As Sean Foreman noted yesterday, 20 — 20! — NFL players are beginning the season under a drug suspension of some kind. You have to count back through four years to get to 20 major leaguers suspended for drugs. If you set aside the Biogenesis guys who were all busted without testing, you have to go back to 2007 to amount to the number of just the currently-suspended football players.
And heck, you can’t even fall back to the old saw about “well, the NFL is catching its users, while baseball is not!” because the NFL doesn’t even have HGH testing. Even the extremists at the WADA grant that baseball has the best testing among North American pro sports leagues these days, so that’s not it.
Then there’s the media response. The latest, in reaction to the Wes Welker suspension:
Tanguay believes PEDs aren’t quite as big of issue in the football world compared to Major League Baseball.
“If we were worried about steroids in the Hall of Fame, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 70’s, no one would get in,” said Tanguay. “It’s football, it’s physical. Guys break down, you got to be big, you got to be strong. If you’re 275 [pounds] you have to weigh 350. PEDs are accepted in the game.”
I’ll never not be shocked at the double standard between the NFL and Major League Baseball in the media when it comes to PEDs. PEDs are no big deal — just a part of the game! — in a league where size, speed and physical strength is such that physical impacts are literally destroying the health of its players, causing brain injuries that, in some cases, have led to suicide. In baseball, some arbitrary statistical records were broken and it’s a national crisis.
Jamie Moyer won his last major league game at the age of 49 years and 150 days. That’s the record for the oldest pitcher to win a game. The Japanese record was set last night, and the guy is creeping closer to Moyer:
Masahiro Yamamoto pitched five scoreless innings in the Chunichi Dragons’ 5-0 victory over the Hanshin Tigers on Friday to become Japanese professional baseball’s oldest winning pitcher at the age of 49 years, 25 days.
The old NPB record was 48 years and four months.
If Yamamoto wants to break Moyer’s record he’ll need to pitch next season. He says he hopes to keep going, but he has only pitched in one game all season. Overall, he has 218 career wins. He actually made his NPB debut the same season Moyer made his MLB debut: 1986.
It’s Kid Day here at HBT. First Mr. Smoov at the Red Sox game, now a kid named actually Camden Yards, written about by Michael Clair at MLB.com’s Cut4.
I sorta hate it when parents give their kids gimmick names like that, but I suppose the fact that he likes baseball and the Orioles and stuff renders it harmless. And it could’ve been worse. His parents could’ve been Giants fans and named him AT&T or something.
Or he could’ve been named Aiden. God, there are a crap-ton of Aidens floating around my kids’ elementary school.
Everyone’s gonna say stuff like “this kid is going to do well with the ladies one day” after watching this video. But he’s doing pretty well already. Don’t focus on the little girl’s reaction. Focus on the mother’s reaction.
My boy here has some ambition. *tips cap.*
The Washington Nationals hold a seven-game divisional lead and are shoe-ins for the playoffs. Most folks would probably say they’re the favorite in the entire National League at the moment. But they do have one problem: their closer.
Rafael Soriano blew his second straight save last night and his fifth in his last 21 appearances. He has allowed ten runs in his lat 12 outings. He blew this one by giving up two home runs after coming in with a three-run lead. One of the homers was to Ben Revere of all people. The same Ben Revere who had one previous home run his 470 major league games coming into last night’s contest. The other came off the bat of Carlos Ruiz.
After that performance, manager Matt Williams acknowledged that he may be using a different closer down the stretch. From Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com:
“We’ll address it, yeah. We need to address it.”
“We’re certainly going to have to take a hard look at it,” Williams said. “It’s not an easy decision. None of them are. But we want to be able to close those games out. Sori understands that, he’s been around the block.”
Soriano’s 6.98 ERA in the second half is awful, and it may be that Matt Thornton, Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard get some turns in the ninth inning in the coming days. Thankfully for the Nats, they have some time and a nice cushion at their disposal as they try to figure things out.