The Mets introduced new general manager Sandy Alderson on Friday afternoon at New York’s Citi Field. Lost in the shuffle of that impressive press conference was a question about Alderson’s involvement in the steroid era, and specifically former A’s outfielder Jose Canseco.
Alderson served as an executive in Oakland during the late 80s and early 90s, right around the time that Canseco admittedly began juicing. Some in the national sports media believe that Alderson should apologize because the PED use took place under his watch. He did not do that on Friday in his first meeting with the New York press, but he did answer the question openly and, well, honestly. This from the New York Post.
“It’s hard to avoid it in light of Jose Canseco’s book,” Alderson said. “In a nutshell, I suspected Jose Canseco of doing steroids, but I never suspected Mark McGwire. It was a time as an organization we actually had begun to emphasize weight training as a part of a regimen that is now widespread, but at the time may have inadvertently gotten us involved with the steroid aspect.”
Alderson told reporters that he has discussed the issue with members of Congress and cooperated during the compiling of the Mitchell Report. He also expressed regret about not taking a bigger stand toward stamping out the PED use, but noted that it would have been illegal in California to test the players at the time. Testing also violated the collective bargaining agreement. Case closed?
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.