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.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.
Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.
Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.
Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.
It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.