Check out the change to MLB's drug testing


Check out the change to MLB's drug testing

From Comcast SportsNetPARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) -- Major League Baseball will test for human growth hormone throughout the regular season and increase efforts to detect abnormal levels of testosterone, a decision the NFL used to pressure its players.Baseball players were subject to blood testing for HGH during spring training last year, and Thursday's agreement between management and the Major League Baseball Players Association expands that throughout the season. Those are in addition to urine tests for other performance-enhancing drugs.Under the changes to baseball's drug agreement, the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Laval, Quebec, will keep records of each player, including his baseline ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, and will conduct Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) tests of any urine specimens that "vary materially.""This is a proud and a great day for baseball," commissioner Bud Selig said following two days of owners' meetings. "We'll continue to be a leader in this field and do what we have to do."The announcement came one day after steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa failed to gain election to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.Commenting on the timing, Selig noted the drug program changes had long been in the works "but it wasn't too bad, was it?"Selig reflected on how far baseball had come on performance enhancing drug issues."This is remarkable when you think of where we were 10, 12, 15 years ago and where we are today," he said. "Nobody could have dreamed it."Baseball began random drug testing in 2003, testing with penalties the following year and suspensions for first offenders in 2005. Initial penalties were lengthened from 10 days to 50 games in 2006, when illegal amphetamines were banned. The number of tests has gradually increased over the past decade.Selig called the latest change a "yet another indication how far this sport has come."Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president for economics and league affairs, said each player will be tested at least once."Players want a program that is tough, scientifically accurate, backed by the latest proven scientific methods, and fair," union head Michael Weiner said in a statement. "I believe these changes firmly support the players' desires while protecting their legal rights."Selig praised the cooperation of the players association, once a staunch opponent of drug testing, in agreeing to the expansion."Michael Weiner and the union deserve credit," Selig said. "Way back when they were having a lot of problems I didn't give them credit, but they do."Christiane Ayotte, director of the Canadian laboratory, said that the addition of random blood testing and a "longitudinal profiling program makes baseball's program second to none in detecting and deterring the use of synthetic HGH and testosterone."She said the program compares favorably with any program conducted by WADA.HGH testing remains a contentious issue in the National Football League. At a hearing last month, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, accused the NFL players' union of trying to back out of HGH testing."Other professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, must also implement their own robust testing regimes," Cummings and committee chairman Darrel Issa said in a statement Thursday. "Major League Baseball's announcement increases the pressure on the NFL and its players to deliver on pledges to conduct HGH testing made in their collective bargaining agreement that was signed two years ago."NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday "we hope the MLB players' union will inspire the NFLPA to stop its stalling tactics and fulfill its commitment to begin testing for HGH. If the NFLPA stands for player health and safety, it should follow the lead of the MLB players' union and end the delay."NFLPA spokesman George Atallah says the union is not backing out of anything but was looking to resolve scientific issues surrounding the tests. HGH testing is part of the 10-year labor agreement reached in 2011 but protocols must be agreed to by both sides."If the league had held up their commitment to population study, we could have been first," Atallah said.At the time of last month's congressional hearing, NFL senior vice president Adolpho Birch called the union's insistence on a population study to determine whether current HGH tests are appropriate a delay tactic that threatened that league's leadership in drug testing matters."Major League Baseball and the players' union have moved a long way from the inadequate policies that were in place when Congress first addressed ballplayers' use of steroids." said Henry Waxman, ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.NOTES:Owners approved the transfer of control of the Cleveland Indians to Paul Dolan, son of owner Larry Dolan. Paul Dolan is the team's chief executive officer.

High School Lites Week 9 capsules and picks

High School Lites Week 9 capsules and picks

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 9 edition of High School Lites. Can Loyola beat Brother Rice on the South Side in the Chicago Catholic Blue title game? Can Oak Park-River Forest upset Hinsdale Central in the West Suburban Silver title game? A playoff spot is on the line in the DuPage Valley: can Wheaton North win on the road at Waubonsie Valley? And can either Thornwood or Thornridge win and remain eligible for a state playoff spot?

Lincoln Park vs. Mather, 4:15 p.m. at Winnemac Stadium

EDGY's Take: The winner between Lincoln Park (7-1, 5-1) and Mather (7-1, 5-1) will head to the IHSA state playoffs while the loser will prepare for the CPL Prep Bowl playoffs. Lincoln Park will look to establish the running game behind senior RB Charles Dale Jr. while Mather will also rely on its backfield and solid offensive line. Can either team stop the run?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln Park 28, Mather 27

Thornwood at Thornridge, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This Battle of District 205 schools is always a big rivalry game. Throw in a potential state playoff spot and that makes this game even bigger. Thornwood (4-4, 1-4) and head coach Bill Bundy features senior QB Jamar Howard while. Thornridge (5-3, 2-3), under head coach Pat Jennings, has posted five wins; however, they do not have a guaranteed state playoff spot yet due to their low IHSA playoff point total (31). Can Thornwood win and get in? Can Thornridge win-- and then sweat out a state playoff bid on Saturday?

EDGY's Pick: Thornwood 34, Thornridge 28

(1) Loyola at (3) Brother Rice, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The winner here captures the CCL Blue conference crown along with a high seed in the 8A playoff field. Brother Rice (8-0, 3-0) features one of Chicagoland’s top offenses behind senior QB Dino Borrelli and an assortment of playmakers, including senior WR Ricky Smalling (Illinois) and senior RB Xazavian Valladay (Wyoming). Loyola (8-0, 3-0) has been the state's top ranked team since the preseason. The Ramblers will look to their passing game, led by senior QB Tommy Herion and senior WR Jake Marwede (Duke). Loyola's offensive line has also been a strength all season. Can the Loyola defense slow down the Crusaders’ weapons? Can the Rice defense get the football back — early and often — from the Loyola offense?

EDGY's Pick: Loyola 34, Brother Rice 31

Lockport at (12) Lincoln-Way East, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lockport (6-2, 4-2) has been a terrific story this year as the Porters are state playoff-bound. Will Lockport's starting QB Ben Davis, who sat out with an illness in last week’s 35-0 win over Stagg, return to the field? Lincoln-Way East (6-2, 4-2) is in need of a win this week after dropping a 38-21 game to Bradley last Friday. The Griffins counter with dual QBs in seniors Jake Arthur and Max Shafer. Can Lockport move the football against the East defense, minus Ben Davis? Can the Porters defense slow down the East offense?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 34, Lockport 14

Mt. Carmel at Providence, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Mount Carmel (4-4, 0-3) is in a rare position of needing a win this week to become eligible for the IHSA state playoff field. Providence Catholic (3-5, 0-3) is out of the state playoffs for the second straight season. Can the Caravan win on the road and beat Providence Catholic in New Lenox? Will Providence show up and play this game like it’s a state playoff game? If Providence wins, it will result in Mount Carmel missing the state playoffs for the first time since 1985.

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 28, Providence Catholic 21

(14) Oak Park-River Forest at (6) Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The winner will become the West Suburban Silver conference champion — and they’ll also secure a high seed in the 8A playoff field. Hinsdale Central (8-0, 5-0) has been led by senior QB John Bean and a very solid defense all season long. Oak Park-River Forest (7-1, 4-1) bounced back last Friday with a huge 27-3 win over Lyons. The Huskies also feature a terrific quarterback in senior Jeremy Hunt, who utilizes several weapons all over the field. Can the Hinsdale Central defense slow down the OPRF offense? Will last week's OPRF defense show up again on Friday in Hinsdale?

EDGY's Pick: Hinsdale Central 28, Oak Park-River Forest 27

Wheaton North at Waubonsie Valley, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Wheaton North (4-4, 3-4) and Waubonsie Valley (4-4, 3-4) are seeking a state playoff bid with a win on Friday. Wheaton North will look to a few senior leaders in QB Luke Anthony and LB Erik Mueller. Waubonsie Valley head coach Paul Murphy lost a heartbreaker last Friday to Naperville North. The Warriors have a balanced offense and keep an eye on junior QB Tanner Westwood. Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Waubonsie Valley 28, Wheaton North 24

Hersey at Wheeling, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Wheeling (4-4, 3-1) is seeking a win and a state playoff berth for the first time since 2008. The Wildcats offense features a very good passing attack led by QB Jalen Dennis. Hersey (3-5, 2-2) will look towards QB Owen Goldsberry to lead the way for the Huskies. Can the Hersey defense slow down the Wheeling passing attack?

EDGY's Pick: Wheeling 31, Hersey 20

Notre Dame at St. Viator, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Notre Dame (5-3, 4-2) and St. Viator (5-3, 4-2) seem to be in line for a state playoff spot, win or lose. St. Viator and first year head coach David Archibald has the Lions playing well. They will look to their passing game, led by QB Bryce Hellgeth and senior TE Cole Kmet (Notre Dame recruit). Notre Dame and veteran head coach Mike Hennessey features QB Tom Drabik along with a strong running game. Can the Notre Dame defense slow down the St. Viator passing game? 

EDGY's Pick: St. Viator 27, Notre Dame 19

Viewers’ Choice: Elgin at Larkin, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: It's the annual battle for the Town Jug between these two U-46 district schools. Larkin (4-4, 2-3) and head coach Dragan Teonic are looking to secure a state playoff berth with a win. If so, it’ll be the program's first since 2006. Larkin will rely on QB David Hibbler. The Maroons (0-8, 0-5) will be in search of their first win since beating Larkin back in Week 8 of the 2014 season — a 31-13 win. Larkin leads the all-time series 34-20.

EDGY's Pick: Larkin 37, Elgin 14

NLCS: Cubs sticking with resurgent lineup for Game 5

NLCS: Cubs sticking with resurgent lineup for Game 5

LOS ANGELES - Joe Maddon preaches keeping things simple, especially this time of year.

The Cubs finally broke out on offense in Game 4, so why change anything up for Game 5?

Of course, the starting battery will change, with Jon Lester taking the mound and his personal catcher David Ross behind the plate for what could be the final time together with Ross still slated to retire after the season.

After a one-game stint in the cleanup spot, Anthony Rizzo moved back to the three-hole and wound up with three hits - including his first postseason homer.

Addison Russell also had a breakout performance (three hits and a homer) in the eight spot, but moves up one spot in the order with "Grandpa Rossy" taking over the eight hole.

Willson Contreras is 6-for-15 (.400 AVG) this postseason, but sits in favor of Ross at catcher and Jason Heyward in the outfield with right-hander Kenta Maeda on the mound for the Dodgers.

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Here's the way the Cubs will line up behind Lester:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Javy Baez - 2B
6. Jason Heyward - RF
7. Addison Russell - SS
8. David Ross - C
9. Jon Lester - P

The Dodgers are still insisting they're sending Maeda to the mound and not starting Clayton Kershaw on short rest.

The lefty-heavy Dodgers inserted their right-handed lineup against southpaw Jon Lester:

1. Kike Hernandez - 2B
2. Justin Turner - 3B
3. Corey Seager - SS
4. Carlos Ruiz - C
5. Howie Kendrick - LF
6. Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
7. Yasiel Puig - RF
8. Joc Pederson - CF
9. Kenta Maeda - P

These are the same guys (just in a different order) the Dodgers threw out in Game 1 when Lester gave up one run in six innings.

Game 6 will be Saturday evening at Wrigley Field and a marquee pitching matchup of Kershaw vs. Kyle Hendricks.