The Twins trot out the ultimate hangover lineup

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The Twins clinched the second Wild Card last night. Late last night, actually as they had to wait until the Angels-White Sox game ended, at around midnight Eastern time, which is the time zone the Twins are in at the moment, visiting Cleveland. They stayed in their clubhouse watching the White Sox victory and started their beer and champagne celebration afterward. One presumes they partied into the wee hours.

Of course, they have a day game today, which gets underway at noon. That’s a pretty early wakeup call for a bunch of hungover guys. Which probably explains this lineup the Twins are trotting out today:

Missing are Byron Buxton, Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Eddie Rosario, and Eduardo Escobar. Max Kepler stays in, presumably because he’s from Germany and he’s better at handling beer than the others. I dunno.

Lots of teams do this after clinching, of course. Rare is there such a quick turnaround between celebration and game, however, so the hangover lineup is needed much more in this case, one presumes.

Carlos Carrasco, the Indians starter, is probably pretty happy with this today. The Houston Astros, trying to catch the Indians for the best record in the American League are probably a bit less pleased, not that the Twins owe them anything.

And, of course, because this is baseball, this Twins lineup will probably score 11 runs on 16 hits.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

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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.