Major League Baseball is putting its foot down. Steroids and performance-enhancing drugs have begun to plague the game of baseball but Commissioner Bud Selig will attempt to prevent any further damage.
According to the New York Times, the new collective bargaining agreement will include blood testing for human growth hormone (HGH). This is one of those "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" type of deals for Selig considering baseball will be the first major North American professional sport to conduct any type of blood testing to unionized players.
There's no doubt Selig is giving himself a nice pat on the back and will now walk around with quite the chip on his shoulder seeing as though he's done what the NFL wasn't able to do.
The NFL and its union tried to include blood testing for HGH in their CBA last summer but players refused to sign off. Their main concern being that the natural level of HGH in football players might be higher than that of the general population, causing too many players to unfairly test positive.
There are definitely other arguments and ways around this, but that's a whole other issue, considering baseball players aren't the "general population," are they?
Selig brought HGH testing to the minor leagues in 2010 and first at bat was Mike Jacobs, a first baseman in the Colorado Rockies' organization. Jacobs was the first minor league player to test positive for HGH. Not necessarily a great milestone to have on your resume.
Under the new agreement, testing would begin in February when players report to spring training. Players who test positive will face a 50-game suspension.
This move shows how important it is to Selig to treat the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. What do you think about the tests? Should other leagues follow in the MLB's footsteps?
With the Aug. 1 trade deadline right around the corner, a new name has been added to the mix.
James Shields, who was acquired by the White Sox in early June, is reportedly available for trade, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, after the 34-year-old right-hander has pitched his way into the trade market with his latest hot streak.
The White Sox traded for Shields in an effort to strengthen their rotation and alleviate some pressure off a taxed bullpen, but with the team six games back for the division lead and the final wild card spot, it would be wise of the White Sox to take advantage of this pitcher's market and flip Shields for assets that can help them in the future.
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After a rough start in Chicago, Shields has turned in five quality starts in his last five outings, which included a stellar performance in Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Cubs. He also owns a 1.71 ERA across his last six starts.
The biggest question will be, which team wants to take on Shields' contract?
He still has two years remaining on a four-year, $75 million deal he inked with the San Diego Padres in 2014. It's worth noting Shields has an opt-out clause after this season, and a club option to return in 2019.
The White Sox will "probably" place second baseman Brett Lawrie on the disabled list before Wednesday’s Crosstown game at Wrigley Field, manager Robin Ventura said.
Lawrie initially was diagnosed with a tight left hamstring July 21 against the Detroit Tigers, causing a firestorm of speculation he had been traded when he was removed from the game. He was initially considered day-to-day after undergoing an MRI on Friday, and manager Robin Ventura said before both Monday and Tuesday’s games against the Cubs he could’ve been available in an emergency.
But Lawrie suffered a setback sometime Tuesday, and with two games under National League rules at Wrigley Field requiring more bench pieces, Ventura didn’t want to head to Clark and Addison short-handed.
“It just seemed like he was going backwards today, during the game, of his knee,” Ventura said. “There's no way you can go over there and play the National League rules with nobody on the bench.”
[MORE: Shields picks up bullpen as White Sox top Cubs again]
Infielder Carlos Sanchez was removed from Triple-A Charlotte’s game Tuesday night and is expected to replace Lawrie on the White Sox roster.
Lawrie is hitting .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs and 22 doubles over 94 games this season.
Tyler Saladino has done well in his short stint in the starting lineup since Lawrie’s injury, going 4-15 with a walk. His walk-off single on Monday netted the White Sox their third win in what now is a four-game winning streak, the team’s first since May 6-9.
The Crosstown Classic continues on Wednesday at Wrigley Field as the White Sox square off against the Cubs on CSN Chicago. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.
Today’s starting pitching matchup: Anthony Ranaudo (1-0, 17.18) vs. Jason Hammel (9-5, 3.35)
Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.
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