This Angel Presinal story just won’t go away, and something about it makes me think that it might be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. The vast majority of fans may no longer care, but this wide-reaching story has the potential to impact many of the game’s top current players. It might end up another tabloid-inspired red herring, but it also may make league and PA officials rethink their PED responses.
To recap: The fun started on Friday when the Daily News recapped an old revelation that A-Rod had trained with Angel Presinal in 2007, a few months before he appeared in the Mitchell Report. On Saturday, David Ortiz and Robinson Cano defended Presinal from hearsay anonymous accusations and not-so-veiled attacks on his character. As RAB commenter J.R. noted, Ortiz’s words, coming from a rival team, seemed to carry some weight.
But yesterday, two more stories broke that could trigger an avalanche, if not an investigation. In a four-page feature, the Daily News, filing the story from the Dominican Republic and New York, reported that Presinal is a PED pusher and has a way of ensuring that players pass their tests:
According to a former baseball scout, who worked with players who trained with Presinal in the Dominican, Presinal provided some players with steroids. The former scout declined to be named in this story but says that players refer to Presinal as “The Cleaner,” someone who can rid traces of steroids from the players’ urine before a drug test.
“He puts them through a cycle and then they flush the body out,” the former scout said. “If you’re afraid of testing positive, this is the guy to go to.” He said players are afraid to discuss Presinal because they depend on his expertise as a trainer. It is also expensive to work with Presinal, according to the former scout, who says the trainer charges as much as $10,000 for an offseason session.
Who knows if this is true? Who knows if these aren’t the words of a scout disgruntled with Presinal? As far as I know, MLB testing is random so players wouldn’t have the time to flush their system prior to a scheduled test. But if true, these are allegations that will spur another thorough investigation into the current state of drug use in the game instead of some misguided George Mitchell-led effort to stir up the past.
Furthermore, the Daily News also reported this weekend that Presinal won’t be training the DR team at the 2009 WBC. He is officially persona non grata from organized baseball, and the current players who train with him should probably rethink that decision.
When all is said and done, these recent developments may push baseball into further addressing PED use today. For the last three of four years, baseball officials and reporters have been singularly focused on outing past drug use, and while extensive testing programs are now in place, this story has become more about exposing and attempting to atone for the past than it has been about cleaning up the present. Those of us who care, even a little bit, about the drug issue may find a current scandal all the motivation for a better fix.
Anyway, that’s that. Games start on Thursday. Maybe we can put all of this nasty business behind, but something tells me this story is here to stay this year.