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Ex-Red Sox Trainer Mike Reinold Injected Players with Controversial Substance

Former Boston Red Sox athletic trainer Mike Reinold could be facing some major legal troubles including violating Massachusetts state law and medical ethics law after information surfaced that he injected Red Sox players with the prescription medication Toradol.

Toradol (ketorolac tromethamine) is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain on a short-term basis. It falls into the same category as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Mortin and Aleve.

While Toradol doesn’t produce the sedation and possible habit-forming effects of narcotic analgesics such as Vicodin, it does carry a “Black Box Warning” from the Food and Drug Administration.

A “Black Box Warning” requires pharmaceutical companies to include a bold warning not only on the packaging of the product, but on the patient instruction sheet as well. Further literature is provide to the patient informing them of the serious or life-threatening risks associated with taking the medication.

The Toradol can produce some serious side effects including renal (kidney) failure. (Trust me, I’m talking from personal experience.)

Reinold injected players during home and away games from 2006 through 2011, according to witnesses and a investigation by Major League Baseball.

On March 28, 2012, MLB released a league-wide memo that prohibited athletic trainers from injecting players with Toradol.

Reinold wasn’t the only trainer that had administered the medication, however, he was the center of the MLB investigation per Yahoo!

A search on the Massachusetts Board of Allied Health Professionals website, didn’t return any results regarding an active license for Reinold as either an athletic trainer or physical therapist.

The board has disciplined multiple trainers:

The Massachusetts board of Allied Health Professionals, which regulates trainers in the state, has disciplined multiple trainers in recent years for injecting patients, regardless of the drug administered. per Yahoo!

According to a statement obtained by Yahoo!, director of communications for the Massachusetts’ Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations Amie Breton had this to say on the issue at hand:

It is the board’s position that athletic trainers are prohibited from using injectables.

That essentially means Reinold was actually performing duties outside his scope of practice.

Reinold currently operates a website and blog that promotes his goal to “share my thoughts and experience (with your thoughts and experience) on several topics related to the current concepts & recent advances in rehabilitation, injury prevention, and performance enhancement.”

It is aimed at professionals practicing in physical therapy, occupational therapy and multiple sports related positions including athletic trainers. 

His last blog post was dated February 14.

According to Reinold’s website and blog:

Michael M. Reinold, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, CSCS is considered a leader in the field of sports medicine, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement.  As a physical therapist, athletic trainer, and certified strength and conditioning specialist, Mike uses his background in sport biomechanics, movement quality, and muscles imbalances to specialize in all aspects of human performance.  He has worked extensively with a variety of professional athletes with emphasis on the care of throwing injuries in baseball players.

The website doesn’t list any of Reinold’s background or schooling credentials.

However, an excerpt from the Yahoo! Sports article states:

Reinold, who received a doctorate in physical therapy, also studied at the American Sports Medicine Institute, the renowned medical facility, research lab and think tank run by Dr. James Andrews.

Reinold was fired from the Red Sox in 2012 and has yet to find employment with another Major League Baseball club.

As far any legal ramifications into Reinold’s misconduct, no investigation has been launched by the Massachusetts Board of Allied Health Professionals unless a formal complaint is brought forth.

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San Diego Padres: New Ownership Group to Assume Control of Team Early Next Week

Out with the old, and in with the new—that is what the future holds for the San Diego Padres.

After months of waiting, the sale of the Padres to a group headed by former Los Angeles Dodgers President and CEO Peter O’Malley has been completed and will head for a vote by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the other 29 owners to approve and finalize the transaction.

The vote is scheduled to take place on Aug. 16 at the owners’ meeting in Denver.

According to a report from Fox 5 San Diego, NBC 7 San Diego and The San Diego Union-Tribune; the Padres will be sold for $800 million. The purchase price includes $200 million in upfront money the team received in a $1.2 billion, 20-year television deal from Fox Sports San Diego.

Fox Sports San Diego is a new regional sports network that launched in March 2012 after Fox Entertainment Group (a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation) acquired the broadcast rights from Cox Communications. The Padres hold a 21 percent stake in the new network.

The new ownership groups consists of Peter O’Malley, (son of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley) his two sons Kevin and Brian, his nephews Peter and Tom Seidler and professional golfer Phil Mickelson who is a San Diego native and local resident.

Ron Fowler, CEO of Liquid Investments, is also part of the ownership group. Fowler is a San Diego civic and business leader.

Mickelson, the four-time major championship winner is ready to invest more than $50 million.

There have been conflicting reports on which members of the new ownership team will handle the day-to-day baseball operations of the franchise.

Fox 5 San Diego reported that Kevin and Brian O’Malley were expected to become the “hands-on” owners, while NBC 7 San Diego reported that Kevin O’Malley and his cousin Tom Seidler would be involved in running the Padres.

While there has been no mention of any changes on the baseball operation side of the club as of yet, Padres’ CEO Tom Garfinkel will remain in his position, as will general manager Josh Byrnes.

Peter O’Malley is no stranger when it comes to being involved with a Major League franchise.

His father Walter O’Malley is widely considered as one of the most influential owners of baseball’s early expansion era. He was instrumental in bringing the Brooklyn Dodgers to the West Coast and convincing the New York Giants—now San Francisco Giants, with whom the Dodgers continue to have a fierce rivalry—to follow as well.

Peter O’Malley became president of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1970, taking over the position from his father. In 1979, he assumed the role of owner after his father’s passing. O’Malley held both positions until Rupert Murdoch and his media conglomerate News Corporation purchased the Dodgers for $350 million before the start of the 1998 MLB season.

O’Malley stayed with the Dodgers during the transition, serving as chairman and CEO before leaving both positions at the end of the 1998 season.

When it was announced in late 2011 that financially plagued Dodgers owner Frank McCourt was selling the historic franchise, O’Malley sought out a way to reclaim his former team. However, he withdrew his bid in early 2012.

Under the O’Malley family’s tenure, the Dodgers won six World Series, 13 NL championships and finished first or second in their division 33 times in 48 years.

In contrast, the Padres have won two NL championships and lost in both of their World Series appearances in 1984 and 2008. 

A large question that looms around the new ownership group is whether they have the operating capital to make the Padres competitive once again.

Citing financial reasons, the Padres have unloaded superstar talent including 2007 NL Cy Young winner Jake Peavy and All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (a San Diego local and fan favorite). Left fielder Carlos Quentin (also a San Diego local and fan favorite) and third baseman Chase Headley had been the subject of trade rumors.

Quentin signed a three-year $27 million contract extension that included a no-trade clause, and trades regarding Headley never materialized.

With a beautiful ballpark and new ownership, the Padres have the beginnings of what could be a recipe for success.

It all begins next week, and I can’t wait to see what happens!

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Pete Rose and the Steroid Era: What It Means To Baseball’s Hall of Fame

I want you to ask yourself this, what Major League Baseball players deserve to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Does Pete Rose deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? How about Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, or Roger Clemens? Maybe even one day New York Yankess third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is on the eve of hitting home run No. 600?

While watching Hall of Fame outfielder Andre Dawson give his speech after his induction into Cooperstown on Sunday, he said some things that struck a chord with me and became the inspiration for this article.

“Do not be lured by the dark side. It’s a stain on the game. A stain gradually being removed. But that’s the people, not the game. Nothing wrong with the game. There never has been,” Dawson said.

He then continued with, “Baseball will, from time to time like anything else in life, fall victim to the mistakes that people make. It’s not pleasant and it’s not right.”

However, the quote that made the most impact in my mind was, “Individuals have chosen the wrong road, and they’re choosing that as their legacy. Those mistakes have hurt the game and taken a toll on all of us.” 

Dawson was clearly taking a shot at all players who have been accused or have openly admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs while playing baseball.

Ironically, those comments were coming from a man who endured 12 knee surgeries over an impressive 21-year major league career; a man who was an eight-time All-Star, with 438 career home runs, 2,774 hits, 1,591 RBI, and 314 stolen bases.

Dawson also spoke highly of Pete Rose, but didn’t lobby for his induction to the Hall of Fame.

Rose has been permanently banned from baseball since 1989 and thus keeps him from being enshrined in the one place he deserves.

That’s right sports fans, Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame!

Pete Rose, aka Charlie Hustle, was the definition of a baseball player. Over his 23-year career, Rose was a three-time World Champion, 17-time All-Star (at five different positions: 2B, LF, RF, 3B, and 1B), two-time Golden Glove Award winner, 1963 NL Rookie of the Year, and 1973 NL MVP. He also holds a record that in my mind may never be broken—4,256 career hits.

Rose, however, was deemed permanently ineligible by then-Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti for allegedly betting on baseball games. He would later admit in his 2004 autobiography My Prison Without Bars that he did bet on baseball and other sports while he played for and managed the Cincinnati Reds. He also admitted that he bet on the Reds, but never bet against them.

Though Pete Rose may have bet on baseball games, including games he managed, he never cheated, something many of the great baseball players over the last decade have done.

Players such as Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens all have been linked to using performance-enhancing drugs. Among those players, only Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire have come forward and admitted that used medications that improved their play.

Last time I checked, anytime you use a substance that helps you enhance your performance would be considered…CHEATING!

Pete Rose isn’t a cheater. He never did anything to enhance his physical performance. 

This article isn’t solely about who has cheated and who hasn’t.

A professional baseball player’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame shouldn’t be determined solely on what records a player has broken, or what feats that player has accomplished, but what that player has given to the game of baseball itself. It needs to be about what that player has given to the fans of baseball as well.

Below are three outstanding baseball players, who have done wonderful things for the game of baseball, but because of their poor lack of judgement (i.e. Pete Rose) they too may never see the Hall of Fame. 

Mark McGwire

Mark McGwire was first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2007. He can be remembered as one of the famous Bash Brothers (along with Jose Canseco) of the Oakland Athletics, McGwire broke the single season home run record for rookies in 1987 with 48 home runs. He was a 12-time All-Star, 1990 Gold Glove Award winner, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and the 1987 AL Rookie of the Year.

Eleven years later, in 1998, McGwire would gain national notoriety along with Sammy Sosa as they pursued the single season home run record the same way that Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris did in the summer of 1961.

Mark McGwire would finish the 1998 season with 70 home runs, nine more than Roger Maris hit in 1961.

However, McGwire’s amazing feat, toppling a record that stood for 37 years, would be tarnished by revelations that he used androstenedione, an over-the-counter muscle enhancement supplement, in order to shorten the time needed to recover from the physical wear on his body.

Although he never admitted to using steroids during the 1998 season, McGwire would admit in 2010 that he had used steroids during his playing career.

Barry Bonds

Do Barry Bonds’s stats alone give him enough credibility to be voted in for the Hall of Fame? Yes. Will the BALCO scandal and steroids be his downfall? Absolutely!

During Barry Bonds’s 21-year career he was a 14-time All Star, eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, 12-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and seven-time Most Valuable Player. He is also the single-season home run leader with 73 home runs, and is the career home run leader with 763 round trippers.

Bonds also had 2,935 career hits, 1,996 RBI, and 514 stolen bases.

His accomplishments alone should make him worthy of a first ballot induction to the Hall of Fame in 2013, however his involvement in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) may have tainted that.

Bonds was accused and indicted by a grand jury about his involvement with BALCO around the time he was chasing the single season and career home run records. Reports had been leaked on Bonds’s grand jury testimony contend that he admitted to unknowingly using “the cream” and “the clear” both being anabolic steroid supplements.

Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens will also be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013 and his accolades and feats match that of Barry Bonds and then some. In his 23-year career, Clemens was a 11-time All-Star selection, seven-time Cy Young Award winner (having won the award in both American and National leagues), and the 1986 AL MVP.

Clemens is a member of the 300 win club, 3,000 strikeout club, 4,000 strikeout club, 300 wins-3,000 strikeout club, and in 1997 and ’98 won the pitching Triple Crown (wins, ERA, and strikeouts).

But, Clemens’s accomplishments will be marred by his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens’s former personal strength coach, Brian McNamee, came forward an admitted that he had injected Clemens with steroids during the 1998, 2000, and 2001 seasons.

Clemens was also mentioned in former US Senator George Mitchell’s report on steroid use in baseball 82 times; however Clemens still denies that he had ever used steroids or performance-enhancing drugs.

In conclusion, I believe that if any one of these players, including Alex Rodriguez (who will probably hit 770 home runs, and openly admitted to use performance-enhancing drugs) should be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, that Pete Rose also be given a fair chance for reinstatement.

We all need to remember that baseball is a game a majority of us loved while growing up, and that all these youngsters who have dreams of one day making it to the Majors and maybe even the Hall of Fame will get there, with hard work and determination.

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