St. Louis Cardinals Photo Day

White Sox may be targeting Cards outfielder Colby Rasmus

2 Comments

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and young center fielder Colby Rasmus had a well-chronicled falling out in the middle of the 2010 season.  Rasmus felt like he wasn’t being treated as an everyday player, La Russa didn’t like that a young player was being so vocal.  Etcetera.

It got ugly at one point, apparently, and the 24-year-old Rasmus requested a trade to another organization while the Cards were playing a series at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in late July.  The two have since mended their relationship and appear likely to return together for another season in St. Louis, but that won’t stop rumors linking the ultra-talented Rasmus to other clubs.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times heard from a scout Friday that White Sox GM Kenny Williams has “targeted” Rasmus and is willing to deal Carlos Quentin in a package for him.  The scout said that the Cardinals have expressed interest in Quentin, or have at least scouted him, and that “this might have been something that was already talked about.”

The rumor seems legitimate enough, but this whole report serves as a giant Exhibit A as to why Rasmus won’t be leaving St. Louis this winter.  Quentin has a decent power bat, but he is four years older than the Cards center fielder, not nearly as talented defensively and entering his second year of arbitration eligibility.

Rasmus batted .276/.361/.498 with 23 homers, 66 RBI and 12 stolen bases in only 464 at-bats this past season and is under team control through 2014.  For the Cards to move the youngster, they’ll have to be blown away by an offer.  Quentin and a couple of throw-in prospects will not get the job done.

Carlos Ruiz leaves a goodbye note for the Phillies

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a portrait on February 26, 2016 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.

Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).

Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates:

A far-fetched sounding drug test scam

NES TSIONA, ISRAEL - JANUARY 22:  A laboratory technician checks human blood samples before placing the glass tubes on an automated testing line at the Maccabi Health Services HMO central laboratory January 22, 2006 in Nes Tsiona which is located in central Israel. The laboratory, which operates a fully automated system complete with advanced robotics, can test more than 50,000 blood samples a day. The lab is considered one of the most modern of its kind in the western world.  (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Getty Images
9 Comments

Kevin Draper at Deadspin is passing along a story — and that’s not me editorializing; he’s admitting that it’s unconfirmed gossip at the moment — about a major league player paying a teammate $2.5 million to take the fall for him on a drug test. The story came via a tip from someone who, apparently, had a conversation about the drug test scam with a college baseball player who knew the players allegedly involved in the scam.

Here is how the conversation was recounted:

College Baseball Player: [MLB player’s star teammate] paid him to take his blood test. $2.5 million dollars.

Bar Patron: How does that even work?

College Baseball Player: [MLB player] and [MLB player’s star teammate] were getting tested the same day. They traded samples.

Deadspin says that the story is “probably bulls**t” but that some preliminary investigating they’ve done doesn’t disprove it and, to some extent corroborates it. How it’s been supported or not is left unclear and Deadspin couches all of this in a request for more information if anyone has any. Which, OK, fine.

I’ll offer that, on the surface, this seems like a bit more than mere “bulls**t.” It sounds structurally impossible. If it’s a blood test for HGH as the excerpt suggests, the samples are tested back in the lab to make sure they match up with previous samples. Meaning: the lab processing the sample knows if it’s your blood or not. If it’s a urine test, as Deadspin thinks it may have been, I’m not sure how samples could be switched given that urine tests are directly observed by testing officials. Yes, they watch you pee. They’d likely prevent you from peeing right next to your bro teammate, but even if you did, they’d see you exchange little plastic containers of urine with him.

I’m not going to say that this is 100% bull because we can’t really know for sure, but the scenario as described sounds highly unlikely, approaching the impossible. If someone had a story about bribing a sample taker with $2.5 million well, hey, maybe we’re getting somewhere, because that would get you over some procedural hurdles. For now, though, this all sounds like someone passing along a tall tale.

If it is true? Hoo boy, that’d be fun. At least for people like me who write about this stuff.