When it comes to steroids, put Robin Yount in the "reasonable" camp

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Missed this from late last week, but Robin Yount has become the latest in a long line of Hall of Famers to weigh in on the Mark McGwire steroids stuff. When asked what he thought of Carlton Fisk and Rich Gossage and everyone taking shots at McGwire, he had this to say:

“A number of guys have that attitude. I would like to know what they would’ve done if they
were in that same boat. I’ll be very honest, in the fact that there was no
testing and if there were benefits from it, it would have been very
difficult. Without testing in place, you would’ve almost been forced to do it to keep up . . . It wouldn’t have been an easy decision. Or maybe it would’ve been
an easy decision, for that matter. You just would’ve had to do it to
keep up. I’m
glad that I didn’t have to make that call because it would have been a
very difficult decision to decide whether to do it or not.”

When it comes to a person’s acts, there is such a thing as right and wrong.  But when it comes to a person’s motivations, there is very rarely such a clear dichotomy. The people who have come out strong against McGwire and his brethren in the steroid brotherhood are completely right to go after the acts, but they’re either completely misguided when it comes to the motivations or else they don’t see the difference.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.