Oh joy, we get to revel in PED names being named again

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I assume there is a long German word that describes the simultaneous disgust at seeing PED users’ names revealed and the joy with which we get to shame them. It’s probably something like GreggDoyelSchenfruede or something like that:

I have a list. So do you, right? If you’re a baseball fan and you’re hearing that more names are about to be connected to Biogenesis, the cheatingest PED factory since BALCO, this is where you dig through your mental rolodex for the names of guys you’re sure are cheating.

Don’t worry, Doyel is no going to do so something as irresponsible as name names with no evidence. But he has promised to tell you later if they were on his list. Which, I assume was constructed with great scientific rigor.

What do I look for? I’ll tell you some day, when the list comes out and if any of my names are on there. I figure one of them will be at least. This stuff is easy, really. It’s simple to look at certain guys and just think, just know, “He’s not doing that legally.” Especially given what we know about the nature of baseball, just like the nature of sprinting and cycling. Certain things have never been possible before, and while breakthroughs and advances do happen, there are some ceilings that get cracked that just don’t seem plausible. Not legally plausible, anyway.

So true. I mean, when I look at the feats of Everth Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta, Antonio Bastardo, Francisco Cervelli, Jordany Valdespin, Jesús Montero, César Puello, Sergio Escalona, Fernando Martínez, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto my first thought is “It’s so obvious. The things they have done are utterly IMPOSSIBLE! Let me go check my list, ah, yes. There they are.”

But I have spoken with Doyel online before and I do believe his anger and outrage at PED users is genuine. I just also happen to believe that he would do better, as would we all, if instead of channeling that anger and outrage into a parlor game of speculation, name-naming and player shaming, we actually thought about came up with some ideas about how and why guys cheat and whether trotting out lists of names for public ridicule and nothing more is the best way to go about it. George Mitchell did that several years ago. It hasn’t really worked out.

But I truly do hope that your list is correct, Gregg. It will truly mean something then.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.