The Sosa leak is worse than the Sosa 'roids

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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.

Phil Bickford suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10:  Phil Bickford of the U.S. Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.

Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.

Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.

Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):

We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.

Diamondbacks sign Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 21, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.

Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.

Hazen issued a statement following the signing:

With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.