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


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.

Marlins have begun extension talks with Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.

Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of

As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.

“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”

The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
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Steve Gilbert of reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.