I’m a big fan of Hank Aaron, and I’m sure his heart is in the right place with this, but he’s way wrong here:
The former home run king favors releasing the full list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 . . . “I wish for once and forever that we could come out and say we have 100 and some names, name them all and get it over and let baseball go on,” Aaron said. “I don’t know how they keep leaking out. I just wish that they would name them all and get it over with.”
As I wrote last week, the fact that these names still exist on a list is attributable to a serial violation of the players’ rights, and the act of releasing the names — be it via a leak or by some misguided attempt at attaining closure — is a far worse offense than their taking of PEDs in the first place.
My biggest concern in all of this is that as more and more people ignorantly speak out in favor of releasing the names, those who are breaking the law by leaking will feel more and more comfortable engaging in their illegalities and feel justified in leaking even more (“Hey, Hank Aaron says it’s OK . . .”).
I’m just some dumb lawyer/blogger and no one is going to listen to me, but someone — anyone — in a position of moral authority in baseball needs to educate folks about what “releasing the names” really means, and how the issues it invokes are much bigger than baseball.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.
On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.
Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.
Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.
Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.
The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.