The annual report about baseball’s drug program is out

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From MLB’s media relations department to my inbox to your eyes:  MLB and the MLBPA released the annual public report from the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’s Independent Program Administrator. It’s the thing that says how many positive drug tests there were, for what, etc.

The notable numbers, which cover the period starting when the 2011 World Series ended until the 2012 World Series ended:

  • The total number of drug tests: 5136. Of these, 3,955 were urine tests and 1,181 were blood tests;
  • There were eighteen positives that resulted in discipline. Seven were for PEDs, 11 were for stimulants;
  • There were 119 Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted. Of these, 116 were for ADD, two were for hypertension and one was for the always-popular hypergonadism.

I know a lot of people shuffle on and off of 40-man rosters, but figure at any given time you 1,200 men on those rosters. One hundred sixteen guys represents 9.6% of players being  allowed to take ADD drugs despite them otherwise being banned stimulants. For what it’s worth, the National Resource Center on ADHD and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association report that approximately 7% of children and 5% of adults have ADD or ADHD.

I have no idea whether athletic men in their 20s and 30s skew higher in this regard, and I make no assumptions about it one way or the other. Just offering that information.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.