While you will see as we get into the news that there are plenty of headline-grabbing legal news bites that have come out over the past two days, the one we’re going to lead off today’s links post with is an unexpected side effect of the ongoing lockout while MLB and the MLBPA struggle to come to terms of the new CBA.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, Major League Baseball is no longer testing its players for steroid use. The rules regarding MLB’s ability to test players were part of an existing contract, and with the expiration of the sport’s drug agreement at midnight on December 1, 2021, there are no longer rules in place to allow for player testing.
Considering this is just a lapse in the agreement, and there is little doubt it will be restored once negotiations are completed, it seems unlikely that most players would take the risk of using PEDs, especially seeing the consequences it has caused for players like Barry Bonds, who missed his shot at the Hall of Fame last month thanks to his lingering PED scandal (Bonds may still have a chance for entry with the Eras Committee). Still, it’s hard to imagine a player willingly taking such an enormous risk for only short-term gain.
Read more on the lapsed drug policy here:
- AP reports on the expired drug policy.
- Former MLBer Robin Ventura thinks it’s only natural for their to be suspicions about players taking PEDs after the lapse. (AP)
Now on to the rest of our links, starting with some other fairly heavy topics.
- Things are going to get very serious in the Tyler Skaggs wrongful death trial very quickly.
Breaking: During opening, defense atty says Matt Harvey will be named as possible drug source for Tyler Skaggs. Says Eric Kay asked TS the night he died where he got pink pills. Says TS told him “those are Percocets I got from Harvey.” Harvey will be called as witness this week.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) February 8, 2022
- The Skaggs trial isn’t the only legal situation involving MLB players this week, as Los Angeles courts finally reached their conclusion in the Trevor Bauer sexual assault charges.
Trevor Bauer will not face any criminal charges in the LA court system, sources tell The Athletic. Bauer's active investigation by MLB remains open.— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) February 8, 2022
- Over at Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke suggests that now would be a great time for the Dodgers to part ways with the problematic pitcher.
- Former Yankee Gerald Williams has passed away at age 55 after a battle with cancer.
- Dan Szymborski tries to establish an expanded playoff format that doesn’t suck.
- Is Jacob deGrom at his best in a two-strike count? Ben Clemens looks to assess just how optimal deGrom is in those scenarios.
- Tim Britton gets an inside look at the routine keeping Max Scherzer in shape and season-ready even as the lockout stretches on. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Gabrielle Starr offers up Zach Eflin’s wife with a compelling reason for the lockout to end.
- After far, far too long, the Tigers have finally set a date to retire Lou Whitaker’s jersey. Jason Beck has the details.
- Michael Clair offers up some fashion throwbacks to teams that tried some very bold uniform looks.
- Half of a Honus Wagner baseball card sold for nearly half a million dollars. So maybe don’t throw out those less-than-perfect Mike Trout rookie cards just yet. Story by Dan Hajducky.
- It looks like the Mets will be hosting their first Old Timers game since 1994. (AP)
- Dave Roberts is feeling pretty confident about an extension from the Dodgers, as he probably should. Story by Andy McCullough. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Speaking of extensions, Bud Black will be back with the Rockies for another season. (AP)
- David Schoenfield has some fun putting together a dream-team of players from their peak seasons.
- Matt Monagan pays tribute to Cuban slugger Cristóbal Torriente, the man who outslugged Babe Ruth.
- Baseball reporters are using AI to generate more hopeful headlines, I guess. (no, I swear I know she’s kidding)
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.