There are hundreds of teenaged “transaction monkeys” out there hustling for scoops

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I feel like I should just leave that headline stand on its own. Or maybe use it as the slug line on the movie poster of the baseball-themed exploitation (“Basesploitation“) flick I’ve been planning. Sort of a Russ Meyer thing. I’ll have more details later.

But do know the subject of the movie could very well be that which is discussed in Joshua Kusnick’s latest over at Baseball Prospectus, in which he talks about how often he is contacted by would-be teen scoopsmiths, looking for tips. In all seriousness, this shocks me:

. . . sometime in 2013 I began to notice what seemed like a potentially negative trend. I was contacted by well over 100 teenagers asking me to be “their source.” I would have people just flat-out ask me for information—sometimes just general information, but mostly secret information. I have gotten all sorts of variations: The “I’d be honored if you were my source” approach, or the “I have dream, just like you had to have had when you were my age, so you owe it to me to help” plea. My favorite: “If you’re not willing to work with me as a source can you just tell me who would?”

Kunsick has advice for these sorts of people, most of which boils down to “man, don’t be such pushy jerks, OK?” Which one would hope isn’t necessary, but apparently is.

I’m not sure what these hundreds of kids are after. I mean, sure, I suppose a lot of them want to be baseball reporters, but I would hope most of them realize that getting a random, minor bit of transaction news doesn’t exactly move that ball forward very much.

 

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.