December 11, 2013
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Thursday, July 30, 2009
We're all so interested in the names being linked from the 2003 tests, but no one (besides me and a few other lawyer types) seems all that interested in who's leaking the names. I wanna know, both as a lawyer -- and for as much as complain about the legal system, I still hold my duties as an officer of the court in pretty damn high regard -- and as a baseball guy.
You'll recall that the reason the names are still out there is because, while some Nero at the Players' Association fiddled, federal agents, acting on a search warrant in connection with the BALCO case, seized the 2003 test results from their custodian, Comprehensive Drug Testing. The warrant and its execution has been litigated to death (a great summary of it all can be found here), and the matter is still pending on appeal.
One's first thought might me to simply go to the docket and write down the names of counsel of record to see if one could guess who's leaking. If one did that, however, one would realize that there's no shortage of suspects. In addition to baseball and the union and BALCO and the government and everyone else with a direct interest in the case, there are multiple amici curiae who have weighed in as well. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor groups, privacy advocates and folks like that, all of whom will be impacted by a ruling that has to do with workplace drug testing and the handling of sensitive medical information. In light of that, it's not hard to imagine that several dozen lawyers involved in the case itself are privy to the list, not to mention lawyers and others in-house at the various parties. And that's before you get to the judge, the law clerks, and anyone else who fits the description "lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation."
One of 'em -- probably more than one of 'em -- feels that leaking information subject to a court order is worth their while. Maybe they have an axe to grind against the players. Maybe they're pro-player and have some messed up, double-secret-reverse-psychology motive for outing the ones on the list. Maybe they just get a woody from seeing the information they leaked in the news. There are as many possible motives as there are suspects.
I wanna know who's doing it. Specifically, I want the judge to get good and angry and sic the feds on the matter to suss out who's doing it. Short of that, I want someone in the investigatory side of the media to take it upon themselves to find out who's leaking. Short of that (and I know that's not going to happen because the media isn't going to rat out one of their sources), anyone with ideas as to how to answer the question is encouraged to drop me a line. We can call it citizen journalism or angry mobism or whatever you want, but at the moment I find determining the identity of the leaker(s) to be a far more interesting and pressing question than who the rest of the famous 103 are. And just so no one is uncertain on this point and accuses me of being a tricksy Hobbitses, let me be 100% clear: If I learn who it is, I'm tellin'.
Maybe that seems a bit heavy handed on my part. But hey, like LaTroy Hawkins said, "it's America, dude."
UPDATE: Random Googling found this bit from AmLaw Daily back in February:
Charles La Bella, a founding partner of San Diego's La Bella & McNamara and former U.S. attorney for Southern California, told Yahoo's Littman that he expects U.S. district court judge Susan Illston to order criminal contempt hearings to determine who leaked the news of Rodriguez's failed test.
I'm guessing Illston is taking a bit kindly, because as far as I know, there have been no hearings on this matter. There should be.
David Ortiz hit a three run homer to put the Sox up on the A's a few minutes ago.
I'm assuming the crowd cheered.
Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I’ve taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons.
-- Manny Ramirez, May 2009, demonstrating how it's that sixth season that gets you every time.
So sayeth the Times:
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.
I know it won't do any good because people will go crazy regardless, but at least allow me to try and get out in front of this:
Now, with that out of the way, you may resume your regularly-scheduled outrage.
Oh, and while we're at it, let us remember:
The information about Ramirez and Ortiz emerged through interviews with multiple lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation. The lawyers spoke anonymously because the testing information is under seal by a court order.
Whoever is revealing this information is committing a far greater offense (contempt of court) than that which Manny and Ortiz committed.
Like yesterday, morning is bleeding into afternoon a bit, but I've had some stuff over here too already so it's all good.
No big trades or anything seem about to go down right now, so it's sammich time. See you in a bit.
From the strange mind of Richard Dansky:
Tony La Russa has the same sort of unholy fascination with Nick Stavinoha that your average Lovecraft protagonist does with the Necronomicon. No good can come of it, there’s a lot of consonants involved, and in the end, everyone’s reduced to a sort of mindless gibbering.
Cleveland Frowns does not like the Cliff Lee trade, but it's for bigger picture reasons, not necessarily because of the return realized by Mark Shapiro:
But it becomes harder and harder to care about how these trades pan out as it becomes easier and easier to be sure that any real star developed by the Tribe will be shipped out of town on or near a contract year . . . Competitive balance in baseball continues and will continue to get worse and worse . . . It's a classic case of the rich getting richer. There's simply no way to look at the data and conclude that payroll doesn't make a significant difference in teams' ability to compete.
The guys at Cleveland Frowns and I have gone around and around on competitive balance issues before. And though I'd argue that the Lee trade isn't a classic instance of "the rich getting richer" as Frowns puts it (there are lots of other things going on here), I'll grant that it's depressing to see so many stars go out the door.
But the fourth name on Frowns' "trail of tears" is worth thinking about: Bartolo. As in Colon. As in the big money pitcher who shipped out several years ago amidst the gnashing of teeth and the renting of garments. Shipped out in exchange for . . . Cliff Lee, among others.
If I had to guess, I'd say that there's no Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore or Brandon Phillips in the haul received from Philly, simply because that kind of talent doesn't grow on trees. Also because, unlike that Expos team, Omar Minaya isn't the Phillies' GM. But still, it's worth remembering that one can't judge a trade like this by only looking at the star that went out the door. One must also consider the talent returned. And, in the case of a prospects deal, the talent returned may take a year or two to consider.
As anyone who reads "And That Happened" on a regular basis knows, I'm a box score fetishist, and because of it, I've often thought of Henry Chadwick -- the man credited as inventing the box score -- as the feature's patron saint. Except it's not quite that clear that he did invent the box score.
As NPR's Mike Pesca explains in this wonderful feature on Chadwick (that link is to the audio, which should be up shortly here's a link to the text version), the box score, like most things in baseball, was less a product of invention than evolution, though Chadwick certainly formalized and popularized many of the box score's conventions. Great stuff, including the obligatory appearance of Bill James, that is definitely worth a listen and/or a read. This may be my favorite part, though:
Back then, according to Chadwick biographer Andrew Schiff, "the box score was the only way of showing the game, there really was no photography. So the writer really was the person at the center between the fans and the player at the game."
Let us laud Chadwick for his contributions to the box score, but let us lament the fact that he is inadvertently responsible for those writers and broadcasters who continue to place themselves at the center between the fans and the player at the game.
Yankees 6, Rays 2: Via Facebook, I leaned that Jason from IIATMS and I made the almost simultaneous observation about Joba last night: that he clearly watched Mark Buehrle pitch last week and decided that he was going to be a fast worker too. He was pretty clunky looking at such a pace, but you can't argue with the results: (8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, and most importantly, only 101 pitches). And you'll be shocked to hear that Rick Sutcliffe was being stupid again. He spent, like, an hour talking about the glorious code of honor surrounding beanings and retaliation, and then said "but you kids at home, don't do that; only professionals do; you should never throw at anyone." Oy. Oh, and apparently in Sutcliffe's world, batters only go out and try hard once they see their pitcher is "gonna protect them" by throwing at the other team. Otherwise they just mail it in. Oh, and Joe Maddon is a "competitor." Sometimes I wish Sutcliffe would simply identify for me the guys who aren't "competitors." It would save some time.
Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2: Ryan Rowland-Smith was dealing. J.P. Ricciardi wasn't, which is why Halladay pitched. I know the popular sentiment right now is that they should trade him and that every day that passes, his value goes lower, but can anyone point me to an actual deal that everyone has confirmed was on the table for him? You wouldn't have given him up for what Lee brought, right, and by all accounts Philly was saying no to the better prospects. Isn't it possible that no one is truly offering sufficient value for Halladay? And does he not provide value in a Blue Jays uniform for a season and a half? I think people get deal-happy this time of the season.
Giants 1, Pirates 0: Cain (9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Duke (7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER) were both on freakin' point, but no one could give them a run, and each ended up with a no-decision. Etiquette question: Freddy Sanchez was traded to San Francisco right after this game. Presumably, then, he could walk right over to the home clubhouse to drop off his personal stuff, right? There were probably still some Giants hanging around after the game. Does Sanchez high five them on the win? How long must his post-game moroseness last? Wait, bad example -- he's being set free from Pittsburgh, so the moroseness ended the moment the "d" came out in "you've been traded." But I'm still interested in the question on a hypothetical basis.
Angels 9, Indians 3: Who pays for the airfare when someone is traded, the team shipping the guy out, or the team bringing the guy in? I ask because the Phillies are in Phoenix, which is a short hop from Orange County. The other day the Indians sent Garko to the Giants, who were just a short flight up the coast. Part of me -- the absurd part -- wants to believe that these deals were in place for days, but that Cleveland waited until they were closer to their players' ultimate destinations. And that they asked Lee and Garko if they'd drive before reluctantly coughing up the airfare.
Cubs 12, Astros 0: Evidence that time travel is impossible: if it existed, some Astros fan from the future would have zapped into Wrigley Field and told the team just to forfeit the game after Derek Lee's sac fly in the first, so as to save everyone a lot of hassle on a miserable afternoon. Wait, that's not right; if Astros fans could travel in time there's way better things they could do, such as sterilize Ed Wade's parents and such.
Padres 7, Reds 1: Aaron Harang's outing -- coming as it does at time when the Reds are talking about trying to move him -- was the equivalent of your Camaro dropping a transmission in the driveway of the guy you to whom you were about to sell it.
Marlins 6, Braves 3: I can't recall a season, going all the way back to 1993, when the Braves didn't have a nice chunk of their season torn asunder during a trip to Miami. They could be on a 10-0 streak during which they've outscored the opposition 150-0, and they'd drop an ugly three-game series to the Marlins. Friggin' clockwork, as was Bobby Cox's ejection for arguing balls and strikes.
Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: Remember when the Sox were gonna deal Brad Penny? Yeah, not so much (5 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 BB). Boston is now 3.5 games out and are only one up on Texas for the wild card, at least in the loss column.
Twins 3, White Sox 2: Alexi Casilla was 2-3 with two big hits. Alexei Ramirez hurt his ankle and had to leave the game in the seventh. Alexi Laiho is a Finnish singer, composer and guitarist. Alexei Nikolaevich was the heir the Czar, and was murdered along with him at Ekaterinburg in 1918. Alexei Nemov is a gymnast who competed at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and who, according to this Geocities fan page, lists his hobbies as "cars, girls, going to the disco, and girls." I hope you were writing all of that down, because I don't want to have to go over it again.
Tigers 13, Rangers 5: Scott Feldman gave up six runs on ten hits in two and a third and basically kept the Rangers out of this one. Marty Feldman was a British comedian who made a career out of having Graves' disease. Corey Feldman . . .
Orioles 7, Royals 3: Zack Greinke has had better nights, but unfortunately, his bullpen was just as terrible as it usually is. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis each drove in three for the superior last place team in this wretched series. SABR people were probably at this game. Hello SABR people!
Brewers 7, Nationals 5: Casey McGehee hit a two-run pinch-hit home run in the sixth, allowing the Brewers to finally take one from the Nats.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: Clayton Kershaw holds the Cards scoreless through eight, and it's a tight 1-0 game into the bottom of the ninth. Broxton retires Pujols and then Holliday -- you know, the hard parts -- but let's St. Louis tie it up on a Ryan Ludwick single, a wild pitch, and a Colby Rasmus single. How aggravating! Six innings later Albert Pujols isn't retired and he singles in Julio Lugo to end it. This one lasted nearly five hours.
Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0: Yusmeiro Petit baffled the Phillies for some reason, allowing four hits in six innings, walking one and striking out eight. Maybe they were still shell-shocked over the Lee deal.
Mets vs. Rockies: Postponed: If there was a terrible storm outside, but somehow this dog lived through the storm, and he showed up at your door when the storm was finally over, I think a good name for him would be Carl.