Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PEDs in Major League Baseball

In recent baseball news, Melky "The Melk Man" Cabrera was suspended 50 games for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. In other words, Cabrera had been using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). He had this to say about the suspention: "My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. .. I am deeply sorry for my mistake." He doesn't seem too phased to me. The numbers Cabrera was putting up should have been a red flag in the first place. What players like Melky are trying to accomplish is a big time contract in the later stages of their careers. After the MVP caliber season Melky was having, the Giants or another contending team would have offered him a healthier contract. Brian Cashman, General Manager of the Yankees, said he was not surprised that two of his former players, Cabrera and Colon, were found to have elevated levels of testosterone levels because of the surgeries and treatment they were receiving in other countries.

When I think back to last season's PED case which involved the National League MVP Ryan Braun, he got away with murder in the baseball world. Braun didn't receive any suspension and was still able to hang on to the honors of MVP after a steriod season only becuase of the way the drug test was handled. The only differnece between Cabrera and Braun is that Braun was able to wipe the asterisk off his numbers becuase he got lucky. This makes me wonder how many players in Major League Baseball are actually "clean." The question I am proposing is: what would happen if 80% of players were on PEDs? Bud Selig can't suspend the steriod generation becuase the profit means too much. Fans come to the ballpark to see 500 foot homeruns and 98 MPH fastballs. On the other hand, PEDs can't be allowed because some careers are too special to tarnish, i.e Derek Jeter. I think there are still many issues that need to be addressed about the drug policy in professional baseball. Players will always find a way to beat the system.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Washington Nationals

...and with the first pick of the 2009 MLB draft the Washington Nationals select Stephen Strasburg. After cruising through the minor leagues in 2010, Strasburg injured his elbow and was forced to get Tommy John surgury. Strasburg is viewed as a once-in-a-generation pitching prospect and to protect his career the Nationals came up with the Strasburg Rules in the beginning of the season that limited their ace to 160 innings. Thus far, Strasburg has pitched 133.1 innings. The Nationals have the best record in the Major Leagues after 116 games (72-44); with 46 games remaining, Strasburg can potentially get 9 more starts. According to the Strasburg Rules, Stephen is only eligible to pitch approximately 27 more innings, which is only 5 more starts at 5 IP each start.

Davey Johnson and the Washington Nationals not only have a chance to win their division but they are also capable of winning the World Series this year. By the nature of the game, to win the world series is an incredibly difficult task. The contending franchise can't just tell themselves that they will win it next year; teams have gone 86 years without a World Series ring i.e. the Red Sox. This is why I feel like it is foolish to shut down maybe the most dominant pitcher in baseball and not give yourself the best chance to win the game of his start. He should be the pitcher on the bump for game one of the postseason. The opposing arguement has concern for the health of Strasburg in the long run. My point is, in the long run what is 220 IP compared to 160 IP? If the Nationals were to cut off Strasburg at 160 IP and did not win the World Series and Strasburg had a career ending injury in his first start next season, the Strasburg Rules would be all for nothing. Strasburg has suffered no pain or discomfort thus far. Why not let him go until he does? If anything maybe he could miss a couple starts from now until the postseason but he should have the ball in his hand when the game is on the line.

Friday, August 10, 2012

MLB Most Valuable Players

In the American League, two players that stand out with MVP caliber seasons are Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera. Mike Trout, the 21 year old sensation, is hitting a league leading .345 for his third place Angels. Miggy is still searching for his first MVP hardware and lands somewhere in the top five in average, RBIs, and home runs. My vote is for Trout, as well as Rookie of the Year, something that hasn't been done since Ichiro in 2001. Jim Leyland seems to think that Miggy's career numbers have to be taken into account in this years MVP race. The Tigers are in the hunt in the central division, only a game back behind Chicago. Where the Angels end up in the standings may hurt Trout's chances. I have to mention Robinson Cano's name in the mix, with the Yankees cruising on a comfortable 5.5 game lead over Baltimore. If Cano can continue to stay hot, he will finish in the top 3 in voting. 

In the National League, Andrew McCutchen and Melky Cabrera are playing out of there minds. McCutchen is hitting a MLB best .369  and adding 23 dingers for the Pirates, who are going to shock the world and leg out the division race over Cincinnati. Melky is hitting .352 for the first place Giants. Boone Logan for Melky, thanks Cashman. My vote is for McCutchen. Wins above replacement is 6.5 and he is the biggest stud in the game. Go Pirates.