I’m nonplussed. Like I totally lack plus. Plus-free zone here. Not a single plus was given this day.
Via Neyer, comes Mike Silva’s interview with John Rocker from the other night in which the pumped up fireballer with anger issues — shockingly — admitted to using steroids during his career. Here’s Silva:
I was surprised by his admission to taking steroids, so I asked him again if he was taking some sort of PED in 1999. “Yeah, of course I was. I mean who wasn’t? Let’s be honest here, who wasn’t?”
And there was a positive drug test to prove it, Rocker says. The league asked him to take drug tests after the infamous Sports Illustrated article, he did and in his own words he “failed miserably.” Neyer has some very apt words about what that all means. Basically: Selig was willingly blind to PEDs for years beyond the P.R. implications of it all. It’s undeniable and has been for some time.
Look, I’m the first one to criticize anyone who plays the “of course he was on steroids! Just look at him!” card. But in Rocker’s case? Dudes, really.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.