Great Moments in Drug Testing and Punishment: The NFL Edition

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This is a reminder that the NFL — a league that does not have HGH testing yet never ever gets slammed for its PED policies the way baseball does — just suspended a guy for a year for smoking weed.

And, while you may defend the glorious NFL here by saying “hey, rules are rules and Gordon broke them,” as Florio noted earlier this month, Gordon would likely not even be subject to a suspension if the NFL had actually gotten its HGH testing in place. Years after it said it wanted to. And of course, just because Gordon may have bad judgment does not make the NFL’s drug policies and discipline priorities any less dumb.

You may now return to obsessing over your fantasy team and talking about how baseball’s drug problems just ruin everything for you. Or, if you live in two of the 22 states in which the NFL operates that have legalized marijuana, you can go smoke a joint and no one will do anything to you.

 

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.