Pedro Martinez plans on pitching this year

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Pedro Phillies cap.jpgWatching Pedro lob up last night’s first pitch while wearing a baggy jersey and a pair of old man slacks gave off the impression of a man retired. Not so, says Pedro:

Pedro Martinez did not exactly light up the radar guns with his
ceremonial first pitch, or lob, last night at the Red Sox-Yankees opener
but he has every intention of cranking his 38-year-old body up for
another major-league contract this coming season . . . He expects to start throwing on a program this coming week with the
intent of signing a similar type of deal that he got done with
Philadelphia. The Phillies could wind up being his destination this
season as well but as he said earlier today, “We’ll see what happens
with that.'”

I like the rent-a-Pedro model much more than I liked rent-a-Clemens back when the Rocket did it. If Clemens had worked out all winter and committed to the season you get the sense that he could have done better during those last two years. With Pedro, you just know he can’t hold up to a whole season anymore, so why even try?

All that said, I’m not at all certain that Martinez gets the deal he wants. There was a lot of smoke and mirrors with Philly last year. His race might just be run.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.