In the past couple of weeks, four players — Jenrry Mejia of the Mets, Ervin Santana of the Twins, Arodys Vizcaino of the Braves and David Rollins of the Mariners have all been suspended following positive tests for stanozolol, the anabolic steroid that basically went out of use among baseball players with the advent of drug testing.
The Daily News reports that Major League Baseball, noting that it’s odd to see so many players using this out-of-date drug at the same time, has launched an investigation:
Commissioner Rob Manfred says Major League Baseball investigators have launched a Biogenesis-style investigation to determine if there is a link — a doctor, trainer, drug dealer or dietary supplement — between the four cases.
Makes sense. After all, as the story notes, what got MLB sniffing around Miami a few years ago was a spike in testosterone and HGH use as well as some anecdotal evidence about drug mills in Florida. That eventually turned into the Biogenesis scandal, though it obviously took some reporting from the Miami New Times for it to explode.
Here, if I had to guess, we’re either seeing (a) some tainted or misrepresented substance, which the players have no idea contains stanozolol; or (b) someone telling players that they have some masking agent or system-beating scheme which makes the detection of this otherwise ridiculously detectable drug impossible.
Because really, straight-up taking the most cliche of 1990s ‘roids — the drugs which the tests were literally designed to find — would be about the dumbest thing in the world.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.