Two things to take away from this report about Congress making noises about getting involved in the NFL being slow to adopt HGH testing:
1. It’s somewhat satisfying to see football begin to get a fraction of the scrutiny baseball has gotten over PEDs for the past decade; but
2. Congress has absolutely no business in this whatsoever.
The last time Congress called athletes and the league before it for PEDs was when Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee were hauled in after the Mitchell Report was released. The result: a circus of a public hearing (which I liveblogged here and here) in which the very congressman quoted in today’s story — Elijah Cummings — stood out as one of the more clueless and grandstanding members of the committee. The larger result: a prosecution of Roger Clemens that spanned years and millions and resulted in nothing.
So, yes, while I may get some selfish satisfaction of the NFL has to dance the way MLB has had to dance all of these years, I do hope this doesn’t come to pass. Because it’s a total waste designed to do nothing more than allow congressmen to grandstand.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.
Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.
Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.