Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Justin Verlander: not a big fan of Marlon Byrd right now


Justin Verlander has consistently spoken out against PED users in his midst and in quite vivid and uncompromising terms. So it is no surprise that, in the wake of Marlon Byrd‘s suspension today, Verlander has an opinion.

It’s a pretty short one, though. In fact, it’s just an emoji:

In this case, it’s quite possible that Verlander is not merely mad about the ethics of cheating in the game he loves. It may be personal. For you see, Byrd hit a big, tie-breaking and ultimately game-winning homer off of Verlander back on April 22:

I’d probably post an angry face emoji if I were Verlander too. Among other things.

Marlon Byrd: “I alone am responsible for what I put in my body”

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Marlon Byrd and his attorney, Jay Reisinger of Farrell & Reisinger, LLC, have released statements in the wake of Byrd’s 162-game suspension for PEDs.

Byrd takes full responsibility for taking a supplement that was not on the list of certified supplements available to all players. When he was told he tested positive for¬†Ipamorelin, a peptide prohibited by the Joint Drug Agreement, he retained private counsel and an independent chemist to test his supplements and determined that one of them contained the bad substance. Though Byrd says he didn’t intentionally take Ipamorelin, he said “I alone am responsible for what I put in my body,” decided to forego an appeal and issued apologies to the Cleveland Indians, his teammates, his fans and his family.

Below are their statements in full.


Today, I have accepted a 1 year suspension by Major League Baseball.

Recently, I was notified that I had tested positive for Ipamorelin, a peptide prohibited by the JDA.  In 2012, I tested positive for the medication Tamoxifen, which I was using on the advice of a physician for a medical condition resulting from surgery, and I accepted my suspension without challenge.  Since that time, I have paid close attention to the substances that are banned by the Joint Drug Agreement, as I had no intention of taking any banned substances.  I relied upon a medical professional for assistance and advice with respect to the supplements that I was taking.

However, certain supplements I was taking were not on the NSF Certified for Sport list, and therefore, I assumed certain risks in taking them.  When I learned that I had tested positive for Ipamorelin, I retained the services of private counsel and an independent chemist to determine the origin of the Ipamorelin test result because I never knowingly ingested Ipamorelin.  After an extensive investigation by my lawyers and an independent chemist, it was concluded that the most likely source of Ipamorelin was a tainted supplement.

I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and therefore, I have decided for forgo my right to an appeal in this matter and accept the suspension.  I apologize for any harm this has caused the Cleveland Indians, Indians’ fans, my teammates, and most importantly, my family.


My partner Tina Miller, a former federal prosecutor, and I, along with the assistance of one of the most respected biochemists in the country, explored every avenue in this matter.  Our conclusion is that Marlon’s positive test was the result of a tainted supplement.  Marlon is devastated, but understands that he is responsible for the supplements he takes, and any time a player takes a supplement that is not on the NSF list, they run a risk.  As a result, Marlon will not pursue an appeal in this matter.


Anthony Rizzo leads the voting in the first National League All-Star returns


The first returns for the All-Star Game voting for the National League are in and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs leads all voters. That noise you hear right now is a bunch of Royals fans saying they’re being¬†disrespected that a Royals player isn’t leading the voting. When told that the Royals aren’t in the NL, their fans started putting more names on their ever-growing enemies list. But they’re not paranoid or insecure or anything.

Anyway, here are the leaders in the vote total right now. Remember, however, that MLB is likely to cull a good 20% of the votes before the All-Star Game because they violate the voting rules, come from bots or are from obviously phony email addresses. They wouldn’t have to do this if they actually gave a crap about the integrity of the vote and even put some 1995-level verification on the voting on the front end, but they don’t care. Their aim is to send as much traffic to the sponsored website where voters are funneled into an eSurance sweepstakes thing and it’s probably a lot better for all involved if the votes come in fast and furious.

But hey, it’s not like the All-Star Game has any stakes or anything, so it’s all good.

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