Tigers ace Justin Verlander has never been shy about sharing his feelings concerning players using performance-enhancing drugs. Last year, he spoke up in favor of more severe punishments for those caught using, even going as far as to suggest a permanent ban for first-time users. “It’s too easy for guys to serve a suspension and come back and still get paid,” he said.
Verlander is now suggesting something even more draconian: drug testing upon entering the clubhouse every day, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. “Test me every day,” Verlander said. “I’m passionate about it. This is a great game. I love the challenge of it. But you like to know it’s fair.”
Verlander continued, “If you come in every day knowing you’ll be peeing into a cup, that should deter people.”
I can think of at least one group that would fight against any such effort: the players’ union. And though Verlander would argue otherwise, PED use is not really a problem in the game anymore. Dee Gordon and Jenrry Mejia are really the only major league regulars to end up testing positive and Mejia is permanently banned, having tested positive three times. Almost every other player that has been caught in recent years is a minor leaguer or a fringe major leaguer, the type of players Verlander would dominate even if they were legally allowed to use steroids.
Verlander’s proposition is a solution in search of a problem. But as Craig points out, this is just par for the course:
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.