Ortiz apologizes, MLB confuses

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As expected, this afternoon’s press
conference with David Ortiz was a big ol’ dud
. If anything, it was an
orchestrated performance by incoming union head Michael
Weiner, propped up by a statement released by Major League Baseball
this morning
urging “the press and the public to use caution in
reaching conclusions based on leaks of names, particularly from sources
whose identities are not revealed.” As Weiner stated during the press
conference, just because someone is included on the list doesn’t
necessarily mean that the player used a banned substance. Wha wha?




Big
Papi was legally bound from saying much, but he took the the
opportunity to predictably deny his use of steroids while apologizing
to the fans, his teammates and his manager:




“I
definitely was a little bit careless. I was buying supplements and
vitamins over the counter … but I never buy steroids or use steroids.”




“I’m
not here to make excuses or anything. I want to apologize to the fans
for the distraction, my teammates, my manager. We go into a situation
now, it was a nightmare to me.”




Meanwhile, Weiner — who looked like he fell out of bed and ran to the proceedings like Ferris Bueller — sounded all lawyery and unioney:



“Substantial
scientific questions exist as to the interpretation of some of the 2003
test results. The more definitive methods that are utilized by the lab
that administers the current drug agreement were not utilized by the
lab responsible for the anonymous testing program in 2003. The
collective bargaining parties did not pursue definitive answers
regarding these inconclusive results, since those answers were
unnecessary to the administration of the 2003 program.”




Weiner named Androstenedione — the supplement made famous by Mark
McGwire — as an example, pointing out that while it is a banned
substance now, it wasn’t in 2003. He also reiterated MLB’s contention
that eight players, and possibly more, of the 104 siezed by the
government in 2004 did not test positive for PEDs. And of those 96
remaining names, 13 were inconclusive and possibly include multiple
tests on the same player.

Well, if MLB’s intention was to make the whole controversy even more vague
and confusing — which I believe it was — mission frickin’ accomplished, guys. Isn’t there a game on or
something?

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.