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

Leave a comment

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.

Cardinals place Dexter Fowler and Kevin Siegrist on the disabled list

Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Cardinals announced a handful of roster moves ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Pirates. Outfielder Dexter Fowler and pitcher Kevin Siegrist were placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right heel spur and a cervical spine strain, respectively. Outfielder Chad Huffman was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. The club recalled outfielder Randal Grichuk and pitcher Mike Mayers and purchased the contract of first baseman Luke Voit from Memphis.

Fowler, 31, apparently suffered his heel injury during Saturday’s game against the Pirates. He had previously missed a few games due to a quadriceps injury. He’s currently hitting .245/.336/.481 with 13 home runs and 35 RBI in 277 plate appearances.

Grichuk, 25, struggled to a .222/.276/.377 triple-slash line over his first 46 games in the big leagues, so the Cardinals sent him down to Triple-A. In 14 games with Memphis, Grichuk hit three doubles and six home runs.

Voit, 25, has crushed Triple-A pitching so far this season, batting .322/.406/.561 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI in 293 PA. He may see the occasional start at first base, but he’ll be used mostly as a bench bat.

Roberto Osuna reveals he has been dealing with an anxiety issue

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
6 Comments

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna recently revealed that he has been dealing with an anxiety issue, Rob Longley of the Toronto Star reports. Osuna specified that the issue is completely off the field, not on the field.

Osuna had been feeling “a little bit anxious, a little bit weird” and said, “I feel like I’m lost a little bit right now.” Despite the anxiety, Osuna volunteered to pitch during Friday’s loss to the Royals, but the Blue Jays smartly chose not to put him into the game.

Osuna said, “I wish I knew how to get out of here and how to get out of this. We’re working on it. We’re trying to find ways to see what can make me feel better. But to be honest I just don’t know.”

It must have been tough for Osuna to make his issue public, as there is still a stigma around dealing with mental issues. Given the prominent position he holds in the Jays’ bullpen, fans become even less empathetic about taking time off to deal with it as well. Hopefully, Osuna is able to use the time off to get the help he needs. And hopefully his going public helps motivate other people dealing with mental issues to seek help for themselves.

The 22-year-old recently became the youngest player in major league history to reach 75 career saves. This season, Osuna is carrying a 2.48 ERA with 19 saves and a 37/3 K/BB ratio in 39 innings.

*

Update: Osuna pitched the ninth inning of an 8-2 ballgame on Sunday and got all three Royals out on strikeouts.