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National League MVP Ryan Braun, who last season led the Milwaukee Brewers to their first division title in nearly three decades, has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and faces a 50-game suspension if the initial finding is upheld, two sources familiar with the case told “Outside the Lines.”
Major League Baseball has not announced the positive test because Braun is disputing the result through arbitration.
[ … ]
The 28-year-old Braun had to provide a urine sample for testing during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test sometime in late October — about a month before he was named the National League’s most valuable player.
The positive result was triggered by elevated levels of testosterone in Braun’s system, the sources also told “Outside the Lines.” A subsequent, more comprehensive test revealed the testosterone was synthetic — not produced by Braun’s body.
I know this doesn’t count for anything, but I did not see this coming. I watched and thoroughly enjoyed much of the coverage Braun got throughout the playoffs and afterwards for his MVP-winning season, and I would never have thought news like this would come out.
Like, I knew the dude had a bad haircut, but this?
It also shocks me that he knew before he accepted his MVP award. Did he think he was going to get away with it? Does he have an excuse? Can’t wait til he’s allowed to make a statement.
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Humanitarian? Ballroom dancer? Science fair guy? Gourmet chef? Restaurateur? Director of Public Health? Valentine is all of these things. How? Where does he find the time? He told me 25 years ago, “Sleep is overrated,” and it must be, because I don’t know when he sleeps. Yet he fell asleep at the wheel late one night, nearly got killed, and, if possible, doesn’t drive alone late anymore; sometimes he’ll have someone drive him.
And he has a terrible sense of direction. At ESPN, at least initially, he had to be walked from the newsroom to the studio because he couldn’t find the way. When he steps off an elevator, he says, “I have never turned the right way. I always turn the wrong way. Always.”
I know that Bobby V was introduced as the new Red Sox manager forever ago, but I wanted to post a link to this Tim Kurkjian article because it’s really, really great. He has something very insightful and complimentary things to say about Valentine and I learned a lot about the guy that I didn’t know. Apparently he claims to have invented the wrap sandwich (half-jokingly, Kurkjian assures) and he’s the Director of Public Safety and Public Health in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.
The way Kurkjian talks about how baseball-smart Bobby V is is really interesting, too:
Valentine will not allow Josh Beckett to not work in between starts. Valentine will find out how three of Carl Crawford’s five tools disappeared last year, and he will make sure he finds them in 2012. He will not allow anyone from Red Sox management, be it John Henry or Tom Werner or Larry Lucchino, to walk into his office and tell him about how the game is played. And no manager in the game will outfox Valentine on any strategic move. In the one year I covered his team, and for the 30 years I have known him, not once have I asked him a question about a move he made in a game for which he didn’t have a legitimate answer.
Everyone loves Bobby Valentine - if only for the charade of prancing around the dugout in glasses and a fake mustache that one time in 1999 - so I take back all that stuff about being excited that Theo and Tito left the division. Bobby V’s gonna bring even more to the AL East and the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry this year. Will it be a mustache and sunglasses? Who knows.
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Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death early Monday and his brother was arrested as a suspect, Dutch police said.
Rotterdam Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said police were called to a home in the port city in the early hours of the morning and found the 24-year-old Dutch player bleeding from a stab wound.
The officers and ambulance paramedics were unable to resuscitate Halman.
Wessels said the officers arrested Halman’s 22-year-old brother. She declined to give his name, in line with Dutch privacy rules.
"He is under arrest and right now he is being questioned," Wessels told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It will take some time to figure out what exactly happened."
This is a devastating loss for Major League Baseball. Not because of Halman’s contributions on the field, necessarily - he hit .207 in his 44-game career - but because of the loss of human life. Awful.
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There’s a very interesting free agent class hitting the market this winter. Some of these guys are household names. Here are just a few:
- C Jason Varitek - 40
- C Jorge Posasda - 40
- C Ivan Rodriguez - 40
- IF Omar Vizquel - 45
- OF/DH Johnny Damon - 38
- OF/DH Vlad Guerrero - 37
- P Tim Wakefield - 45
- P Brad Lidge - 35
I find this list to be absolutely astounding. An entire generation of guys is hitting that tipping point - too old to be signed to multi-year contracts, but not yet limping off the field. It’s all the guys that I grew up watching in their prime - Pudge, Posada, Damon, Vlad.
If you flip through these photos, I’ve chosen shots from the teams I remember these guys with - Pudge as a Tiger, JD with the Red Sox (those Yankee seasons aside … ), Vlad as an Angel. It’s been a while, though, since these guys have been premiere players.
Wakefield will get signed. So will Vizquel - because he is absolutely ageless - and maybe Vlad too, because he swings at anything. But guys like Varitek and Posada (tear) are so old for catchers. Nonetheless, I look forward to the rest of their careers, if and when they happen.