Freddy Galvis

Freddy Galvis gets 50-game PED suspension

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Apparently, he’s the new Manny Alexander.

Injured Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis was suspended 50 games Tuesday after testing positive for Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance.

In a statement, Galvis claimed that “a trace amount of a banned substances — 80 parts in a trillion — was detected in my urine sample” and that he’d never knowingly take a banned substance. He apologized to “all of my fans, especially here in Philadelphia and back home in Venezuela, to my teammates and to the Phillies organization.”

Taking over as the Phillies’ starting second baseman with Chase Utley out, Galvis was hitting .226/.254/.363 with three homers and 24 RBI in 190 at-bats when he suffered a back injury earlier this month. The injury was later diagnosed as a fractured vertebra and was expected to sideline Galvis for at least another month, if not for most of the rest of the season.

Galvis will be able to serve his suspension while on the disabled list, so it might not actually cost him any additional time. It will cost him about $150,000 in salary, though.

While Galvis’ offensive production was modest, it was still a somewhat pleasant surprise given his history. He had 19 extra-base hits in 190 at-bats for the Phillies, an average of one every 10 at-bats. In his four minor league seasons, he averaged one extra-base hit every 19.6 at-bats. His 15 doubles led the Phillies at the time of his injury.

Update: The Phillies have released a statement:

The Phillies continue to believe in and endorse Major League Baseball’s drug policy. We also support Freddy Galvis in his determination to put this matter behind him and we look forward to his return as a productive member of the Phillies as soon as possible.

After the suspension was announced, Galvis tweeted, in Spanish, about turning the page:

Jake Peavy is having a bad go of things right now

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 25: Jake Peavy #22 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on May 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.

As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.

Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.

The AT&T Park mortgage is paid off

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This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.

The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.

Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.

Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.