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.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.