Saturday, February 21, 2009


Evidently pharmacists in the Dominican are disputing A-Rod's claim that the steroid he used can be obtained over the counter in the DR. Additionally, according to a New York Daily News report, two reporters sent to the DR pretty much were able to obtain Durabolin immediately after getting off their flight.

The reporters went into the first pharmacy, were asked for a first name, and then spent about $20 to get their steroids.

Considering reports regarding a steroid trail from Mexico into San Diego (in relation to the Chargers), I'm surprised, given MLB's efforts over the last two seasons, that baseball's franchises continue to send players for winter league games to Mexico, or any of the Latino countries where obtaining these drugs is so easy.

Hopefully David Ortiz is being completely straight regarding banned trainer Angel Presinal. As much as I agree with Dave over at the Coffin Corner that Ortiz's call for a year ban on users makes it appear that he's likely to be clean, I disagree that his stats have stayed on an even keel throughout his career.

Everyone is quick to point out that he became a monster once in Boston and he was a full time player, but he did have two seasons with the Twins in which he played in at least 125 games and logged at least 400 at bats. For those two seasons Ortiz averaged 15 home runs and 69 RBI's. Over a 162 game season that projects to roughly 20 homers and 85 RBI's.

While the wrist injury he had last season was reminiscent of the one that Nomar had - one of the connective tissue, and an odd one at that - I don't believe that Big Papi has been juicing, but anecdotal evidence isn't good. He's linked with a trainer who's a known supplier (and should know better than to train where this man works - it's not like he doesn't have the money to have the option of training elsewhere), he had a freak injury of the connective tissue - the tendon sheath in his wrist - which is the sort of injury that could be indicative of steroid use, and his production spiked when he moved to Boston with his homerun total spiking by 55 percent when he moved from the Twins to the Sox, and more than doubling his final Minnesota HR total within two seasons, and knocking in 64 more runs within two years of his departure from the Metrodome.

The flip side - Ortiz was 26 in his final season with the Twins, just beginning to enter what is universally held as the prime of his career, the time when most players stats would spike. If you account for a 25 percent increase just based on entering the prime of his career, he would have hit about 25 homers and knock in about 93 runs. A look at Ortiz's stats also shows that he did have, on average a 35 to 40 percent increase in at bats - that would account for up to an additional 8 homers and 17 RBI's bringing him into the 30's and about 110 respectively, and I haven't even figured in the Fenway factor. So, no, I do think he got there naturally - but he really should be aware of appearances of impropriety in relation to the juicing issue.

Given that Kevin Garnett's injury is only a muscle strain and he should be back with about 18 games left in the season, i don't think Garnett's injury is necessarily a bad thing for the Celtics. If the team wins half the games he misses, that means he comes back and the C's have lost four games. At worst that will drop them to the three seed in the East. I don't think going .500 over the next eight games is an unrealistic expectation, and I don't think being the three seed is a bad thing for them.

Based on current standings, even if they lost the four games, they could only fall to the third seed if Orlando goes 7-1 over that same stretch - so it's more likely that the worst that would happen is that they end up in the second seed by no more than two games with 18 to go and a rested Kevin Garnett in the line-up.

That's not necessarily a bad thing.

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