Craig Calcaterra

Ervin Santana

Major League Baseball has launched an investigation into the recent rash of stanozolol positives

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In the past couple of weeks, four players — Jenrry Mejia of the Mets, Ervin Santana of the Twins, Arodys Vizcaino of the Braves and David Rollins of the Mariners have all been suspended following positive tests for stanozolol, the anabolic steroid that basically went out of use among baseball players with the advent of drug testing.

The Daily News reports that Major League Baseball, noting that it’s odd to see so many players using this out-of-date drug at the same time, has launched an investigation:

Commissioner Rob Manfred says Major League Baseball investigators have launched a Biogenesis-style investigation to determine if there is a link — a doctor, trainer, drug dealer or dietary supplement — between the four cases.

Makes sense. After all, as the story notes, what got MLB sniffing around Miami a few years ago was a spike in testosterone and HGH use as well as some anecdotal evidence about drug mills in Florida. That eventually turned into the Biogenesis scandal, though it obviously took some reporting from the Miami New Times for it to explode.

Here, if I had to guess, we’re either seeing (a) some tainted or misrepresented substance, which the players have no idea contains stanozolol; or (b) someone telling players that they have some masking agent or system-beating scheme which makes the detection of this otherwise ridiculously detectable drug impossible.

Because really, straight-up taking the most cliche of 1990s ‘roids — the drugs which the tests were literally designed to find — would be about the dumbest thing in the world.

Video: Steven Souza hit the season’s longest homer last night

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Mentioned this in the comments, but a long bomb like this is worth a video.

Rays outfielder Steven Souza, who is known mostly for his glove, hit monster homer off of Jays starter Daniel Norris. After the game Norris said Souza “hit it about 700 feet.” That was a tad exaggerated — it went 463 feet — but it was the longest bomb of the year in the majors. Watch:

 

Carlos Carrasco is going to be pushed back a day, but will start on Monday

Carlos Carrasco
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Despite the fact that he was hit in the face with a comebacker, Carlos Carrasco is going to make start for the Indians on Monday. It means he was pushed back a day, but jeez, with the way that looked coming off the bat last night, that’s about as good as news can be.

Carrasco was lucky that his glove just deflected/slowed down the ball a tad and escaped with only a bruised jaw.

Your tax returns are nowhere near as complicated as pro athletes’ tax returns

irs102way
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First off, save me the complaining about taxes in general thing. Yeah, we all hate to pay them. And yeah we all hate to file our returns. But that’s the price we pay for a civilized society with roads, safer workplaces, food that doesn’t have “arsenic” as its second-listed ingredient, a cleaner environment than capitalists would’ve given us otherwise and a military that keeps the Huns, Vandals and various other hordes from crushing us, driving us before them and hearing the lamentations of our women. Suck it up and do your civic duty.

Second off, save me the “but athletes make millions, so who cares about them?!” stuff. I’m not saying that it’s harder for them to pay their bill. It’s obviously much easier. But their tax returns are a gigantic mess thanks to the fact that they play half their games in other cities and/or states and that local politicians have figured out that it’s easy to fleece visiting pro athletes.

To get a glimpse into how complicated it is, go read this story from a few days ago in the New Yorker about what goes into a pro athlete’s tax return. And be thankful that you don’t have to calculate what percentage of your hyperbaric chamber is for business purposes and what percentage of it is for personal use.

And for Christ’s sake, where did I put that receipt for my hyperbaric chamber?

Happy Jackie Robinson Day

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As we note every April 15, today is Jackie Robinson Day.

Baseball celebrates a lot of anniversaries, but none more important. You know this already, of course, but one cannot overstate the significance of the fact that sixty-eight years ago today Robinson became the first black man to play major league baseball in the modern era. It’s not ancient history. Really, many of your parents were alive at a time when only white men were allowed to play baseball. I’ve known this my whole life but it never ceases to boggle my mind.

As has become tradition, players will wear 42 on their jerseys today. And though you know the general story, you should take some extra time to reacquaint yourself with Robinson’s story once again. You should go check out Jackie’s Baseball-Reference.com page too, as we sometimes spend so much time talking about his historical significance that we forget he was a hell of a baseball player regardless. It’s also worth remembering that Robinson’s post-playing career, which includes a lot of important work in the civil rights movement, was also significant.

Happy 42 Day.