Baseball is testing DNA in the D.R. We cool with this?

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I understand the problem, but this solution seems rather troublesome to me:

Confronted with cases of identity and age falsification by Latin
American baseball prospects, Major League Baseball is conducting
genetic testing on some promising young players and their parents.

Many experts in genetics consider such testing a violation of
personal privacy. Federal legislation, signed into law last year and
scheduled to take effect Nov. 21, prohibits companies based in the
United States from asking an employee, a potential employee or a family
member of an employee for a sample of their DNA . . . Last week the
Yankees voided the signing of an amateur from the Dominican Republic
after a DNA test conducted by Major League Baseball’s department of
investigations showed that the player had misrepresented his identity.

As explained in the article, this is an area of science and medicine
fraught with ethical landmines. This may be the best quote: “The funny
thing about this all is that the most famous baseball player with a
genetic disorder was Lou Gehrig. Would they have signed him if they
knew he was predisposed to A.L.S.?” Not sure if that’s as big a concern
as it would be in an office setting — baseball is generally done with
its people by the time they reach the age genetic diseases start to
affect them — but it’s not as if there aren’t other concerns.

What happens when a team, looking to verify someone’s biological
information, finds out that their shortstop prospect isn’t really the
son of the man he thought was his father? What happens later, when a
player reaches free agency and the team who signed him knows X about
his predisposition to bone or ligament injury because they conducted
the tests out of the country while other teams — presumably subject to
the new law — do not and cannot?

I’m sympathetic to the teams in all of this because they’re paying
out huge amounts of money to players who are quite often lying to them
and, unlike any other kind of business transaction, it’s not as if they
can easily sue to get their money back if fraud is discovered. Absent
testing, that signing bonus is going to be long gone by the time a
guy’s true age comes to light, and the courts in the Dominican Republic
may not be too terribly welcoming to the teams. Once a player reaches
Miguel Tejada’s age suing becomes impractical for numerous reasons,
both legal and otherwise.

But are we cool with this? I’ll take argument on either side of it, but it gives me some vaguely Orwellian chills.

Brett Lawrie “likely to be traded” by the A’s

Brett Lawrie

Oakland’s re-acquisition of infielder Jed Lowrie from Houston makes it “likely” that the A’s will now trade infielder Brett Lawrie, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Slusser says Lowrie’s arrival “all but ensures” both Lawrie and Danny Valencia are on the trading block, adding that Lawrie “is considered the better bet to be traded.”

Acquired last offseason from the Blue Jays in the Josh Donaldson trade, Lawrie hit .260 with 16 homers and a .706 OPS in 149 games while playing second base and third base. At age 25 he’s a solid player, but Lawrie has failed to live up to his perceived potential while hitting .263 with a .736 OPS in 494 career games.

At this point it sounds like the A’s plan to start Marcus Semien at shortstop and Lowrie at second base.

Gammons: The Red Sox could go $30-40 million higher on David Price than anyone else


Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox are on a mission to sign David Price and that they will pay some serious money to get him. Gammons quotes one anonymous GM who says that he expects the Sox to “go $30-40 million above anyone else.”

The man calling the shots for the Sox is Dave Dombrowski and he knows Price well, of course, having traded for him in Detroit. But there is going to be serious competition for Price’s services with the Jays and Cubs, among many others, bidding for his services. It would be unusual for a team to outbid the competition by tens of millions as Gammons’ source suggests, but the dollars will be considerable regardless.

Sean Doolittle, Eireann Dolan hosted Syrian refugee families for Thanksgiving

Sean Doolittle

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving usually means one thing: going to some mildly depressing bar in your hometown and meeting up with all of the people with whom you went to high school.

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend, Eireann Dolan, bypassed that dreary tradition and did something more uplifting instead: they hosted 17 Syrian refugee families for an early Thanksgiving dinner.

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There has been a lot of controversy lately about U.S. policy regarding Syrian refugees. Based on all of this, the only thing controversial here is that someone is letting that kid be a Chicago Bears fan. That’s no way to introduce anyone to the greatness of America.

Orioles have reached out to Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.

Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.

The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.

Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.