The Sosa leak is worse than the Sosa 'roids

Leave a comment

Obviously the story of the day is Sammy Sosa. Earlier, Bob cataloged the non-surprise to the Sosa news. At NBC Sports proper, Mike Celzic writes that rather than burn Sosa at the stake, our focus should be on Bud Selig and Don Fehr.

My view: I share the lack of surprise Bob mentions and the lack of ire
at Sammy Sosa for many of the reasons Mike mentions. But to me, the
real issue here is the fact that list of the 2003 test results — which
was intended to be first confidential and then was supposed to be
destroyed — is being leaked. The MLBPA and/or Major League Baseball
screwed up royal in allowing that list to survive when they had agreed
that it would not. The people who subjected themselves to the drug
testing that formed its basis (a) did so in order to move the ball
forward on drug testing in baseball; and (b) had an expectation that
their identities would remain confidential. That expectation has now
been spectacularly confounded, and the practical result of it is that
anyone who cares about their privacy is now being sent the message that
they should not, under any circumstances, participate in their
employers’ drug testing program, however confidential it is supposed to
be. You never know: your name could wind up in the newspapers! Your
mileage may vary, but I don’t think the avoidance of workplace drug
testing is something anyone wants to encourage. As a result of all of
this, it’s my view that the list should be ordered destroyed, though I
suspect that in the Internet age, such an order would be meaningless.
Information wants to be free, and enough people have it now that I
suspect it all will be some day.

The greater wrong in my mind is the fact of the leaks themselves. I’m a
lawyer by trade, and it shocks me that fellow officers of the court are
divulging this sort of information to the media. This is evidence that
was seized in an ongoing criminal case that is subject to court order
putatively preventing its release. The act of leaking this stuff is, at
the very least, a violation of that court order and a violation of
legal ethics. Depending on the exact language of the order, it could be
a criminal act. I don’t know about you, but that causes me far more
concern than whether Sammy Sosa took steroids six years ago.

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.

Video: Mookie Betts made a ridiculous throw last night

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.16.51 AM
MLB.com
6 Comments

Mookie Betts was an infielder once upon a time and the knock on him both then and since his move to the outfield was that maybe his arm was not fantastic. As an infielder there was talk that he was better suited to the right side than the left. As an outfielder people were saying that, with work, his arm could be average and/or serviceable. Not bad, of course, but not anything to write home about.

Maybe we need to reassess that, because last night he uncorked one from right field that would make Dwight Evans says “dang, man.”

 

And the throw mattered, as Kiermaier represented the tying run in a game that, at the time, the Sox were leading 2-1.

Betts is a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat at age 23. And now he shows that he’ll nail a fast runner with a frozen rope if he has to. The guy is going to win an MVP award some day. And maybe not just one.