From MLB’s media relations department to my inbox to your eyes: MLB and the MLBPA released the annual public report from the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’s Independent Program Administrator. It’s the thing that says how many positive drug tests there were, for what, etc.
The notable numbers, which cover the period starting when the 2011 World Series ended until the 2012 World Series ended:
- The total number of drug tests: 5136. Of these, 3,955 were urine tests and 1,181 were blood tests;
- There were eighteen positives that resulted in discipline. Seven were for PEDs, 11 were for stimulants;
- There were 119 Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted. Of these, 116 were for ADD, two were for hypertension and one was for the always-popular hypergonadism.
I know a lot of people shuffle on and off of 40-man rosters, but figure at any given time you 1,200 men on those rosters. One hundred sixteen guys represents 9.6% of players being allowed to take ADD drugs despite them otherwise being banned stimulants. For what it’s worth, the National Resource Center on ADHD and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association report that approximately 7% of children and 5% of adults have ADD or ADHD.
I have no idea whether athletic men in their 20s and 30s skew higher in this regard, and I make no assumptions about it one way or the other. Just offering that information.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.