Friday, November 9, 2007

We got Sunny D, Purple Stuff and The Juice

With approximately 160 players eligble for free agency this offseason, there were many folks taking note of this week's story in the Boston Globe revealing that up to eleven members of this year's FA crop were asked to speak with George Mitchell as part of his investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball.

At first, the deal was that eleven players were to be named in a forthcoming report but that got changed to eleven players just being asked to meet. So, this whole thing could be a non-starter. Or all eleven free agents could be players that most fans have never heard of before. Still, it seems odd that Mitchell would draw this much attention to the impending announcement if it was just going to be a rag-tag group of middle relievers and back-up second basemen.

And, I don't know what good it does Baseball to keep outing guys like Schowenwiess and Byrd while seemingly obvious offenders like Bonds go unpunished. The best players have the most money and the best doctors and the best masking agents while Scott S. is probably stuck drinking a bunch of vinegar before his piss test just like a high school pot-smoker. I guess that busting the small fish allows everyone to look tough-on-crime by doling out punishment while also allowing them to skirt the larger issues of the record books and the potentially tainted stats.

Some Notable Free Agents Who May Have Spoken with Mitchell:

Pitchers:
Bartolo Colon (perhaps administered orally with a side of fries)
Victor Zambrano (would the Mets be able to get Kazmir back?)
Eric Gagne (if I were a betting man...)
Curt Schilling (ditto)
Tim Wakefield ("Is there a knuckle involved in any way?")
Kerry Wood (see notation regarding my gambling and Gagne)
Joe Borowski (for a guy who couldn't throw hard, how did he keep gig?)
Paul Byrd (the cat may be out of the bag on this one)
Todd Jones (fighting to keep hard-throwing Zumaya from taking job)
Kenny Rogers (from playoff chump in '99 to dirty-handed hero in '06?)
David Wells (seemed to prefer performance inhibiting drugs)
Armando Benitez (even if he wanted to, couldn't figure it out)
Scott Linebrink (would look great in a Mets uniform)
Tom Glavine (if he was, he stopped taking them after leaving ATL)
Andy Pettitte (wouldn't be a shock considering his mentor)
Roger Clemens (his treatment is the epitome of cognitive dissonance)
Mariano Rivera (gosh he had a good run, too good?)
Antonio Alfonseca (with 12 fingers his mom was one on drugs)
Jon Leiber (big season, big contract, back to mediocrity is suspect)
Greg Maddux (an old school guy, PEDs are today's spit and sandpaper)

Bats:
Andruw Jones (following Bartolo's recipe)
Julio Franco (actually invented steriods in 1894)
Mike Lowell (would take shine off out-of-nowhere, contract year)
Cliff Floyd (used to make a D. Wright inject him during rookie year)
Adam Dunn (I don't think anyone would be surprised)
Kenny Lofton (got from Franco when teammates in Negro Leagues)
Kaz Matsui (nope)
Sean Casey (the Mayor doesn't need this in an election year)
Pudge (I thought we had already agreed on this one)
Luis Gonzalez (and this one)
Aaron Boone (classic "used them to recover from injury" guy)
Craig Biggio (Mitchell would be assassinated before this got out)
Mike Sweeney (Jesus would not approve)
Torii Hunter (power numbers would mean he took a bad cycle)
Moises Alou (the pee-hands makes him seem a home-remedy guy)
Marlon Anderson (is there a designer drug for pinch-hitting?)
Shawn Green (is HGH considered kosher?)
Paul Lo Duca (some of those ball/strike arguments looked a bit rage-y)
Jorge Posada (career year/contract year for a 36 year old catcher?)
A-Rod (best player in baseball seems a poster-manchild for HGH)
Mike Piazza (I would be devastated, honestly)
Aaron Rowand (carreer-year/contract-year guy, tempted by tiny park?)
Barry Bonds*
David Eckstein (for the biggest little-man it would be good irony)
Sammy Sosa*

Will this announcement about the future announcement force teams to hold tight their check books until the names are made public? Does this become the get-out-of-jail-free card that GMs use as their defense against charges that they're colluding against A-Rod and Boras? Could some fearless or unscrupulous GM get the jump on his peers by throwing caution to the wind and inking players who may turn out to be on the list? Do people in the baseball world already know what's up? After all, Mitchell is currently employed by the Red Sox and undoubtedly has a lot of ties to folks in the game.

Additional Reading: The Big Lead on the ONLY player whose guilt would be a shock

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