeping Morse for a year or two versus trading him makes little sense. Seems like they would be better served trading Moore and Lombo for some Advanced A to low A prospects with high ceilings makes more sense. And then moving the guys behind them (Chris Marerro/Matt Skole Zach Walters/ Jason Martinson) up the depth chart. But I'm not Rizzo, Clark or Harris so who knows?

  43. SonnyG10 - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Not a bad analysis, peric. I could see that happening.

  44. UnkyD - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Found it, SJM! GORGEOUS…. The young man is an artist…

  45. sjm308 - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    So peric, you are ok with Morse staying?

  46. peric - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    So peric, you are ok with Morse staying?Are you kidding? Of course!!! But two things about that … I remember that one "hot dog" – ish episode where he stood there in left field with his glove up while Bryce Harper the 19 year old kid excited out of his mind to be playing major league CF for a contender came all the way into left field to make a catch. Mikey of course thought it amusing … hey he probably remembered what it was like when he first came up to play shortstop for almost an entire season … Davey Johnson did not find it amusing and Morse found himself on the bench after that inning. I don't think Morse was dogging it … not sure what management thought about the whole thing but … there's that. And the nagging injuries. Of course both LaRoche and Zimmerman have been out far more than Morse and in Zim's case far more ineffective when injured than Michael Morse. But, I guess they have different positions in the pecking order and LaRoche does have the left-handed bat that Davey covets. Is Morse the better hitter? Over LaRoche? Hell YES HE IS! Without a doubt. Is he a better glove? No, but he is good enough and probably would get better with time at the position just as LaRoche did. LaRoche was horrific at first base for the first three years in the majors. Really horrible worse than Tyler Moore or Marerro. So? Over Zim? No, BUT only when Zim is healthy. When Zim is reasonably healthy I believe him to be an elite hitter. The problem is Zim is never healthy and usually injures himself making some sort of web gem at third. Which is why Anthony Rendon should be there instead at some point soon. But he too has injury problems … but not from playing the field; freak injuries from base running and a bit of sore shoulder. Has Morse been overall better than Zim offensively. YES, with the qualifier of only over the past three years and IMHO only because of Zim's injuries. So, why are they trading him again? According to Boz because he deserves better than a part-time role. And he is in a different league at a different level than John Lannan. True. However, Rizzo is a huge fan of insurance policies and Michael Morse provides the best one he could acquire if he has made a mistake where Span is concerned ( a distinct possibility!). If LaRoche starts the downward spiral that most players his age do or gets injured like most players his age tend to do. The same could be said for a player named Jayson Werth in spades! So, why are we trading Morse again? Oh, that's right Tyler Moore is his replacement. To make Natslady cringe to see him in left-field or in right replacing Jayson Werth? BUT, there is a guy named Corey Brown who perhaps could replace the bat of Morse with great fielding and speed. As with Morse three years ago, many consider him a AAAA player relegated to a 4th outfielder's role. BUT, Corey and his confidence problem have steadily improved from the time the Nat's obtained him. Even after injuries slowed him down. And he has a left-handed bat. So, there's that.But as many here will surmise a lot sounds like gambling. Morse is close to a sure thing as long as he doesn't pull a hammy. Which is why so many teams have expressed an interest. Although not as many as are interested in Vasquez.

  47. peric - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    On topic – is the commissioner subject to drug testing? If not, he should be. Selig looks like he either drinks too many shots or does bong hits. Yes, he should be checked.

  48. SonnyG10 - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    I sure wouldn't mind if they somehow kept Morse. He would really have to bring some hot prospects in a trade for me to feel comfortable with losing him.

  49. SonnyG10 - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    I wonder if they would bring Flo back if Ramos is not ready to go by ST. If he hasn't signed somewhere by then, we could use him to back up Suzuki. More likely, they would bring up Leon or Solano.

  50. peric - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    Expect they'll go with Solano. He's had the most experience up to the AAA level and is a bench coach Randy Knorr favorite at the position. He spec's out nicely as a backup catcher more so than Suzuki, Ramos, and Leon. Leon still needs some fine tuning of his offense and he is a switch hitter which typically takes longer to adjust to the majors. Plus his defense did not look up to par the short-time he was up. Both Leon and Solano had injury problems last season to go with the more serious knee problem of Ramos. Taking the injury issues into account leads me, at least, to wonder if the impending trade we all expect might not include a left-handed hitting catcher to compete with the above?




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