Quote of the Day: 'My urine, my blood, my stool'

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Raul Ibanez, responding to a blogger’s speculation that his career-best numbers may be due to performance-enhancing drugs:

I’ll come after people who defame or slander me. It’s pathetic and
disgusting. There should be some accountability for people who put that
out there. Unfortunately, I understand the environment we’re in and the
events that have led us to this era of speculation. At the same time,
you can’t just walk down the street and accuse somebody of being a
thief because they didn’t have a nice car yesterday and they do today.
You can’t say that guy is a thief.

You can have my urine, my hair, my blood, my stool … anything you
can test. I’ll give you back every dime I’ve ever made [if the test is
positive]. I’ll put that up against the jobs of anyone who writes this
stuff. Make them accountable. There should be more credibility than
some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother’s basement. It demeans
everything you’ve done with one stroke of the pen.

I’m in complete agreement with Ibanez when it comes to the
increasing number of people willing to just toss out steroid
accusations like it’s nothing. However, why in the world is he
responding to some random article written by someone who goes by “JRod” on a blog that seemingly has a minimal readership?

“Ibanez
rips blogger” makes for a juicy headline and the mainstream media loves
nothing more than a good blog-bashing story, but why is this even on
Ibanez’s radar? Or perhaps more accurately, why did someone in
Philadelphia put it on his radar? There are thousands of blogs, just as
there are thousands of radio shows and newspaper columns and fans
talking at bars. Throw a rock and you’ll hit someone accusing a player
of steroid use.

Why does this particular unsubstantiated
accusation matter compared to all the rest? Credibility shouldn’t be
about the platform you’re on, it should be about whether or not the
things you say and do are, you know, credible.
There are plenty of mainstream media members with huge audiences who’re
miles from credible and there are plenty of little-read bloggers who’re
extremely credible, and there’s everything in between. I’m not sure why
Ibanez would pick this battle to fight or why there’s even a battle at
all.

With all of that said, I do appreciate Ibanez’s efforts to
keep the “blogger typing in his mother’s basement” meme alive, because
I was worried that it was falling too far into the parody realm to live
on at this point. Also, as long as he’s getting into the “responding to
bloggers” business, someone ought to tell Ibanez that there’s no
“stroke of the pen” involved. We use keyboards in our mothers’
basements now.

Video: Nelson Cruz hits second-longest home run of 2016

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his solo homerun with Daniel Vogelbach #20 of the Seattle Mariners to take a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 14, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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There’s certainly never a bad time to hit a home run, but when you get the opportunity to crush a triple-deck, 493-foot shot off of Tyler Duffey, you should take it. With the Mariners down 2-0 to the Twins in the fourth inning, Cruz hammered a fastball to deep left field for his 39th long ball of the season — and the second-longest home run hit in 2016, to boot.

It doesn’t hurt that the Mariners are 1.5 games back of a playoff spot, although they’ll have to oust the Blue Jays, Orioles, or Tigers to get a wild card. They’ve gone 3-3 in the last week, dropping two consecutive series to the Astros and Blue Jays and taking their series opener against Minnesota 10-1 on Friday night.

Cruz, for his part, entered Saturday’s game with a .299/.337/.610 batting line and six home runs in September. According to ESPN.com’s Home Run Tracker, Cruz sits behind Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Napoli with 13 “no-doubt” home runs in 2016, third-most among major league sluggers. It’s safe to say he can add Saturday’s moonshot to that list.

Marlins’ outfielder and undisputed home run king Giancarlo Stanton remains untouched at the top of the Statcast leaderboard with a 504-ft. home run, and it’s difficult to envision any slugger reaching beyond that before the end of the season. Even so, Cruz won’t need to clear 500 feet to extend an impressive hitting record. One more home run will put the 36-year-old at 40 on the year, making 2016 his third consecutive season with at least 40 homers, and his second such season doing so in Seattle.

Report: John Farrell won’t rule out a postseason return for Pablo Sandoval

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orioles defeat the Red Sox 9-7.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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It’s been a strange season for Red Sox’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who lost his starting role in spring training, went 0-for-6 in three regular season appearances, and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. That was the last the Red Sox were supposed to hear about Sandoval until spring 2017, when he was expected to rejoin the team after a lengthy rehab stint in Florida.

On Saturday, manager John Farrell was telling a different story. Per MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Farrell hinted that Sandoval could return to the team as soon as October, albeit in a very limited capacity.

At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next Spring Training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but at the same time, we compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.

If the 30-year-old does return in 2016, don’t expect him to look like the three-home run hitter of the 2012 World Series. Should the Red Sox lose another player to injury, Sandoval might be called on as a backup option, but he’s unlikely to see substantial playing time under any other circumstances. Despite making two appearances at DH in the instructional league, Sandoval has not started at third base since undergoing surgery, though Farrell noted that a return to third base would be the next logical step in his recovery process.

Sandoval has yet to hit his stride within the Red Sox’ organization after hitting career-worst numbers in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) plummeted to -20.2, contributing approximately two wins fewer than the average offensive player in 2015. (The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings held the lowest Off mark in 2015, with -26.3 runs below average.) Sandoval has not appeared in a postseason race since the Giants’ championship run in 2014.

Heading into Saturday evening, the Red Sox could clinch their spot in the postseason with a win over the Rays and an Orioles’ loss.