Rob Manfred to Hall of Fame voters: don’t surmise PED use without evidence


Rob Manfred was up in Bristol, Connecticut to speak with ESPN baseball writers and reporters, so expect to see a lot coming out about those meetings in the next few days. The first thing, from Jayson Stark, is fun.

Stark reports that Manfred would advise Hall of Fame voters not to “surmise” that certain players used performance-enhancing drugs unless there is “credible evidence.” He notes that, yes, with someone like Barry Bonds, there’s a lot of evidence, so that’s not big deal. But he goes on:

“The guys I’m concerned about are, there are players out there who are talked about where there is literally nothing. They have nothing, other than, you know, ‘He looked like X.’ Trust me, from somebody who spent a lot of time doing it, you can’t decide whether or not somebody was using steroids, based on what they look like. That is not enough evidence to make that determination.”

That describes Piazza and Bagwell, the two current Hall of Fame candidates who have been the subject of most of that kind of speculation by Hall of Fame voters.

Odds any Hall of Fame voter’s mind is changed on this: about zero, I’d say. The people who vote this way long ago decided that they are Defenders of the Sacred Hall, not reasonable actors, and good sense like that which Manfred is offering here will not deter them from their quest.

Report: Red Sox sign Kenley Jansen to 2-year, $32 million deal

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — Veteran closer Kenley Jansen and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement was pending a physical.

The 35-year-old Jansen went 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings for Atlanta this year. The three-time All-Star led the National League with 41 saves, helping the Braves win the NL East title.

Boston is looking to bounce back after it finished last in the AL East this season with a 78-84 record. The Red Sox went 92-70 in 2021 and lost to Houston in the AL Championship Series.

Jansen spent his first 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning a World Series title in 2020. The right-hander signed a $16 million, one-year contract with Atlanta in March.

Jansen has a 2.46 career ERA. He was an All-Star in 2016-2018.

His 391 career saves are the second-most among active players (behind Craig Kimbrel‘s 394) and eighth all time.