Link-O-Rama: Gonzalez 'praying' steroids list comes out

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* Recently retired Luis Gonzalez said yesterday that he’s “hoping and praying” the full list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 is revealed because “I’m hoping I get a lot of apologies when that list comes out.”
“I’m really one of those other 500 guys in the league that hopes that list comes out so I can walk around and nobody whispers behind my back, saying that he did it that year.” By “that year” he means 2001, when Gonzalez hit 57 homers at the age of 33 after never topping 31 before or after.
* Last night at Dodger Stadium a remote-control airplane flew above the field before crashing into a fence next to the Diamondbacks’ dugout. Amusingly, players had vastly different reactions to the odd situation.
Matt Kemp said: “That was tight, I liked that. That stayed in the air for a cool two or three minutes.” On the other hand, Augie Ojeda picked up the crashed airplane and then ripped it into two pieces as the crowd booed. Bully.
* Dallas Braden has been one of the few bright spots in Oakland this season, posting a 3.89 ERA in 22 starts, but he’s reportedly “extremely unlikely to be back this year” because of lingering foot problems.
* X-rays came back negative after Adam Jones injured his ankle last night, but Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com notes that “he’s in a lot of pain at the moment and he figures to be out of the lineup for a while.”
* Back problems may relegate Gary Sheffield to pinch-hitting duties down the stretch.
* Jorge Posada: Great at hitting, not so great at counting.

Tony Clark: Universal DH ‘gaining momentum’ among players

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.