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?

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

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.

Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from MLB.com’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Major League Baseball will investigate Yasiel Puig for his role in Miami nightclub brawl

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.

The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.

As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.

Dayan Viciedo close to signing with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Dayan Viciedo
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.

Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.

The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.

Blue Jays sign J.A. Happ to a three-year, $36 million contract

J.A. Happ
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Update (8:45 PM EST): Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Happ will get $10 million in 2016 and $13 million each in 2017 and ’18.


MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million.

Happ, 33, had a rebirth as a member of the Pirates last season after starting the season with 20 subpar starts with the Mariners. He made 11 starts for the Buccos, boasting a 1.85 ERA with a 69/13 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this past August that Happ’s newfound success had to do with a delivery tweak suggested by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that adjustment is the full explanation for his success.

The Jays’ signing of Happ most likely signifies they won’t be pursuing free agent lefty David Price.

This will be Happ’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The Astros dealt him to Toronto in a July 2012 trade. He posted a 4.39 ERA with a 256/113 K/BB ratio in 291 innings with the Jays, then went to the Mariners in a trade this past December that brought outfielder Michael Saunders to the Jays.