Mitchell Report fallout: Fantasy ramificiations (Part 2)

In Part 1 of Mitchell Report fallout: Fantasy ramifications, we looked at some of the misconceptions about the Mitchell Report and the players accused of taking PEDs. Bud Selig said that he will examine these players on a “case-by-case” basis, which is exactly what the astute fantasy owner needs to do now. Let’s look at a few of the bigger names.

What we should really be thinking about

Many fantasy players will hear about this report and say, “Oh, no. Steroids, bad.” These owners will ignore the individual circumstances and lump everybody together. An intelligent owner instead will begin evaluating players by first asking these questions:

1) What is the player accused of taking?
2) Is this new information?
3) When did he allegedly use them, and how often?
4) Was it used for performance or recovery?
5) Did he allegedly take them before they were banned from baseball?
6) Did he ever fail a test?
7) How reliable is the source?
8) Is there any circumstantial evidence, or is the player’s inclusion based on hearsay?
9) Did the player admit to taking it?
10) Is it possible for the player to continue taking it next year without being caught?
11) How likely is it the player will get suspended?
12) How likely is it that the player is at increased risk of injury for 2008?
13) And, ultimately, will this truly affect his 2008 fantasy value?

Andy Pettitte

Accused of taking: HGH
New information?: Yes
When: Between April 21 and June 14, 2002
How often: Two to four times
Use: Recovery from elbow tendinitis
Before MLB Ban?: Yes
Admission?: Yes, said he used it twice
Possibility of continued use in 2008?: Has most likely stopped using, but could continue using
Likelihood of suspension: Cannot be suspended
Increased risk of injury?: No
Change in fantasy value: Andy Pettitte should not be valued any differently than he was before the Mitchell Report.

Troy Glaus

Accused of taking: Nandrolone and testosterone (anabolic)
New information?: No
When: Between September 2003 and May 2004
How often: Unknown
Use: Unknown. Torn his rotator cuff in ’03 and had shoulder surgey in ’04, so use for injury recovery is possible
Before MLB Ban?: Yes
Admission?: No
Possibility of continued use in 2008?: Yes, although his source of HGH that was mentioned has since been closed.
Likelihood of suspension: Cannot be suspended
Increased risk of injury?: Already an injury risk.
Change in fantasy value: No new evidence presented on Glaus, so fantasy value should not be affected. He is already an injury risk player, so there is no need to discount him further.

Miguel Tejada

Accused of taking: Testosterone or Deca-Durabolin (anabolic) and HGH
New information?: Yes
When: Sometime after March 21, 2003
How often: Unknown
Use: Supposedly for performance enhancement
Before MLB Ban?: No
Failed test?: No
Source and reliability: Adam Piatt, very reliable
Evidence: Conversations with Piatt and checks purchasing the PEDs, though Piatt didn’t know if Tejada used them
Admission?: No
Possibility of continued use in 2008?: Not likely for the anabolic ones, possibly HGH
Likelihood of suspension: Fairly unlikely. There is proof of Tejada’s purchase, but zero proof—hearsay or otherwise—that he actually used them.
Increased risk of injury?: Possibility of an increased injury risk, although the accusations are coming from 2003. Never missed a game from 2000 until 2007, so he’s probably pretty safe.
Change in fantasy value: Possibility of an increased injury risk, but overall I wouldn’t adjust his value much.

Eric Gagne

Accused of taking: HGH
New information?: Yes
When: During or after the summer of 2005
How often: Unknown
Use: Supposedly for performance enhancement
Before MLB Ban?: Yes
Failed test?: No
Source and reliability: Paul Lo Duca and Kirk Radomski, pretty reliable
Evidence: Radomski’s story and shipping receipts from Gagne to Radomski
Admission?: No
Possibility of continued use in 2008?: Yes
Likelihood of suspension: Cannot be suspended
Increased risk of injury?: Already an injury risk.
Change in fantasy value: Like Glaus, Gagne is already seen as an injury risk. No need to downgrade him further.

Brian Roberts

Accused of taking: Steroids
New information?: Yes
When: 2003
How often: Once or twice
Use: Supposedly for performance enhancement
Before MLB Ban?: No
Failed test?: No
Source and reliability: Larry Bigbie, somewhat reliable
Evidence: Bigbie’s story of Roberts admitting to him that he used steroids
Admission?: Yes, admitted to using it once.
Possibility of continued use in 2008?: Unlikely
Likelihood of suspension: Roberts admitted to using it once and then realizing he didn’t want to be a cheater. Seems he could receive a small suspension, but Selig might have bigger fish to fry. Not a huge concern.
Increased risk of injury?: Not likely if he took it only once in 2003.
Change in fantasy value: Once in 2003 shouldn’t a big deal. Can knock him down just a tiny bit, but nothing to stress over.

BALCO guys

Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield were also mentioned in Sen. Mitchell’s report, although no new information was presented on any of them. This may add another strike against them in the eyes of certain owners, but you shouldn’t treat them any differently than you were because of this.

Concluding thoughts

That’ll do it for our Mitchell Report series. If you want to know how the Mitchell Report will impact the value of any other guys, download a copy and see what Sen. Mitchell had to say about the player. Run through these questions and you should be fine.

The outcome will be the same for most of them: possibility of an increased injury risk, maybe a small risk of suspension, but, overall, nothing to overreact to.

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