Red Sox offering discounted concessions, beer for April games

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Fenway Park has historically had sellouts and expensive beer. Perhaps because they’re worrying about the former, the Sox are about to do away with the latter, at least for a limited time:

Two-for-one hot dog deals, discounted hot chocolate and a free kids meal are a few of the deals Boston’s baseball team is offering in hopes of attracting more fans to Fenway. But the $2.50 off beer is probably the most effective ploy to get fans back following a 83-loss season in 2012.

Cold weather and a lot of less-than-exciting April home games (the Royals, A’s and Astros are coming to town) is the likely reason for this. So thanks to the Astros, Sox fans will get $5 12 ounce beers.

I suppose there will be some sneering at this, with people saying the Red Sox are desperate or whatever. If that’s your inclination, maybe you need to examine why in the heck you care about the Red Sox’ sellout streak and things like that and examine why you’d do anything about low beer prices other than embrace them wholeheartedly.

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.