Author Archive

MLB Playoff Bracket 2013: Biggest X-Factors in ALCS and NLCS Matchups

It’s often difficult to forecast X-factors for playoff series, largely because the unsung hero is so prevalent on the grandest of stages. 

However, it’s often reasonable to take a look at the information from the regular season and make predictions for just that based on what we know about each team still in contention. 

We’re down to four teams in the 2013 MLB playoffs, and the St. Louis Cardinals took steps toward more October glory with a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series Friday night. 

The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox will do battle on Saturday, and before that happens, now is a great time to look at the current postseason landscape with respect to how things might end. 

It’s also a good time to look at X-factors for the two remaining league series, which we will do below. 

*2013 MLB playoff bracket can be found at MLB.comWatch postseason baseball live on or your mobile device.


Remaining 2013 MLB Postseason Schedule, Listings

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 St. Louis 3, Los Angeles 2 (13)
Game 2 Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals Sat, Oct. 12 TBD TBS Postseason.TV 
Game 3 St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers Mon, Oct. 14 TBD TBS Postseason.TV 
Game 4 St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers Tue, Oct. 15 TBD TBS Postseason.TV 
Game 5* St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers Wed, Oct. 16 TBD TBS Postseason.TV 
Game 6* Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals Fri, Oct. 18 TBD TBS Postseason.TV 
Game 7* Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals Sat, Oct. 19 TBD TBS Postseason.TV 


Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox Sat, Oct. 12 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 2 Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox Sun, Oct. 13 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 3 Boston Red Sox @ Detroit Tigers Tue, Oct. 15 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 4 Boston Red Sox @ Detroit Tigers Wed, Oct. 16 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 5* Boston Red Sox @ Detroit Tigers Thu, Oct. 17 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 6* Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox Sat, Oct. 19 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 7* Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox Sun, Oct. 20 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 


Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 NL Champion @ AL Champion Wed, Oct. 23 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 2 NL Champion @ AL Champion Thu, Oct. 24 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 3 AL Champion @ NL Champion Sat, Oct. 26 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 4 AL Champion @ NL Champion Sun, Oct. 27 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 5* AL Champion @ NL Champion Mon, Oct. 28 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 6* NL Champion @ AL Champion Wed, Oct. 30 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
Game 7* NL Champion @ AL Champion Thu, Oct. 31 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
World Series

Biggest X-Factors
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

Big Papi might be pushing 40, but his postseason experience and thunder-producing swing are key for the Red Sox to return to World Series glory.

In fact, you might say Ortiz is the biggest key for Boston in a season in which things have been clicking on all cylinders for the majority of the year. 

As noted by this MLB tweet, Ortiz can still hit with the best of them:

Sports Illustrated‘s Twitter account wasn’t shy in proclaiming that Papi is hitting like he is in his prime:

With a lineup that can go boom at virtually any moment, Ortiz is still the man who will be counted on to drive in runs and provide clutch hits for the AL contenders. Facing a Detroit Tigers pitching staff, he’ll have no luxury of seeing meat in the ALCS. 

Luckily, he’s been in big spots before. Other Red Sox have too, but Papi is still around for a reason. We’ll see what he has left in the tank against Detroit. 


Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals

It’s getting redundant, but man Carlos Beltran loves the postseason.

The 36-year-old do-it-all outfielder now has 34 RBI in 40 career postseason games, and was the hero again on Friday night as his single in the bottom of the 13th gave St. Louis a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of the NLCS

It’s hard to believe he’d never had a walk-off before in the postseason, but he does now:

As noted by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, clutch is the word that most comes to mind when talking about Beltran:

Both teams in the NLCS are loaded with talent. We could have just as easily listed Matt Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina or one of the rookie pitchers for St. Louis, and Los Angeles’ X-factors include Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier.

But Beltran reminded us again in Game 1 why the Cardinals are so dangerous. He accounted for their entire offense, and picked the team up on a night where a loss wouldn’t have been a surprise.

It doesn’t get any more X-factor than that.


Follow B/R’s Ethan Grant on Twitter. 

Read more MLB news on

Barry Bonds’ Obstruction of Justice Conviction Upheld in Federal Court

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction dating back to testimony he gave to a grand jury in 2003. 


UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 13, at 11:35 p.m. ET

Bonds offered a response on his website:

First and foremost I would like to thank my family, especially my children for their unyielding support and courage during this process. I would also like to thank my friends, fans and all of you who have supported me throughout my baseball career and during the past several years. Naturally, I am disappointed with today’s decision from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. But this disappointment does not in any way diminish the profound respect and admiration I have for our justice system, the best in the world. Therefore, I have instructed my attorneys to ask the court and probation officials to permit me to begin serving my full sentence and probation immediately. Meanwhile, I also intend to seek further judicial review of the important legal issues presented by the appeal that was decided today. I would like to thank the judges and all of the hard working men and women of the 9th Circuit for the difficult work they do on behalf of our judicial system. Additionally, I want to thank my legal team for their dedication, hard work and tireless advocacy on my behalf.

This has been a long and difficult chapter in my life and I look forward to moving beyond it once I have fulfilled the penalties ordered by the court.

I thank you all again, your prayers and support have given me strength.

—End of update—


Original Text

As the Associated Press reported, via ESPN, the federal appeals court ruled Friday that Bonds’ answer to questioning regarding former trainer Greg Anderson administering self-injecting performance-enhancing drugs to him was “misleading.”

Per the report:

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Bonds’ response to a question about whether his trainer, Greg Anderson, had ever given him any self-injectable substances was “evasive, misleading, and capable of influencing the grand jury to minimize the trainer’s role in the distribution of performance enhancing drugs.”

Bonds now faces 30-days’ home confinement, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $4,000 fine.

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn made light of the home-confinement sentence on Twitter:

A federal jury first found Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice in April 2011. He was not convicted of a perjury charge that was also on the table.

The full transcript of Bonds’ testimony was first made available in 2008, over four years after he first told a U.S. grand jury that he used substances known as “the cream” and “the clear” during the 2003 season because Anderson convinced Bonds he was using a nutritional supplement for arthritis. 

In what is now known as the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative) scandal, Bonds and several other high-profile athletes were indicted for their connection to Anderson, Victor Conte and Patrick Arnold. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig adopted a league-wide steroid policy in the wake of the controversy. 

The testimony in question is from those proceedings. 

Bonds originally tested positive for steroids in November 2000. In 2009, court documents revealed Bonds tested positive for three different types of steroids. A failed urine test was also revealed via testimony during Bonds’ 2011 hearing.

With 762 career home runs, Bonds holds one of MLB‘s most prestigious records. 

Read more MLB news on

Ryan Braun Reportedly Plans to Admit to Using PEDs

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is reportedly planning on doing something he’s avoided since first testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2011.

That something? Telling the truth. 

According to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, Braun is ready to admit that he used PEDs in parts of the 2011 season—the same year he was crowned National League MVP and led the Brewers to the NLCS. 

Braun’s friends shared the news with Nightengale on the condition of anonymity because the 29-year-old slugger has yet to make an announcement; however, they claim the list of individuals who will receive an apology for being lied to includes MLB commissioner Bud Selig, drug testing sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr., teammates and peers. 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is probably on that list, too. 

Despite being involved in two separate PED scandals since the news broke in December 2011, Braun has maintained his innocence concerning steroid use. 

Braun, who was suspended by MLB in July for the remainder of the 2013 season, was initially able to escape punishment from the league for his 2011 failed drug test. He managed to win his appeal of a 50-game suspension on a technicality—Laurenzi made a mistake in handling the urine sample. 

After leading the NL in home runs (41) during the 2012 season, Braun was back in the news for steroids this offseason. Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times implicated Braun as part of the Biogenesis clinic scandal, and MLB dropped the hammer for his involvement with clinic owner Anthony Bosch.

As Braun makes his apology circuit official, he might have even more explaining to do, with new details emerging that far precede his MLB career. According to ESPN, his former friend, Ralph Sasson, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Braun with claims that include the slugger used steroids and accepted improper benefits when he was a student at the University of Miami. 

When it rains, it truly pours. 

For Braun, the past few weeks have to feel like a torrential downpour. 

The truth won’t restore his tainted legacy or eliminate any of the obstacles he’ll face over the next couple of seasons, but it’s a nice start toward true redemption. 

Read more MLB news on

Red Sox Announcer Jerry Remy’s Son Jared Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charge

Jared Remy, the son of Boston Red Sox broadcaster and former second baseman Jerry Remy, pled not guilty Friday in the Thursday night murder of his girlfriend. 

The Associated Press, via ESPN, had the report. 

Read more MLB news on

MLB Rumors: Latest on Alex Rodriguez Suspension, Lance Berkman Return and More

Although Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, there’s no shortage of rumors surrounding America’s past time. 

During the final two months of a normal MLB season, rumors about waiver trades, injury updates and lineup adjustments run rampant. 

This season, we also have rumors about the threat of major suspensions for some of the league’s biggest stars. The Biogenesis scandal has rocked the game since Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times broke ground with the story in late January. 

Bud Selig and MLB officials have already announced a lengthy suspension for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. Nelson Cruz (Texas Rangers), Melky Cabrera (Toronto Blue Jays), Bartolo Colon (Oakland Athletics) and Jhonny Peralta (Detroit Tigers) were also implicated in Elfrink‘s report. 

Without question, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was the biggest name connected to baseball’s latest performance-enhancing drug scandal. 

In our latest batch of MLB rumors, we’ll discuss A-Rod, Lance Berkman and a few other notes on minor player movement. 


Latest on A-Rod Suspension

MLB isn’t happy with A-Rod. A-Rod isn’t happy with MLB. According to the New York Daily News‘ Twitter account, it’s looking like the player should have been a bit more gracious with his approach to a possible suspension:

Bill Madden, Michael O’Keeffe and Teri Thompson all worked on the latest Daily News report concerning the 38-year-old player, and they don’t paint a picture of A-Rod returning to Joe Girardi’s lineup in 2013. 

Or 2014. 

Or, depending on the numbers, 2015. 

Per the report, MLB has rejected Rodriguez’s request to negotiate a suspension settlement. An announcement of A-Rod’s suspension is expected to come on Monday, and he faces a 214-game ban from baseball’s hierarchy. 

Here’s an excerpt from the story, explaining why the ban could be so lengthy:

MLB investigators have gathered what they believe is voluminous evidence proving that Rodriguez violated the game’s collectively bargained drug agreement  in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by obtaining performance enhancing drugs from Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis anti-aging clinic.

[He] also violated the “just cause” provision (rule 7 G.2) of the collective bargaining agreement by obstructing commissioner Bud Selig’s investigation and for lying to MLB officials about performance-enhancing drug use. Rodriguez will be suspended under both provisions, according to the source.

A-Rod hit a home run for Double-A Trenton on Friday night, and ESPN’s Ian Begley reported on Saturday that he and the Yankees were working on a “tentative” plan to return the three-time American League MVP to the Bronx on Monday. 

That plan could be for naught if MLB decides to drop the hammer the same day. 


Lance Berkman Targeting Return

The Rangers have struggled to score runs since the All-Star break, but help could be on the way. 

Berkman, who was put on the disabled list on July 7, is reportedly targeting a return to the lineup around mid-August. Fox Sports’ Anthony Andro had this tweet concerning Berkman’s intentions:

There had been talk that the 37-year-old would hang up his cleats in favor of coming off the DL, but he squashed those rumors on Thursday. As reported by Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, Berkman has recognized that the Rangers need another strong bat in the lineup with the playoffs in sight. 

“I’ve made up my mind to try and play,” said Berkman. “This team needs a bat and I’m gonna do my dangdest to make that happen.”

The switch-hitter was batting .254 with six home runs and 34 RBI before he went on the shelf. The Rangers were shut out four times in their first 10 games after the All-Star break, but the lineup has shown signs of life since then, putting up seven runs or more in three of their last four games. 

Although they are trending in the right direction, a healthy Berkman would give the Rangers one more threat that Ron Washington desperately needs in the batting order. 


Other Notes

In other news, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Chicago White Sox are cutting outfielder Dewayne Wise’s second stint with the club short:

Wise, who hit .234 in 30 games for the Sox this year, also played for Chicago in 2008 and 2009. He was released by the Yankees in late 2012 and decided to return to the White Sox to close out last season’s campaign. Wise signed a one-year contract to return to the team this offseason.

Scott Merkin of added this tidbit on Wise on Twitter:

Although his time with the club has apparently come to an end, Wise will certainly be remembered for his home run-saving catch in the ninth inning during Mark Buehrle’s 2009 perfect game. 

In other player news, the San Diego Padres have reportedly signed a new shortstop.’s Corey Brock reported on Saturday that Ronny Cedeno had signed a minor league deal with San Diego:

A career .245 hitter in 830 games, Cedeno played in 51 contests for the Houston Astros this season. If he finds his way to the big leagues with the Padres, they would be his sixth professional franchise. 


Follow B/R’s Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter. 

Read more MLB news on

Baseball Hall of Fame: 2013 Class Stark Reminder of Effects of MLB’s Steroid Era

As we celebrate the accomplishments of New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, umpire Hank O’Day and barehanded catcher James Laurie “Deacon” White in Cooperstown over the weekend, it’s hard not to let one’s gaze wander toward some of the players denied entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. 

First-year candidates Roger Clemens (37.6 percent), Barry Bonds (36.2 percent) and Sammy Sosa (12.5 percent) didn’t get anywhere close to the 75 percent that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America requires to earn a call to the Hall. 

It was the latest reminder that the game’s “steroid era” won’t be rewarded by those in a position to immortalize baseball icons. 

Not yet, anyway. 

Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Tim Raines were the five players who came closest to earning entry into the elite club, per None did, and for the first time since 1996, the BBWAA did not elect a new player directly into the Hall of Fame. 

The three men who will go down as the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2013 class represent the purity of the game. They were elected by a Pre-Integration Era Committee in December, well before voters turned in their January ballots for the honor. 

White, who was the first batter and recorded the first hit in the history of professional baseball in 1871, has a truly remarkable story. 

Sporting News’ Jesse Spector talked about some of his accomplishments on Twitter:

Ruppert, who was instrumental in buying Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox and building Yankee Stadium in 1923, certainly left his mark on the game. O’Day, known as “The Reverend,” turned a seven-year playing career into an umpiring one that spanned over three decades.

Without a doubt, there are three deserving men entering the Hall of Fame this year. Their families likely wish they were here to see it, but induction into the Hall is an honor that lasts far beyond the mortality of earth. 

In similar fashion, connection with steroids has stayed with players who have the stats to be no-brainer Cooperstown candidates.

On paper, Bonds and Sosa are two of the best hitters to every play the game. It’s the same story for Clemens on the mound. Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire, two other hitters connected to steroids who were not voted in by writers this year, have also etched their names into MLB record books. 

All five of those men were mentioned in the Mitchell Report in 2007. While their stats should be doing the heavy lifting for their Hall of Fame candidacy, it’s the evidence connecting them to tarnishing the integrity of the game that’s currently carrying the load. 

As reported by USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, current Hall of Famers are just as opposed to including players connected to doping as their writer counterparts. Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson spoke to Nightengale about it in Cooperstown on Saturday:

I get disappointed when I hear guys say, ‘I only did it one time.’ That upsets me, too. One time, what’s the difference? I only robbed a bank once. … The way I look at it, those guys cheated. They created an uneven playing field. I don’t have any sympathy for them.

Heck, even a poll administered by ESPN the Magazine fell pretty close to the way official voters feel about electing players with ties to the steroid era:

As we live and breathe, the saga continues. Bonds, Clemens and anyone else who experimented with steroids in the 1990s up until now continue to force Major League Baseball officials to keep grasping for straws in their attempts to clean up the game. 

Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez are two of the latest (and biggest) examples that you can’t cheat the system forever.

Braun will miss the remainder of the 2013 season based on his connection to Biogenesis of America. A suspension for A-Rod, who told ESPN’s Peter Gammons in 2009 that his steroid days were behind him, could also be coming in connection to Tony Bosch’s clinic. 

We can’t really pinpoint when steroid use in baseball started. Sadly, we can’t really point to when it’s going to end.

One thing is clear: A breaking point for including names mentioned in the same breath as performance-enhancing drugs won’t get the benefit of the doubt from those in a position to give it to them. 

Will they ever get the acceptance needed to make it to the Hall? That remains to be seen. 

Baseball was once an American past time. There’s evidence to suggest that it still is. On the surface, though, the love of the game you can see in the lives of White, O’Day and Ruppert can get lost in the shuffle when comparing baseball’s past era and stars to its current ones. 

Somewhere along the way, winning games and breaking records started to take precedence over the love of the game.  

Opinions on how baseball should address the players who dominated during the “steroid era” continues to be mixed. Bonds and Clemens got roughly half the votes they needed to reach the Hall of Fame; both men have the credentials to get there one day. 

Judging by the results of this year’s Hall of Fame voting, the effects of the steroid era have not left the minds of the voters. They might one day, but the 2013 class—or lack thereof—will forever be a reminder that no one player is bigger than the game. 


Follow B/R’s Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter. 

Read more MLB news on

MLB All Star Voting 2013: Players Who Deserved More Respect from Voters

The 2013 MLB All-Star rosters are officially set, but before things kick off at Citi Field on Tuesday night we can’t help but take a look back at how the 35 spots on both the American and National League teams were filled. 

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steve Delabar won the All-Star Game Final Vote to be the last two players not named as injury replacements to make the two rosters. 

Did we get it right, MLB fans?

There’s no way to revisit the voting process other than from an argumentative standpoint, but sometimes that’s exactly what must be done when players with deserving seasons end up flying under the radar when ballots are being cast. 

The Santa Cruz Sentinel had an interactive look at the deserving candidates of the AL and NL before the voting was final, and the concept of this post is relevant—do we look at only names before voting for a player?

Barring another injury replacement, the AL and NL rosters are locked. Here’s a look at three deserving players (both on and off the rosters) that voters should have paid more attention to before things were finalized. 

*For a complete look at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game rosters, click here (courtesy 



OF Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies

This tweet from MLB Memes pretty much says it all:

Cuddyer made the NL roster, but was nowhere near the outfield voting leaders. As you can see from this ESPN report in early July, Cuddyer was a no-show despite his quality numbers that include being second in the NL in slugging (.567) and third in OPS (.962). 

Particularly troubling for Cuddyer (and outfielders like Carlos Gomez and Andrew McCutchen) was that Bryce Harper was still named a starter despite missing a hefty portion of the first half of the season due to injury. 

There’s little doubt Harper is one of the most electric players in the game. But it felt like he was rewarded for his hot-button name and not the way things have played out on the field during the first half of the season, and Cuddyer was one of a few guys who felt the sting of that result. 

The fact that the 34-year-old was outside the top 15 in voting makes him an easy choice for this “honor,” and sabermetrics lovers will point to his NL-leading offensive win percentage (.780) as another telling stat to shame voters who left his name off their ballot. 

Cuddyer will be on the NL roster, so the baseball gods made sure we didn’t screw this up too badly, but his strong first half feels a bit slighted with the lack of respect shown from voters prior to the rosters being released. 



3B Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics

Simply put, Josh Donaldson is a victim of the AL’s deepest position. He’s also the victim of playing in a market that does not lend itself to the national eye. 

You could have made a case for as many as five of the league’s third baseman making the All-Star game, but it’s Triple Crown winner (and hopeful, I might add) Miguel Cabrera and youngster Manny Machado who carry the honor this year. 

Donaldson, Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria and Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre were also strong contenders for consideration to Jim Leyland’s roster. 

Teammate Sean Doolittle clearly feels that Oakland’s place as a small-market team ruined Donaldson’s chances to make the AL roster:

Doolittle might be right—Donaldson leads a team with the fourth-best record in baseball in nearly every major offensive category, setting the pace at third base as the A’s maintain a one-game lead over the Rangers in the AL West (heading into Saturday). 

It’s actually a trend—if Bartolo Colon remains Oakland’s only All-Star, eight of the last nine All-Star games will have featured only one representative from the franchise, per Oakland’s official website

The 27-year-old is in just his third season and will have plenty of chances to repeat his strong 2013 campaign moving forward, but you can’t help but feel for Donaldson (and a host of other A’s) who were slighted by both the voters and the selection process yet again. 



SS Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers

Jean Segura is having a breakout season for the Milwaukee Brewers this year, but you wouldn’t know it by the fan voting that represented the National League. 

Segura‘s .321 batting average is fifth in the NL heading into Saturday’s slate of games, and he ranks at or near the leaderboard in a number of other offensive categories such as hits (first, 117), stolen bases (third, 27) and runs scored (10th, 52). 

As you can see from this tweet from Baseball Tonight back in June, Segura was trailing Troy Tulowitzki and Brandon Crawford for most of the All-Star voting process:

With Tulowitzki earning the starter’s nod but being forced out due to injury, Segura was a lock to make the roster. He and San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera will anchor the position on the NL roster at Citi Field, with San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro an emergency candidate for Bruce Bochy in the game. 

This is Segura‘s second season with the Brewers and his first as a full-time starter, and he’s clearly taking full advantage of the opportunity to prove he is on his way to becoming a premier player at the position. 

The NL hits leader didn’t get the respect he was due during the voting process this year, but another strong season in 2014 might have Segura poised to supplant Tulowitzki as the NL’s leading man at shortstop at this time next year. 


Follow B/R’s Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter. 

Read more MLB news on

Biogenesis Employee Who Leaked Information Scheduled to Meet with MLB

A new chapter in the Biogenesis of America clinic saga is set to unfold, as the man who originally leaked sensitive documents to Major League Baseball is preparing to meet with league officials sometime this week.

According to a report from Christian Red and Michael O’Keeffe of the New York Daily News, former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer is set to meet with MLB investigators to shed further light on baseball’s latest doping scandal.

TMZ first reported that Fischer was in line to meet with MLB officials.

Here’s an excerpt from the Daily News report:

Porter Fischer is expected to share records he swiped from the Biogenesis offices after he had a falling out over money with Anthony Bosch, the self-styled “biochemist” who operated the Coral Gables anti-aging clinic, TMZ first reported Monday. Bosch allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to Rodriguez, Braun and almost two dozen other players. …

Fischer’s value to MLB investigators, however, is questionable, because it is not clear if he actually witnessed any of Bosch’s alleged transactions with big leaguers — and because Bosch himself has already begun sharing information with baseball officials.

Fischer’s attorney, Raymond Rafool, claims in the Daily News report that terms of compensation from MLB for his cooperation have not been discussed, contrary to the TMZ report.

Fischer reportedly took incriminating documents and helped shed some early light on the PED saga before there was evidence to be had.

As Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times reported in June, Fischer felt that Bosch owed him money and took the documents as leverage toward a potential settlement between the two.

In that report, Fischer was quoted as calling Major League Baseball officials the “biggest scumbags on earth.”

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn, Mike Fish and Pedro Gomez of Outside the Lines reported in early June that MLB was gearing up for a potential suspension of up to 20 players listed in connection with Anthony Bosch and the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic, but those suspensions have yet to surface nearly a month later.

Among those listed as facing a possible suspension were Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.

MLB was thought to have enough evidence with the help of Bosch to start handing down suspensions and putting the finishing touches on baseball’s latest dark mark, but Fischer agreeing to meet with investigators could signal a lack of conviction based on Bosch’s evidence.

MLB could also just be covering all of its bases before establishing what could be the biggest steroid purge in league history.

Read more MLB news on

Alex Cobb Sustains Scary Head Injury After Being Hit with Line Drive

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb was hit in the head with a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer on Saturday afternoon. 

UPDATE: Saturday, June 15, at 7:33 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to CBS’ Eye on Baseball, Cobb sustained a mild concussion:

MLB also noted that all tests came back normal:

—End of update—

He would leave the game on a stretcher at Tropicana Field. 

MLB had the tweet as the scary scene unfolded in the top half of the fifth inning:

Cobb, who was drafted out of high school by the Rays in the fourth round back in 2006, cracked the majors in 2011 and had made 44 starts for the franchise before his Saturday afternoon outing. 

After delivering the pitch, Cobb had no time to react as the ball was scorched off Hosmer’s bat. The ball ricocheted off Cobb’s head and back to catcher Jose Lobaton, who fired to first to complete the out.

As you can see in video of the incident, baseball is a dangerous game for pitchers these days. (Note: Replay has potentially upsetting images.)

Grantland’s Jonah Keri added this tweet as we send thoughts and prayers to the 25-year-old starting pitcher:

For the year, Cobb has a 6-2 record with an ERA of 3.01 following the results of his first four innings against the Royals. His WAR among starting pitchers (2.2) is 10th in the AL. 

MLB later tweeted this statement concerning Cobb’s status:

In a disturbing trend in MLB, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a pitcher hit in the head with a line drive this season. Toronto Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ was also hit in the head in a May game against the Rays, and he suffered a skull fracture as a result (via ESPN). 

We’d like to send out a note of encouragement to Cobb, his family, friends and the doctors in charge of his care as this story continues to develop. 

Read more MLB news on

Robinson Cano and David Wright Named Home Run Derby Captains

For the third time in the history of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the American and National Leagues will square off behind two different captains in the Home Run Derby. 

On Tuesday, New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (AL) and New York Mets third baseman David Wright (NL) were reportedly named as the captains for their respective leagues and now have the task of picking a group of sluggers to wow fans at Citi Field in New York. 

ESPN’s Adam Rubin had the news on Twitter:’s Paul Casella also had a report following the news, noting that the New York fans in attendance at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game are going to love the fact that both teams in the state are being well-represented. 

Here’s an excerpt from Casella’s report:

Each captain will be tasked with selecting three other hitters from his own league to complete his respective Home Run Derby team. Though the Home Run Derby remains an individual competition, the leagues will once again be pitted against each other in teams of four.

Wright will be looking to form a team that can slug its way to some revenge after the AL dominated the 2012 Home Run Derby. The four Junior Circuit representatives combined to hit 61 home runs last season whereas their Senior Circuit counterparts tallied just 21 long balls.

Former captains include David Ortiz, Prince Fielder, Matt Kemp and Cano. Cano is making his second straight appearance as the AL captain. He won the event in 2011, but was bested last year by Fielder in another Derby classic. 

The American League is riding a three-game winning streak in the Home Run Derby and also has won five out of the last six contests. 

The Yankees tweeted their support for the slugger with this message following the announcement:

Cano is fifth in the AL with 15 home runs, while Wright is considerably further down the board in the NL, having only totaled eight bombs in just 58 games. This will be Wright’s first appearance in the Home Run Derby since 2006. 

SportsNet New York posted this tweet with both stars pictured as the debate over the other six participants begins:

Conversation about who should be participating will start with the American side, where Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles leads the league in long balls with 20. Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera isn’t far behind with 18, while Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn and Mark Trumbo/Nelson Cruz/Cano round out the top five. 

Cabrera’s teammate, Tigers ace Justin Verlander, even wants to get in on the action this year, campaigning for fans to vote him into the event to add a new element to the slugger-only contest (via MLB on Twitter):

On the National League side, youngsters lead the conversation. 

Philadelphia Phillies star-in-the-making Domonic Brown leads the NL in home runs with 19, while Colorado Rockies teammates Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki lead the rest of the pack that includes Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran. 

Another hot name that will likely grab headlines is Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig, who already has four home runs in eight games while completely captivating L.A. faithful over his first week in the bigs. 

Others to consider include fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics and Texas Ranger Adrian Beltre. 

For now, the focus will remain on both Cano and Wright, two of the sport’s biggest stars who will appeal to the New York crowd that will gravitate to Queens for the Midsummer Classic. 

The pair battled for the United States and Dominican Republic at the 2013 World Baseball Classic, with Cano’s nation emerging victorious and proving the Americans still have a long way to go before claiming baseball world dominance. 

Wright and Cano have accounted for over 400 home runs between them during their time in the majors, and the hometown flavor of New York undoubtedly influenced the selection of the Derby captains. 

Expect speculation about the other six participants to start running rampant—every baseball fan has a different set of stars they’d like to see in baseball’s moon-shot competition each summer. 

Read more MLB news on

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress