Not all players named in the Biogenesis records should be treated the same

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Dayn Perry of CBS Sports.com makes an excellent freaking observation: despite having all of the Biogenesis records at its disposal, the Miami New Times limited its reporting of players’ names to those clearly associated with PEDs in the records. They redacted and did not report the names of Ryan Braun, Jhonny Peralta and those players named in the past few days by other outlets. They explain their reasoning here.

I agree with Dayn that this does not mean that those who have reported other names have acted irresponsibly. Indeed, every report (as opposed to secondary, hand-wringing opinion) has been careful to note that names like Braun’s appear in the records — a clear fact — but are not linked to specific PEDs.  At the same time, however, the mere fact that those names are there has cultivated suspicion and accusations regarding them that no matter what ever else arises out of all of this will forever associate them with a PED story.

Was the Miami New Times overly cautious? Maybe. But given how badly PED accusations stain players’ reputations, the caution seems well-warranted. And even if those names are going to inevitably come out, the distinction between those who are specifically linked to PEDs in the documents and those who are not is one that should be noted as often as possible.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.