Jason at IIATMS has expanded his writing roster recently, and one of his additions is Larry, a lawyer/executive with significant experience in all matters relating to HGH and PED testing. Last night he wrote an extensive and quite entertaining Q&A regarding HGH testing, use and effects that is must-read material for anyone who tries to talk intelligently about this kind of stuff on the interwebs. There’s masses of scientific information-made-accessible in the post, but since I’m a big apologist and everything, this quote stuck out at me:
It seems that when it comes to anti-doping, perception is more important
than reality. The players perceive that HGH is performance-enhancing.
The fans perceive that HGH is performance-enhancing. The anti-doping
forces believe that they have a foolproof test to catch the athletes
using HGH. IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, NONE OF THESE PERCEPTIONS ARE TRUE. Yet
the perceptions takes on lives of their own. It seems likely that
baseball WILL go forward with some kind of HGH testing. The only
question is when.
Put that together with all of the difficulty Larry points out regarding the creation and implementation of HGH tests and you quickly realize that the discussion about HGH use in baseball is really more about politics than it is about performance enhancement.
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that umpires Bob Davidson, Bob Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired.
Davidson, 64, was known as “Balkin’ Bob” for his tendency to call pitchers for balks. Davidson has also made a name for himself picking fights with players and managers, as well as unnecessarily escalating situations.
Hirschbeck, 62, didn’t quite have the reputation Davidson had, but he had a couple of notable incidents on his profile as well. Last year, when ejecting Twins slugger Miguel Sano, Hirschbeck said, “Get the [expletive] out of here.” In 2013, he threw a drum of oil on a fire that very easily could’ve been snuffed out with Bryce Harper.
Joyce, 61, was a well-liked and well-respected umpire who will go down in history for one mistake. On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. Indians second baseman Jason Donald hit a weak grounder about halfway between first and second base. Miguel Cabrera went to his right to field it and flipped to Galarraga covering first base. It was a close call, but Joyce incorrectly ruled Donald safe, ruining Galarraga’s perfect game. To both Joyce’s and Galarraga’s credit, both handled the mistake with the utmost class.
Craig also wrote in detail about Joyce a few years ago. It’s worth a re-read.
Tim Welke, 59, actually announced his retirement last year, but I guess it wasn’t made official until recently. He underwent a left knee replacement procedure in January last year and then had his right knee replaced five months later.
CNBC, citing Reuters, reports that Facebook and Major League Baseball are in discussions to stream one game per week.
Streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous as it’s a more convenient way for people to access media they like. MLB Advanced Media, which handles MLB’s streaming service, is worth several billions of dollars. Last year, Disney paid $1 billion to purchase a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the independent company MLBAM launched for its streaming.
Millennials and “Generation Z,” in particular, are driving the streaming trend. Forbes, citing the Digital Democracy Survey in 2015, reported that 56 percent of millennials’ media consumption was done via computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming device. Those 30 years and older rely on television to watch film and TV shows at a clip higher than 80 percent.
Twitter is already in the sports streaming arena. It streams MLB, NFL, and NHL games as well as the PGA Tour.