Report: Sosa tested positive in 2003

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The New York Times is reporting
that Sammy Sosa is one of the 104 players on the list of those who
tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in 2003.

Sosa joins Alex Rodriguez as the only players to have their names
leaked from the list. According to the Times, the lawyers who had
knowledge of Sosa’s inclusion on the 2003 list did not know the
substance for which he tested positive.

Sosa has long been linked to steroids without their being any actual
evidence fingering him. Besides the obvious increase of power as his
career went along, he also had a corked bat incident working against him. Plus, he didn’t want to pee in a cup for Rick Reilly.

Sosa has repeatedly denied using steroids. He did so in front of the
House Government Reform Committee in March 2005, when he joined Mark
McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and others in speaking on baseball’s PED
problem. “To be clear,” he said, “I have never taken illegal
performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone
inject me with anything.”

The timing of the leak is interesting, given Sosa’s recent comments
on waiting to be elected to the Hall of Fame. ESPNDeportes reported
early in the month that Sosa, who last played with the Rangers in 2007,
would soon officially announce his retirement from baseball.

The Blue Jays are allergic to .500

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The Blue Jays dropped Thursday afternoon’s game to the Rangers 11-4, splitting the four-game home series. And, impressively, the Blue Jays failed for the ninth time to get back to .500. The club is now 35-37.

Here’s a look at all the times the Blue Jays could’ve evened out their won-lost record and what happened:

  • April 5 (0-1): Lost 3-1 to the Orioles
  • April 7 (1-2): Lost 10-8 to the Rays
  • June 1 (26-27): Lost 12-2 to the Yankees
  • June 3 (27-28): Lost 7-0 to the Yankees
  • June 5 (28-29): Lost 5-3 to the Athletics
  • June 13 (31-32): Lost 8-1 to the Rays
  • June 16 (32-33): Lost 11-4 to the White Sox
  • June 20 (34-35): Lost 6-1 to the Rangers
  • June 22 (35-36): Lost 11-4 to the Rangers

The Blue Jays are now a half-game behind the Orioles for fifth place in the AL East, but they’re only 5.5 games behind the first-place Yankees. Interestingly, if the Blue Jays played in the NL East and had the same record, they would be in second place. But even the Phillies — baseball’s worst team — have been at .500 or better for a few days: after winning Opening Day and after game Nos. 6, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Report: Marlins expected to trade Adeiny Hechavarria

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Marlins are expected to trade shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria in the next few days.

Hechavarria, 28, is currently on a rehab assignment for a strained left oblique. It’s the second time this season he’s hit the sidelines with an oblique injury. Hechavarria is also hitting a disappointing .277/.288/.385 over 67 plate appearances, which is marginally better than his career averages.

While the Marlins are shopping Hechavarria at depressed value, there are two factors that give him value: he still plays good defense, and he’s under team control through the 2018 season. Passan does estimate that Hechavarria will see a pay raise from $4.3 million this season to $6-7 million next season in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

Passan adds that while the Marlins aren’t yet willing to shop outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, relievers A.J. Ramos, David Phelps, and Kyle Barraclough are being made available.