Major League Baseball institutes pre-signing drug testing in the D.R.

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Thumbnail image for dominican republic flag.jpgAn announcement of two new initiatives from Sandy Alderson’s Office of Major League Baseball in the Dominican Republic:

First, in cooperation with independent trainers, MLB has launched
workshops that will educate unsigned young players about the dangers of
performance-enhancing substances.

Second, beginning today, MLB will institute a comprehensive
registration and drug testing program for unsigned prospects who will
become eligible to sign professional contracts after July 1, 2010.

This is a good move. Baseball invests far too much in international signing to mess around with players who juice up while being scouted, give teams an inflated sense of their
strength and speed and then go off the stuff and reveal themselves to be
lesser players once minor league testing kicks in.

Which has been happening quite a bit lately. You’ll recall that back in March the Indians announced that they were going to do this on their own.  My concern at the time was that this would simply work to make players avoid the Indians and whatever handful of teams adopted such a policy.

Good for Major League Baseball for taking a comprehensive approach to this.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.