Remember the infamous list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003? Yeah, I’m trying to forget, too.
Well, according to the Associated Press, the government will not contest an appeals court ruling from September that determined that investigators illegally seized the list. In other words, those tests are barred from being used in court.
In April of 2004, agents took urine samples and records from Comprehensive Drug Testing Inc. and Quest Diagnostics Inc. While they were armed with a search warrant to seize the results of 10 players — as part of the BALCO investigation involving Barry Bonds — they ended up with an entire database and a spreadsheet that included the names of 104 players.
Since then, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz have acknowledged being on the list, while the New York Times has reported that Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez also tested positive.
Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.
Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.
Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.