PED-derangement Watch: Bill Madden edition

13 Comments

If you are incapable of talking about Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta as free agents without couching almost the entire discussion in the Biogenesis stuff, you may be suffering from PED Derangement Syndrome. Sadly, Bill Madden of the Daily News is exhibiting all of the symptoms.

Today he has a column about how Cruz and Peralta might be good targets for the Mets to pursue in free agency. And they may be. But we can’t really assess that from Madden’s column which spends very little time on their baseball merits and how they might fit into the Mets’ roster and payroll structure and almost all of its time on clever little jabs about how Cruz and Peralta were suspended for the Biogenesis stuff this past season:

But if he doesn’t get Granderson, where might Alderson go for the bats he needs? I say he should think Biogenesis.

After all, Alderson has never seemed to have a problem with drug-tainted players, going all the way back to his days in Oakland when, whether he knew it or not, the Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, were alleged to have been shooting up steroids in the bathroom stalls of the A’s clubhouse … There is one other added advantage in signing Cruz or Peralta. Both of them have demonstrated they know how to beat a drug test.

There are a few lines about them being power threats. But a lot more about the drug history of Sandy Alderson-signed players. Which would be fine if it were used to make an argument about the risk of these guys due to their suspensions presented a possible financial inefficiency or something, but I’m not seeing that argument in Madden’s piece. It’s just a facile “look at the druggie players and the drug-friendly general manager! They should get together!” And the sense you get is that they should get together because of the story it would create just as much as they should for baseball purposes.

I dunno, Maybe the most interesting thing about Cruz, Peralta and Alderson is their associations with PEDs. I just sorta feel that Mets fans are more interested in them as baseball players and their team’s GM than they are as subjects of Bill Madden’s and the Daily News’ PED obsession.

Braves’ prospect Ronald Acuna wins AFL MVP, helps clinch AFL Championship Game

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.

At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.

Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.

From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.

Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.