“You gotta understand, there were only 28 people who had my job in
the whole world. And thousands of people
wanted those jobs, and every year, there were guys trying to take my
job. So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of
my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?'”
— Lenny Dykstra, speaking in 2008 about his decision to use steroids throughout his career.
I don’t quote this for approval, by the way. I quote it merely to illustrate that fear — irrational or otherwise — not mustache-twirling evil is what motivated most steroids users. Maybe that doesn’t matter much given that (a) he still broke the rules; and (b) his fear and use may have prevented a clean player from taking his job like he otherwise might have, but I just feel the need to defend even s—heels like Dykstra from the “PED-users-are-monsters” brigade. I mean, really, there are already so many other reasons to call Dykstra a monster, why should be focus on PEDs?
This quote comes out in the publicity surrounding the new book by Lenny Dykstra, by the way. The book has surprisingly gotten publicity over its Dykstra/steroids revelations. Which is odd considering that Dykstra was named in the Mitchell Report.
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.
Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.
In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”
Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.
Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.