Is Manny the tip of the iceberg?

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The doctor who allegedly prescribed Manny his drugs is under the federal microscope:

As Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez nears the end of his
50-game suspension, Drug Enforcement Administration investigators are
looking at a Miami doctor and his son as the source of his banned
performance-enhancing drug, sources familiar with the investigation
told ESPN . . . Investigators believe the prescription for human
chorionic gonadotropin, known as hCG, was written by Pedro Publio
Bosch, 71, a physician who has practiced family medicine in Florida
since 1976. His son, Anthony Bosch, 45, is believed to have worked as a
contact between his father and Ramirez . . .

. . . Anthony Bosch is well known in Latin American baseball
circles, sources say. His relationships with players date at least from
the earlier part of the decade, when he was seen attending parties with
players and known to procure tickets to big league ballparks,
especially in Boston and New York.

If a doctor is writing improper prescriptions, that’s usually a state
matter (i.e. the medical board). As far as a federal drug crime matter,
the case of Manny Ramirez in and of itself is so small its almost
non-existent. I mean, yes, there’s the suggestion of illegality here,
but there aren’t exactly hordes of marauding female fertility drug
lords shooting up the streets of border towns.

But read that last-quoted bit again — the part about the doctor’s son
knowing lots of ballplayers — and realize that the feds have generally
had their PED-interest limited to those cases in which there are
multiple athletes involved: BALCO, Radomski, McNamee, etc. Then realize
that, despite the fact that Latin players have constituted a
disproportionate number of positive drug tests since the beginning of
the testing program, very few of them were named in the Mitchell Report
or have had their names mentioned in any of the other high-profile
investigations.

Taken together, these facts lead me to wonder whether the Manny
Ramirez affair isn’t the beginning of the next big PED story. The
Latin-BALCO, if you will.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.