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muscle-bound-steroidsDraft Day is here! There’s other stuff to discuss throughout the day, but the Draft will obviously be the focus. We’ll have a live post going up later this afternoon for your discussion and for updates. I’ll cover the draft in that post, and Luke is going to be offering his – typically more robust – take as well. Giggity.

  • If any Cubs players or prospects are going to be implicated in the Biogenesis PED scandal, Dale Sveum told Cubs.com that he hasn’t heard anything about it. He says he figures it would be out there by now if a Cubs player was going to be named, which is possibly correct – though ESPN’s report indicated that Tony Bosch may have had additional clients whose names didn’t show up in the documents that have yet been reviewed/leaked. I’m not specifically worried about any Cubs players showing up in this story, but it does make for an interesting discussion. I think everyone knows how they feel about the ARod’s and the Ryan Braun’s, but what if a lower profile Cubs player were implicated? Are you … angry? Indifferent? Do you give the guy the benefit of the doubt if he says he’s innocent, and only used the clinic for legal, approved substances? Does the inclusion of a Cubs player change your perception of the entire story? Would you recognize your own internal inconsistency – the urge to defend a Cubs player where you chastised all other non-Cubs players? I find this kind of cognitive dissonance fascinating (because I experience it, too), though I hope we don’t have to find out how we’d react in this particular situation.
  • Dale Sveum’s draft day story is kind of a sad one, with the Cubs telling everyone not to take him because he was going to play football, and his friend being stabbed the night before.
  • An Angels fan had a paper bag over his head behind home plate last night and the Angels made him take it off. They say it’s a policy (nothing covering the head – I assume a baseball cap is OK, unless you’re Elaine Benes), but it happened in the 7th inning only after the guy appeared on TV. I’m sure they didn’t much care for those kind of optics, but, at the same time, it really is a safety concern. There’s a reason robbers wear masks and a reason we’d rather people didn’t.
  • A little profile on third base platoon man Cody Ransom, who hit a three-run homer last night. He’s crushing lefties for the Cubs this year, and is hitting .279/.323/.607 for the team while making some nice plays at third. Is it enough to turn him into a complementary trade piece when paired with another player or two? Maybe.
  • Don’t miss your chance to beat me up – metaphorically – and take my money – metaphorically. This week’s fantasy contest comes with a $5 bonus if you beat me, and it also has a $500 prize pool ($11 entry). The full details are here, but the important note is this: the league is limited to 50 entries, and it’s already half full. Sign up here.
  • ProfessorCub

    Nice Elaine Benes reference.

    • DReese

      its a baseball hat at a baseball game! lol

  • dash

    PED scandal: Suspend ‘em all, I don’t care who they play for.

  • ETS

    “but what if a lower profile Cubs player were implicated? Are you … angry?” No

    “Indifferent?” Mostly. Unless it was rizzo or castro then I’d want the cubs to get there money back.

    “Do you give the guy the benefit of the doubt if he says he’s innocent, and only used the clinic for legal, approved substances?” Absolutely not.

    “Does the inclusion of a Cubs player change your perception of the entire story?” No

    “Would you recognize your own internal inconsistency – the urge to defend a Cubs player where you chastised all other non-Cubs players?” I wouldn’t defend him

    • ETS

      Their*** Oh noes!!!

  • http://goodfoodgoodwinegooddog.com Valerae

    I’d be totally angry if a player in our organization was named in this scandal. Frankly, I still feel betrayed by Marlon Byrd. Every time I see him play it makes me sad all over again. I don’t want to see any of these guys ever on a ballot for the HoF either. Frankly, I don’t want to see Sosa in there either – he cheated, that’s the end of it. Cheating kills my love for this, the greatest sport in the world. I can’t wait to see the hammer come down on this. I didn’t even draft anyone in my fantasy league this year who has been suspected of cheating – I don’t even pick up players with necks as thick as their shoulders just in case. If we start to see suspensions my luck my turn around in my fantasy league since everyone else will lose their top draft picks!

    • JoeyCollins

      Basball players have always used whatever they could to get an advamtage, and these guys are no different. The only thing that has changed is how effective the drugs are. If anyone thinks Mantel, Ruth, or any other legends of the game wouldn’t have done the same thing as Bonds, Sosa and these guys you’re lying to yourself. Wether it’s Greenies, corked bats, putting whatever you can on the ball, or modern supplements/steroids, getting an advantage any way possible has already been a part of baseball.

      • mak

        The “older players WOULD have used steroids if the technology was available” argument is irrelevant, nonsensical and unhelpful. It tells us nothing and does not help analyze punishments for PED users.

        • Internet Random

          Whether it’s “unhelpful” is subject to debate. If you think it’s “irrelevant” and/or “nonsensical”, then you don’t have a good grasp of what those words mean.

          • mak

            How is it relevant to determine if current players should be suspended? “Nonsensical” is a bit hyperbole, point taken.

            • Internet Random

              Because past is prologue to future.

              • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

                Haha! Another nonsensical argument!
                It proves absolutely nothing but sounds pretty good.
                I have to agree with mak that whether or not Mantle or Ruth “would have” used PEDs had they been available is a red herring and irrelevant. Besides, there were a lot of great players during the steroid era (and now) who didn’t/don’t stoop to using them.

                Using PEDs is on a completely level from scuffing a baseball or corking a bat. It requires commitment in terms of health, time, and secrecy that simply don’t compare to “old school” cheating. To declare that Joe DiMaggio (and I’m aware that his name was conveniently not mentioned) would have used them, for example, is specious.

                • DarthHater

                  Mr. Coffee was so hyped up on caffeine that he didn’t need Adderall. ;-)

                • Internet Random

                  Just because a piece of evidence doesn’t, by itself, prove a point, that doesn’t mean that it’s not *relevant*. It might not be dispositive, material, or even persuasive, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant.

                  By the way, many, many hundreds of years of the common-law legal system say that how we have treated matters in the past should bear very, very heavily on how we should treat them in the present. See “stare decisis”: http://j.mp/ZvObCp.

                  • Mak

                    If I have to look up the definition of “non sensical” you need to read what stare decisis means. Does not relate to this argument.

                    • Internet Random

                      It certainly does.

                      Now look up the definition of “relate”.

        • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com TC

          it’s not a hypothetical question. All the best players of the last few generations used greenies, a performance enhancing drug. They DID use PEDs, so it’s extremely relevant

      • cooter

        you ever heard of speed?

    • JBlades

      I want to see a before(past) and after(present) picture of Jerry Hairston. Did he always have that huge head and neck. I may be wrong, but he looks like a candidate for roids abuse.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Did you mean Scott?

        • Cubbie Blues

          If so, yes, he did.
          [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_rNGHGDmZH2k/SaspJuhN7pI/AAAAAAAACxM/ONB-ITIq9-o/s320/scott.jpg[/img]

  • BABIP

    If Darwin Barney gets caught: No way! Couldn’t be!

    If Ian Stewart gets caught: GET HIM!

    • desertrat

      A lot of Cubs fans would rejoice if Carlos Marmol got caught and had to serve a suspension.

  • JoeyCollins

    I just don’t see these suspensions happening. The MLBPA is going to fight any suspension based on some hand writtten notes and the testimony of a shady guy in south beach who is basically being forced to by the MLB. I’m really not sure why they would do all this now anyway, or let word of the suspensions get leaked right before the draft. Nothing helps draw attention away from the draft or acctual baseball games like a new PED scandal.

    • mak

      The leak was a huge problem, sure. And there is going to be obvious union fall out from the suspensions — probably major labor unrest. But MLB didn’t spend all of this time and money not to raise suspensions. And, by the way, remember what happened to the last arbitrator who struck down a MLB suspension? He doesn’t arbitrate for MLB anymore.

    • Jay

      Completely agree. No one seems to be paying attention to WHY this guy suddenly wants to testify. Certainly hurts his case as a “witness” and you can bet the players association will be all over that.

    • JBlades

      They are getting back at Ryan Braun for embarrassing them last year. I hate that fucker and hope he gets suspended for a 100 games.

  • baseballet

    I wonder if any Cubs are represented by the agents who represented Melky Cabrera. The wacky cover up by Melky and his team, and their ties to the Biogenesis clinic would make me nervous if any core Cubs players were represented by them.

  • DarthHater

    And what if a Cubs player were involved in government spying on reporters or the IRS targeting of conservative groups? Wouldn’t that be an interesting story! Not sure how I’d feel about it… :-P

  • Joker

    The only real problem I have with PED’s are when something is not legal under federal law. If whatever they were taking was legal, go for it. I need copious amounts of caffeine to do my job everyday and it’s not physically taxing at all. I cannot imagine what professional players go through over the course of a season.

    I used to have a sense of outrage that any player would take anything, but that’s just not very realistic. They want to train in the best manner possible to fine tune their bodies and maximize their income potential. Want unnecessary LASIK in order to see the ball rotation more clearly? Instead of rehab, you want to opt for Tommy John surgery in HS to get it out of the way for your professional career? Good for you since it’s your choice. Just as long as it’s legal.

    (and let’s all be honest here…if it helped the Cubs win the World Series, we all would love to keep our heads in the sand and pretend nothing was going on. Don’t lie. We did it during the Sosa/McGwire home run chase and we would gladly do it again.)

    • mak

      If MLB bans a substance, makes it known, etc., and a player still chooses to go ahead and use the substance to his advantage, I think its fair for him to be punished by his employer.

      If your office had a “no coffee” rule, and you were caught drinking coffee, I’d say you’d earn your punishment.

      • BluBlud

        Exactly. Some states have legalized Pot. Does that means an employer can’t still tell you you can’t smoke pot. Yes it’s legal, but if the employer explained this to you before you took the job, then it’s your choice to make. If you make the choice to go against their wishes, then they have a right to end employment, or discipline you.

      • Joker

        Sure, it’s all about choices. What MLB and the player’s union have in place is for illegal substances. That stuff deserves definitely to be punished.

        I think as I get older, I don’t have a problem with guys pushing the envelope on things that are clearly performance enhancing but are so new or outside the realm of regular thought that we don’t have a legal or moral grasp on them yet. Unneeded Adderal usage is rampant but legal, since players can always find a doctor to prescribe it. What will we do when a player gets a doctor to legally prescribe him HGH for a condition or some new experimental drug that we don’t even know exists?

        I guess what I am saying is that I think we are on the cusp of the moral/legal debate. Sports have changed because of technology and this includes what players can do to their bodies. Technology has changed the way they train, eat, and supplement. I think things are going to get far more gray than black and white in the coming years.

        • mak

          I agree. From a moral standpoint, its so many shades of gray from advanced surgical techniques, Adderal usage (which I have no problem with, for whatever reason) to HGH. If you think about it too much, makes you think we should make it all legal or all illegal.

    • http://goodfoodgoodwinegooddog.com Valerae

      If the Cubs won the World Series and some of the players were on PEDs I would be devastated. I’d seriously stop watching baseball. I did after the Sammy Sosa thing and I’d do it again. I have no desire to support an organization that would cheat to get a desired result. I’d rather we play the game fairly than win a World Series for 100 more years.

      • BluBlud

        This is all fine, but I can assure you that every World Series champ over at least the last 15-20 years has had a player on steriods. It can probably go back much further then that. I am against steroid, and the players going to the hall as much, if not more, then anyone. I don’t like the idea of cheating. However, you can’t say if the Cubs won the series with one, it would be that devastating. This is not college, they are going to wipe Championships of the book as if they never existed.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Based upon the last two seasons, I’m not sure we have anything to worry about! Though, it would probably take something like this for many Cubs fans to “break up” with their favorite player(s), like Castro — but obviously his current performance could use some enhancement. We could change his at-bat song to the Cialis theme…

  • cubchymyst

    There are two ways to maintain a level playing field in baseball; one way is to ban every PED, second way is to approve some substance for why spread use while keeping others banned. Give the players an option because the outright ban is not working. I am not familiar with the full list of banned substances, but I’d be disappointed if there was something on it that could help the players recover faster without long term effects. I’d rather see the best players healthy then AAAA in there place.

  • curt

    I would love to see Ryan Braun get his he’s guilty but this tony Bosch has almost no credibility he couldn’t find anyone to buy his bs, only reason mlb has s hardon for this is Braun pissed on emperor seligs shoes by beating his positive test on a technicality. And besides the government took years and unlimited resources and still almost got nothing on bonds , selig is trying to convict these players with public opinion.

    • mak

      Can’t compare this to Bonds. The government went after Bonds in a criminal court (which requires guilt beyond a reasonable doubt) for lying about steroids. Criminal contempt is a very difficult case to prove.

      MLB’s suit against Bosch, and subsequently, MLB’s investigation of the players on the list carry no such burden.

  • JulioZuleta

    Why’d you include that picture at the top of a PED-related post. For all you know, that guys muscles could be natural…Hah.

    Also…is he wearing a watch? Like a dress watch?

  • mak

    Any suspensions handed down would be fair mcsquare in my opinion. I’ve heard a lot of grumbling (not here, but see http://deadspin.com/10-or-so-thoughts-on-biogenesis-a-scandal-for-all-the-511484352) about the severity of the suspensions v. the evidence against the players.

    However, first, we don’t know exactly what the evidence will be (I’d think there’d be more than just sworn testimony of a supplier). Secondly, as briefly mentioned in the deadspin op-ed, if players are going to use all means to get ahead and beat the drug systems, MLB, its administrators and attorneys should use every mean to catch them. I love that argument.

    As an attorney, and this sounds horrible, I greatly admire the strategy MLB took in filing the lawsuit to force discovery and leverage a deal with Bosch. And we need to stop calling that lawsuit “meritless,” or else Bosch would have never started talking in the first place.

  • BluBlud

    Soriano is the only name that concerns me at this point. Could his “resurgence” last year be tied to PEDs? Could that explain the drop off this year? Maybe he stopped when the story blew because he didn’t wanna get caught up in it. I not suggesting he is/was doing it. But as far as the Cubs go, that’s the only person who stands out.

    • mak

      I’d be more concerned if he had Miami ties — which I don’t believe he does?

      • BluBlud

        Yeah, I’m not concerned about it. I was just saying he would be the only possibility for the Cubs.

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    I have no such cognitive dissonance (way to pay attention during Psych 101, btw Brett).

    I loved the Home Run Race of 1998 and even teared up a bit at how positively and respectfully Sammy conducted himself. I was proud of him.

    Then we found out he cheated. I felt personally affronted and deceived. He is now a non-entity as far as I’m concerned and I can only remember his career bitterly. I was and still am pissed off.

    If any current Cubs are connected to the scandal I hope they are jettisoned asap.

  • Internet Random

    Doubtless, at least some Cubs players are using. “Not getting caught” is not the same thing as “not breaking rules”.

  • Tim

    So…. Who still thinks the phillies would be interested in swapping Dominic brown and Alfonso Soriano? ^_^

    • SirCub

      Ha, nice one.

  • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com TC

    I honestly don’t think I would care all that much if a Cubs player was caught with PEDs. I can’t hold them to a standard I know I couldn’t hold myself to.

    If I was in the minors and there was a substance out there that had even a 1% chance of turning me into a 25th man on the roster for 3-4 seasons, I’d take it immediately without even questioning it. That roster spot represents huge money ($500k per season) and a life of comfort once I am out of baseball if I handle my money right.

    If I was a good player who had the chance to cash in big in free agency with a very good season and I found a substance that had a remote chance of elevating my play to a $75-100 million-contract level, I’d run people over to get to it. That represents generational wealth, money that my family can live comfortably off of for a century or more.

    Baseball is an awesome sport and I loved playing it, but when all the money is introduced it’s really not fair to talk about the “integrity of the game” (which doesn’t really exist, folks. Players have been cheating and lying since the inception of the national league a century and a half ago).

    • CM

      Totally agree with TC. I’ll even take it a step further. If you have the opportunity, it’s your responsibility to your family to try and get the generational wealth, because those opportunities only present themselves to a small percentage.

      • DarthHater

        Your wife just called. She’d like you to rob a bank on your way home tonight.

        • CM

          Ever seen the amount of money bank robbers usually “get away” with? Most people make more in a week. Most companies don’t profit what a major league half way decent player makes in a year.

          Even if you view PEDs as a crime, it’s a victimless one at it’s very worst. Any fringe player would be nuts not to do it, assuming it would give them the slightest opportunity for that kind of cash.

  • hansman1982

    the dude in the photo needs to get with the times and realize that wide belts are out for guys…

  • Eric

    can you imagine that guy’s visit to the doctor? “yeeeah, I think you’re a bit too muscular”.

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