The Presinal/A-Rod connection starts an avalanche

Thankful that no Yanks pitchers headed to WBC
How many ways to say Yanks have a good bullpen?

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.

Thankful that no Yanks pitchers headed to WBC
How many ways to say Yanks have a good bullpen?
  • jsbrendog

    wow. didnt see that one coming

  • steve (different one)

    awesome.

    i can’t imagine you could go through a cycle during the season and pass through the random testing, but nothing would surprise me anymore.

  • JoeKnowsBest

    Don’t people see how badly newspapers and print magazines are stuggling in this rough economic climate. There are plenty of stories out there that are citing anonymous sources that probably do not even exist. What, we as fans are experiencing, is the sensationalist reporting by reporters and editors desperate to strum up interest. A-Rod took steroids, A-Rod apologized and hasn’t failed a test since 2003-2004. Besides, I couldn’t care less if A-Rod had a syringe sticking out of his ass on Opening Day.

  • Jay CT

    Well ihave been saying for acouple weeks; this could spiral and baseball should let sleeping dogs lie. They got ARod. If they keep pushing they are going to ruin the whole era and this will never go away. Ortiz, Vlad, Cano, Ervin Santana, etc… They should let sleeping dogs lie.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball_drug_policy#Testing_for_banned_substances

    Testing is administered via scientifically-validated urine test.
    During season play (beginning with Spring Training through the end of the Regular Season), all players will be randomly selected for testing at unannounced times for steroids once. The office of the Commissioner has the right during the season to administer additional random testing at unannounced times for steroids. The number of tests and the timing and schedule of these tests is determined by HPAC, and players are subject to any number of additional tests during the regular season…

    Testing procedure
    Players are asked to thoroughly wash and dry their hands, and then select from at least three (3) sealed specimen collection cups. The player is to urinate into the cup under direct observation from the collector and carry it to the processing table. There must be at least 75ml of urine for a sufficient sample. If the player is unable to provide 75ml of urine, the collector must instruct the player to return in an hour, during which he can only drink 15 oz. of fluid in a sealed container(s) certified by the collector.

    Testing protocols
    Any test conducted under the Program will be considered “positive” under the following circumstances:
    1. If any substance identified in the test results meets the levels set forth below.
    2. A Player refuses or, without good cause, fails to take a test or refuses to cooperate with the testing process.
    3. A Player attempts to substitute, dilute, mask or adulterate a specimen sample or in any other manner alter a test…

    Steroids
    A test is considered positive if any Steroid is present, except the presence of nandrolone, which is considered positive only if the level exceeds 2ng/ml.

    As has been said by critics of the current MLB testing program, it’s a very good, very thorough testing program in season. If you shoot something up between February and October, they’ll catch you, because it’s totally random, there’s no advance warnings, and there’s no limit to the number of times you can be tested.

    In the wintertime, though, it’s fair game. Juice all you want, just be prepared to cycle off in time to piss clean come spring training. Perhaps that’s what Presinal does: gives them a steroid plan for the wintertime that gives them bulk but allows them to be clean by February.

    I wonder how much benefit a player could get, though, from only juicing from November to January. Wouldn’t those strength gains be gone by like April or May?

    • KW

      I’m not sure, but my understanding of the benefits of steroids is that it can help an athlete lose fat, build muscle, and do both at the same time (normally almost impossible). However, the athlete still has to work out himself and maintain those gains, but I don’t believe the effects fade, as the body retains the neuromuscular adaptations even after the aids are flushed from the system.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      A “piss-watcher” has to rank right up there on the job scale next to “armpit smeller”.

    • YankeeScribe

      I’m not an expert on steroids but it seems like by not taking steroids during the season, you defeat the purpose of taking them in the first place. Baseball players have no reason to bulk up. They take steroids during the season to maintain their strength and endurance. If they’re not taking steroids during the season, it seems pointless to take them during the offseason…

      • Bo

        It isn’t about bulking up. You can take drugs to make you work out harder and have more endurance and energy. You can be on stuff and not look like you are entering Mr Olympia.

  • Rich

    No matter how the facts of the Presinal case unfold, the rabid press has gotten more than their pound of flesh from A-Rod, even in the absence of demonstrable evidence that PEDs improved his performance. Now it’s time for them to divert their attention and resources to uncovering the other users.

    • RCK

      Or devote their attention and resources to covering what actually happens on the field. Not to sound like a lunatic, or anything.

      • Bo

        It’s not the press didn’t have a reason here. He did get caught and flunked a test he KNEW was coming.

        He deserves all this really.

        • Rich

          No one deserves having the 4th Amendment rights being violated, so I couldn’t disagree more with that sentiment.

          A story of nearly equal if not greater magnitude, is who selectively leaked A-Rod’s test results, yet no one in the media seems interested in that.

  • YankeeScribe

    Presinal is no “angel” but if this unnamed scout is retired from baseball, why won’t he publicly accuse the trainer?

    And I agree that an investigation into Presinal’s relationships with Latin players “could” open a can of worms on another huge baseball scandal. I don’t know much about Presinal’s techniques but I do know he’s trained Pedro and Bartolo Colon in the years that they won the Cy Young and he’s trained ARod, Vlad Guerrero, and Juan Gonzalez in years where they won MVP. He’s either got some excellent techniques or he’s pushing some drugs that the MLB has yet to successfully test for.

    Either way, the MLB has been aware that players have been working out with him for years since they banned him and they have yet to enforce the ban by disciplining players who work out with the guy. I’m not saying that ARod should be suspended for working out with Presinal, I’m saying he shouldn’t be forced to take the heat alone when there are dozens of guys on other teams who the MLB has known to work with Presinal.

    • Bo

      Unnamed scout may be a competing trainer for all we know.

      But hey its the Daily news. What does anyone expect??

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  • Craig

    I don’t know why people assume that there WAS a steroid/PED era, which is now over. Athletes are still using performance enhancers in all sports. Just look at the size of some of these basketball and football players now. They look like WWF wrestlers. It is obvious. As the fans get more in tune with the rampant PED use in ALL sports, I just hope the coverage does not turn into one big “who is on steroids, who is not” circus. It is important to catch the cheaters, but it is also important to appreciate the entertainment that the sport provides, and to not just dismiss it because players may or may not have used PEDs.

    • Bo

      What athlete wouldn’t be using something to get better?
      Especially when it means a better contract.

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