Ex-Phillies pitcher Dan Meyer is not at all happy with Antonio Bastardo’s drug use

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Dan Meyer used to be a major league reliever. He was signed by the Phillies in the winter before the 2011 season. That spring he and Antonio Bastardo competed for a job in the Phillies’ pen. Bastardo won and Meyer has been out of the bigs ever since he was released.

Meyer offered his opinion of Bastardo being suspended in the Biogenesis stuff today:

One can never know if Meyer would have made that team but for Bastardo cheating. Indeed, we don’t even know that Bastardo was cheating in 2011. I’m hearing from a source that the evidence on the table in the Biogenesis matter all relates to 2012 exclusively. That aside, Meyer was horrible that spring.

I suppose we’d all feel the same way in his place, but we should probably make sure that we leaven appeals to emotion with a healthy dose of fact.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”