Volquez: the drugs were for fertility treatments

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The Reds’ flagship station, 700 WLW, reports that Edinson Volquez has released a statement. The upshot: the drugs he was taking were prescribed by a Dominican doctor to help Volquez and his wife “start a family,” and that the drugs just also happened to be on the MLB-banned drug list.

I’ll defer to a fertility expert on this one, but I wasn’t aware of any male fertility drugs that also appear on baseball’s banned list. There are female fertility drugs that are there — Manny Ramirez took them — but those are used to cycle down from steroids, not to help men make babies.

Is Volquez playing the family man card — the “I was recovering from injury excuse only works for Andy Pettitte, don’t you know — or am I just missing something here?

UPDATEhere’s the entire list of banned substances in Major League Baseball.  Many on the “performance enhancing list” are male hormores, of course.  Quick reference to Wikipedia reveals several of them are used in male fertility treatments as well.

No clue if Volquez was really using them for male fertility treatments or if that’s just an excuse.  Kind of doesn’t matter, though, given that the “whys” of it are irrelevant as far as the drug program is concerned.  And let’s be clear about this: any player who was proceeding on a course of male fertility treatments should damn well have better consulted the union and baseball first to make sure that the admirable goal of wanting to have children was not going to interfere with the admirable goal of wanting to stay within the rules of the game.

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: