Phillies road team, Blue Jays home team at Citizens Bank Park

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The Jays come in to Philly tonight for a three game set . . . as the home team.

You’ll recall that this little switcheroo is the result of the G-20 summit taking place in Toronto. As a result, the series that was supposed to take place in the Rogers Centre is now in Philly with the Phillies as the “visiting team” and the Jays as the “home team.”

And they’re gonna do what they can to make that fiction a reality. The Phillies will be wearing their road grays and the Jays their home whites. The DH will be used. While there’s some confusion on this point, it seems that the Blue Jays will get the majority of the gate for the series, while the Phillies still retain the concessions.

Only two things are really undercutting the suspension of disbelief as to the location of the series: the facts that (a) the Phillies players get so sleep in their own beds and have breakfast with their families; and (b) there will be 40,000 screaming Phillies fans at the games. But, sure, other than that, root-root-root for the home team . . .

And yes, I realize that the Joe Carter pic is a low blow to Phillies fans. But that was 17 years ago and you guys are getting three gratuitous home games, so I think you deal with it. Jays fans need it.

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.