What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?
Nothing, you already told her twice.
Congress already stepped in and made baseball look silly with Sammy Sosa forgetting how to speak English, Mark McGwire forgetting how to speak any language, and Rafael Palmeiro swearing he was a good boy and subsequently getting busted for steroids. The ball players and all of baseball wanted the government to back off and let the new system get a chance to work. In fact, people pointed to busts as the system starting to work. Regardless of what was in place going forward, the congressional hearings were the first black eye.
The second black eye is this Jason Grimsley debacle. The government stepped in again and the feds intercepted a delivery of Human Growth Hormone to Jason Grimsley's house and he sang. Oh baby he sang. When you get a chance, read this affidavit as it is stunning in terms of the content. Names are named, but they are blacked out for obvious reasons and it goes into some serious detail. It is amazing how much information is in there and it is amazing that it just seems that players are turning their heads. When you read what Grimsley had to say, it paints a serious picture of things going wrong and baseball not being able to police itself.
Human Growth Hormone is essentially a fountain of youth. HGH is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that, in children, causes physical growth. In adults as well as children, hGH is essential to maintain healthy body composition and metabolism (in other words, to improve one's ratio of fat to lean body mass). HGH is natural, but the body makes less and less of it as you age. There have been studies with HGH and elderly people that have produced results that link HGH to longevity and the betterment of the quality of one's life. In terms of baseball, HGH makes a player recover faster and add strength whether it be pitching or at the plate.
It is natural and very helpful, so what's the problem? Well, it's not really legal. It may be a medical wonder, but it has only been approved by the FDA for adult men and women who have certain medical issues and is given to kids who do not produce enough of it themselves. The stuff is basically a super steroid with minimal effects to your body. The largest and obvious problem with players taking it is that they might not even be doing it right. The dosages may be wrong and no one really has any idea who is supervising them while they are taking it. As Grimsley noted, a lot of these players are going into Mexico to buy whatever they need.
The really hard part for baseball is there is no way to detect HGH since it occurs in the body naturally. HGH is a big fear for baseball and a apparently a very pervasive problem. Gimsley said that "boatloads" of players are still using performance enhancing drugs and that is bad news for Bud Selig and all of baseball who's policy is clearly not working as well as they lead on. We are in a day and age of technology and the ability to circumvent whatever preventative measures baseball puts into place. If Major League Baseball found a way to eradicate HGH and steroids from the game, you better believe something else will show up. There is simply too much money involved for the supply of performance enhancing drugs to dry up. However, the feds raiding Grimsley's house certainly sends quite a message to everyone out there using the stuff and now that this concept of raiding homes has been introduced into this illegal substance game being played by the players and government, everything just got really interesting.
"He's certainly making a case for himself to stay here," Glavine said.
Lastings Milledge is good. He turned himself into a fantasy stud pretty quickly and was the star player last night with a homerun, a triple, and gunning Nomar Garciaparra out at second with a perfect throw. This kid can play and listening to him makes you like him even more. When he was talking about Jae Seo, he was mentioning how he got beat the first time with an inside fastball. Next at-bat? Milledge knew Seo was coming back with that pitch and sat there and waited for it. He got one and sent a laser out of the park. Howard Johnson mentioned that the kid learns quickly and Milledge has not disappointed as it seems there really is nothing the kid does not do well.
"The only thing that I want to prove is that I play to win," Milledge said when asked about proving that he should stay here.
"That's the only thing. And I play the game hard. And I play the game with energy. That's the only thing that I want to prove to everybody," he said.
Edge is good and he definitely has a bit of an edge. He has that I'm Lastings Milledge attitude and you have to beat me. He knows he is good and thinks there is nothing he cannot do.
"(Milledge) has done well but, I'm not going to pencil him in as the everyday outfielder (just yet)," Randolph said.
Leave it to Willie to make a comment like that.
Pedro Martinez, who the day before had held court on the unattractiveness of his buddy Manny Ramirez's latest hairstyle, approved of Milledge's tightly lined -- and unique -- braids.
Manny, you cannot escape Pedro.
Randolph said he was thinking long term when he decided to rest Delgado. Julio Franco made only his second start of the season at first. Randolph shifted Lastings Milledge, who had been playing right field exclusively since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, to left field and started Endy Chavez in right.
"Lastings had been playing more left field (in the minors) and Chavez has a better arm in right field."
Chavez has a good arm, but Lastings' is stronger.
With the sudden rash of injuries, it was only natural to ask Carlos Delgado if he was feeling OK after Randolph left him out of last night's lineup. Delgado smiled and said he was fine, adding, "Mr. Randolph gave me the day off."
He called Wagner "Mr. Billy Wagner" when he signed and if you have read my site before and seen that, that is where I got it from.
The consensus was that the 2006 First-Year Player Draft probably would prove to be more pitching-oriented than most of the drafts that preceded it. And if the breakdown of players selected didn't bear that out, the Mets' selections certainly did.
Denied a place in the first round because of their signing of Type A free agent Billy Wagner in the fall, the Mets selected 49 players in two days in the 50 rounds that concluded early Wednesday evening. More than half of their selections were pitchers, the vast majority of those right-handed with college experience.
As for day two of the draft, the most interesting name was Justin Woodall. Matt Meyers had this to say on the Baseball American Draft Day Blog:
Nobody thought Justin Woodall was interested in playing baseball, as the LHP/OF has signed to play safety at Alabama and apparently blew off one predraft workout because it interfered with a trip to Cancun. However, he recently drove several hours to a workout for the Mets who turned around and picked him in the 19th round, with their first pick of Day Two. Some clubs felt he was a first-round type of talent as a pitcher, if he focused on baseball. The Mets plan is likely to sign him for above slot and let him go to Alabama and play football knowing they hold his rights if football does not work out.
Baseball America had his rated as the 80th best prospects in the draft and had this to say about him:
He's rangy and powerful in the outfield with above-average arm strength that produces 90-94 mph heat on the mound--from the left side. He'll flash a hard, late-biting slider as well. Woodall has little feel for pitching and his approach at the plate is equally unrefined. He's aggressive in all counts and looks to pull often. He makes hard contact with plus raw power. His quick, strong hands and wrists allow him to unleash the bat head through the zone with tremendous speed.
We'll see how the Mets handle this one, but it is interesting how a kid who was so uninterested in baseball drove to work out for the them in spite of his said intentions.