Stop me if you've heard this one: WADA hates baseball's drug testing program

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Ever notice that when pressed to explain the problem with baseball’s drug testing regime, the first reason cited by people from the World Anti-Doping Agency is that baseball doesn’t do business with the World Anti-Doping Agency? WADA chief John Fahey:

“Baseball is the most recalcitrant,” he said,
comparing MLB with the National Football League, National Basketball
League and National Hockey League among the major U.S. leagues. “You had
the Mitchell inquiry and clear and concise recommendations from it and
they effectively did nothing.”

In contrast, Fahey said WADA was having ongoing
discussions with the NFL about incorporating some aspects of drug
testing into a future collective bargaining agreement and have for the
first time managed to “get into the front door” of the NHL to discuss
the issue.

“We continue to reach out,” he said. “I think the
interesting thing is that we are making good progress in ice hockey. We
certainly have gotten through the front door. We have movement there.”

I think the HGH blood test is pure snake oil, but WADA believes in it and baseball is the first U.S. league to actually buy in. The fact, then, that this article actually mentions the HGH blood test as a point of contention between WADA and baseball without mentioning that Bud Selig has ordered the test be given to minor leaguers means that either the article’s author, the WADA chief or both are being disingenuous on the matter.

But this is nothing new. The press is shockingly credulous when it comes to WADA, basically acting as its publicity wing, even when it’s being psycho. Last week WADA said it may try to ban caffeine again. They have literally gone after oxygen-use before. And no one in the mainstream press every stops to wonder if they’re loony.

In light of that — and in light of the fact that baseball has instituted no shortage of tests and procedures as well as continues to add to the banned substance list on a yearly basis — I can’t see what WADA is complaining about aside from MLB’s unwillingness to let WADA come in and take over its testing program like it does in foreign sports leagues.

I disagree with many of the things baseball does when it comes to PEDs. I am in complete agreement with them, however, when it comes to ignoring WADA.

Report: Marlins intent on adding a big-three reliever

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 28:  Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the White Sox 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.

As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.

The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.

A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.

Bryan Price likely to use Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen in closer’s role

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Raisel Iglesias throws in the first inning of their opening day baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo
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C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:

I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.

This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.

Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.

Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.

Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.