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
“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.
Update (11:09 PM EDT):
From unlucky to lucky, the Cardinals maintained their position in the National League Wild Card race with walk-off victory over the Reds on Thursday night.
The Cardinals went into the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead over the Reds, but saw the game tied when Scott Schebler dribbled a two-strike, two out ground ball down the third base line. It seemed as if the baseball gods had turned their backs on the Cardinals.
In the bottom of the ninth against reliever Blake Wood, Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk. Randal Grichuk then struck out, leaving all of the Cardinals’ hopes on Yadier Molina. Molina went ahead 2-0 in the count, then ripped a 95 MPH fastball to left field. The ball bounced high and over the left field fence for what seemed like an obvious ground-rule double. Carpenter motored around third base and scored the winning run.
The Cardinals poured onto the field in celebration and the umpires walked off the field. Manager Bryan Price wanted to have the play reviewed, but when he went onto the field, the umpires were nowhere to be found. Price chased after them but to no avail. As the Cardinals left the field and the stadium emptied, the Reds remained in the dugout. The Reds’ relievers were left in a bit of purgatory, standing aimlessly in left field after exiting the bullpen. Finally, the game was announced as complete over the P.A. system at Busch Stadium. The results are great if you’re a Cardinals fan, but terrible if you’re a Mets or Giants fan.
As Jon Morosi points out, the rules clearly state that the signage above the fence in left field is out of the field of play. The umpires got it wrong.
Price, however, also took too long to speak to the umpires. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
If this happened between two teams playing a meaningless game, it would’ve been a lot easier to swallow, but Thursday’s Reds-Cardinals game had implications on not only the Cardinals’ future, but the Mets’ and Giants’ as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 0-for-4 during Thursday’s win against the Phillies, snapping his hitting streak at 30 games. It marked the longest hitting streak of the 2016 season. Freeman’s streak of 46 consecutive games reaching base safely ended as well.
The longest hitting streak in Atlanta Braves history belongs to Dan Uggla, who hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011. Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight for the Boston Braves in 1945.
During his hitting streak, Freeman hit .384/.485/.670 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 136 plate appearances. That padded what were already very strong numbers on the season. After Thursday’s game, Freeman is overall batting .306/.404/.572 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI< and 101 runs scored in 677 plate appearances.