Craig Calcaterra

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MLB partners with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to investigate the Al-Jazeera PEDs report

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Several years ago, in the wake of the Mitchell Report’s damning conclusions regarding baseball’s internal drug control policies, Major League Baseball founded its Department of Investigations.

The DOI’s specific mission: “primary responsibility for conducting all investigations into violations of Major League Baseball’s rules and policies, including investigations related to the use, possession or distribution of performance-enhancing substances by Major League or Minor League players, and other threats to the integrity of the game.”

That seems pretty comprehensive! Which makes this news from T.J. Quinn of ESPN, spinning out of a documentary alleging that Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman and other athletes took performance enhancing drugs, somewhat confusing:

Major League Baseball has asked the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to help its investigation into whether several players named in an Al Jazeera documentary received banned drugs.

The USADA has no authority over Major League Baseball. Much to the chagrin, it should be noted, of the USADA, which sought unsuccessfully for years to bring the major U.S. professional sports under its purview. The leagues and the unionized players who would be subject to its authority, however, rejected the notion and entered into their own drug program with the league. Now, however, they are bering brought on board. Given that the USADA is not a party to the Joint Drug Agreement, if I represented the players involved here I’d tell them to tell any USADA investigators to pound sand if they came around to interview my clients. But that’s just me.

Of course, Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations has its own problems, with its most high-profile investigation so far coming in the Biogenesis matter. There, you may recall, MLB investigators were accused of wrongdoing, ranging from entering into sexual relationships with witnesses to interfering with law enforcement operations by purchasing stolen documents. So, um, maybe they need the help of the USADA to save themselves from their own misconduct?

In any event, this looks like a case of the blind leading the unaffiliated in an investigation of the probably innocent who were accused by the soon-to-be-out of business. Which, to be fair, makes it no more ridiculous than any previous baseball drug case.

Shocker: John Rocker supports Donald Trump for president

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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John Rocker, who savvily realized years ago that saying stupid things would keep him moderately relevant in certain odd backwaters of the popular culture, wants us to know who he supports for president. You’ll be shocked to learn that it’s Donald Trump. Why? Because, according to The Daily Caller, Rocker admires Trump’s stances on “the economy, guns and immigration,” which Rocker says are “the most important issues to the country today.”

No one tell Rocker that, for as much as he has demonized immigrants, Trump has proposed a lot of liberal/populist economic programs such as getting rid of loopholes exploited by the very rich and has proposed large federal expenditures to rebuild America’s infrastructure. Likewise don’t tell Rocker that Trump said this about gun control last year:

The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.

Which, whatever you think of guns or Trump, is a position that Rocker would probably hate if he was told Obama supported it. Which he more or less does.

But maybe the best part of this story about Rocker is how he thinks Trump is the best man for the job because he talks tough and unapologetically so:

“I wish someone, excuse the frankness here, would have the sack, would have the backbone to make unpopular comments, and when folks come out — mainly media, special interest groups, factions, things like that — and just start hammering them and demanding apologies… I’ve always wanted to see the person that’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve made these comments, these are my beliefs, and you know what, if you don’t like it stick it. I’m not apologizing, I’m not changing,”

This from the guy who spent years claiming he was misquoted by Jeff Pearlman in the infamous Sports Illustrated story in which Rocker slammed homosexuals and various ethic groups. Or at least he did before he went on his apology tour. Which lasted until he changed course again and decided to embrace his comments. Then I think there were more apologies. I’ve lost track. Either way, I am 100% certain that if Rocker said this stuff about New Yorkers today, New Yorker Donald Trump would probably call him a “loser.” Which would be pretty hilarious.

Oh well, at least we heard from John Rocker again. I start to worry about him if he hasn’t spouted off about something in the past several months.

John Rocker

There could be a regular season game in London in 2017

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Back in November British news outlets were reporting that Major League Baseball was in negotiations to play a game in London. The league didn’t say much about it then, but Rob Manfred said something about it yesterday.

Specifically, he said the league is looking to play its first regular-season games in London in 2017 and that they’re “working hard on that one.” He said it would be a midseason game, not an opener like they’ve played in Japan and Australia in the past due to the March and April weather in London.

This is the part that has me thinking the most:

“We haven’t really settled on teams, and I don’t want to speculate about that,” he said. “Obviously, we want to make as good a first impression in Europe as we possibly can.”

The NFL has had a habit of sending some pretty garbage teams over to London for its games lately. I suppose this means that we’re not going to get the Rockies and the Braves in jolly old England then. Thank God.