Rays outfielder Carlos Gómez said in an interview with journalist Héctor Gómez that he doesn’t believe Major League Baseball’s drug testing is random. ESPN Deportes translated the interview in which Gomez said, “They tell you that it’s random, that they do the tests randomly and those players who go out there, go and do a drug test. Until they prove to me that it is random, I will not believe it. Because for me, it’s not random. They go and choose the person they want. It’s not random. If it’s not that, show it to me.”
Gomez added, “I have the greatest luck on my team, because they test me more than everyone else. I arrived now, three days after coming from the disabled list, and they are already testing me again.”
Gomez, 32, also said on the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast last week, on the heels of the Robinson Cano news, that MLB targets older players and Latin players. He says he and teammates Sergio Romo and Denard Span (recently traded to the Mariners) have been drug tested frequently this season. Gomez estimates that he has been tested somewhere between five and seven times this season already.
Brewers first baseman Eric Thames, who is not Latin but might qualify as “older,” was famously drug tested repeatedly after getting off to a hot start last season following his return to the United States from South Korea. Thames, however, didn’t feel like he was being targeted specifically.
This season, Gomez has scuffled to a .194/.260/.348 batting line with six home runs and 12 RBI in 170 plate appearances. He inked a one-year, $4 million deal with the Rays in February.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.