MLB announces in-season blood testing for HGH

Yankees hire Marcus Thames as High-A hitting coach
Mailbag: Castellanos, Cuddyer, Pacheco, Maxwell

MLB and the players’ union announced an agreement today that will allow for in-season blood testing for HGH. Chad Jennings has the full press release. The tests will be random and unannounced, though players can only be tested three times per season unless they give the league a reason to test more. Baseball will be the first major sport in the country to test for HGH.

Players were blood tested during Spring Training last year as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but that was just a test of the test. The two sides wanted to see how players responded physically to giving blood before implementing a new policy. Offseason testing began this winter, but it was not random and MLB needed “reasonable cause.” Apparently everything has gone well over the last 12 months and the two sides moved forward with the in-season testing. Great news and a great job by both sides, but obviously this won’t be the end of PEDs in baseball. The drugs are always one step ahead of the test.

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Yankees hire Marcus Thames as High-A hitting coach
Mailbag: Castellanos, Cuddyer, Pacheco, Maxwell
  • RobA

    So Ortiz is going to have a bad year, is what you’re saying?

  • Alex Rodriguez

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mike myers

      He will be out til July so he can take it til June or so… No biggie

      • Now Batting

        Honestly what’s the difference? Take them until you get busted, get caught, serve the 50, and hopefully be back in June instead of July.

        • Preston

          You can’t serve a suspension while on the DL. The Yankees would have to have him on the active roster before he could start serving a suspension.

          • A.D.

            From Wiki:

            All suspensions are without pay. In addition, a suspended player can be replaced on the active roster by another player. If a player is on the disabled list, the suspension is served while on the disabled list

            Not sure if this one would still be allowed to but A-Rod on the 60-day DL, but it really would not impact the club

            • Ed

              New plan to get under $189m – when A-Rod has his now annual injury in 2014 and goes on the 60 day DL, give him steroids. 50 day suspension makes him lose about $7.5m in pay. As a bonus, maybe he comes back a little stronger due to the steroids.

              • Preston

                Saves the Yankees money, but it still counts towards the cap doesn’t it?

            • Preston

              I stand corrected

    • trr

      LMAO

  • WhittakerWalt

    This should be interesting. Crossing my fingers that Mo, Andy, and Derek don’t get popped.

    • Laz

      it’s not like it is a surprise. if they busted now they idiots.

  • Mickey Scheister

    At some point the players contracts have to contain language about testing positive for PEDs. It seems the teams take all the risk, signing a player after a monster year and if the guy had inflated numbers due to that, the club is still on the hook for the contract. You can look at A-Rods second 10 year contract, while he didn’t fail a drug test, if he hadn’t put up massive numbers there’s no way he signs a deal until he’s 43. Zero. What I’m getting at is, the club should be able to void the contract of a player who’s failed a drug test, or something that has harsher conquences for the player. Would the Yanks have signed Giambi after his MVP season at his contract without jacking up the numbers? Melky got caught, but he was simply following the mold the other cheaters created. He got caught, but how many more contracts get dolled out under false pretenses? We’re seeing the long term effects of such a contract given out now. Sorry for the rant, but then to see the guys who “supposedly” took roids not even crack 50% in HOF voting, is that the only “consequence”, not allowing some of the best players in my lifetime into the hall because of suspicion of wrong doing?! The whole system is broken.

    • Laz

      I agree with the contracts. Take a player like Braun for example. You lose the earnings while you are suspended, but don’t lose a contract. he had signed a contract for big money. He would have lost some of his current earnings making less than $1m aav, but he was able to turn that into a mega contract.

    • OldYanksFan

      I agree with your idea, but ARod is NOT a good example.
      ARod did NOT get 10 years because the Yanks thought he would be a stud the last 3 or 4 years of his contract.

      He got 10 years TO BREAK THE HR RECORD!.
      This was obviously important to the Steinettes.
      The even threw in an extra $30m in incentives.

      Also, I saw 2 independant studies on ARod and his ‘3 steroid years’ in Texas. One projected that over that 3 yeats, he hit TWO HRs more then his normal projection. The 2nd study (I think was done by a group of SABR folk) concluded that ARod hit ONE LESS HR then his normal projection.

      ARod’s body has not changes in 15 years, except for a slight ‘thickening’ that always comes with age.

      My guess is ARod had no clue how to ‘do’ steroids, and probable ate them, or used them as a suppository. It was a typical fuck up for him that he now has the ‘steroid stigmas’, and probably got nothing out of it.

      • Captain

        god this place is trending downhill.

      • Mike HC

        Loosey Goosey

    • Tyler

      Or the team could simply not sign the player in the first place. And the Players Association would NEVER allow such language to be included in player contracts.

  • Mike myers

    Bets on who gets busted first? It’s probably going to be an aging pitcher trying to recover from an “injury”

    Farnsworth…..please be farnsworth

    • Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain)

      Who gets busted first? Not sure.

      I’m gonna say Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion.

      • Mike myers

        Canada picks….forgot about that northern mojo.

        R a dickey throwing a 99 nuclear nuck?

  • Steve (different one)

    ARod is a jerk who took PEDs, now go get Mike Morse!!

    • Kevin

      Are you talking to The Yankees or the drugs testers?

  • dc1874

    The two sides wanted to see how players responded physically to giving blood before implementing a new policy…what bull. They are athletes…young.. good shape??? I donate blood 6 times a year without blinkin an eye..another pathetic excuse for cheating..

  • stuart a

    the price for upton was not that great.

    yanks should trade for Justin Upton. his contract is $12 mill per for 3 more years the guy is 25 or so, why not???

    • Steve (different one)

      Well, once you realize your first sentence is incorrect, the rest of your post makes less sense. That’s a pretty good haul for Upton.

    • Preston

      Tajuan Walker is a top 10 prospect and Nick Franklin is a top 50 and both are pretty close to MLB ready. I’m not sure we have comparable pieces.

  • mcb

    They wanted to see how players responded to giving blood? Really? Hmm, maybe like the rest of the human race has for the past few thousands years. It can make you a little woozy – drink a cup of OJ and eat a cookie. Christ.

  • emac2

    They can just save the juice for the playoffs after they’ve been tested three times.

    That was the mob can make sure one team is only tested twice to assure profits.

  • RetroRob

    Good image move. Meaningless, though, since HGH does nothing to enhance baseball players’ performance.

    I wonder if the blood tests, though, will be/can be used for other types of testing, or is it just limited to HGH?

    • Bob Dobbs

      It would be good for baseball not to test. HGH aids in recovery from potentially career ending injuries. This is purely an image enhancer for Bud and the sport. We can thank the mass media for this one.

    • Jim Is Bored

      It may not help their performance, but from what I’ve read it greatly improves durability and recovery time.

      Which, IMO, if it’s safe, should make it legal. I think there’s a big difference between a drug that makes you stronger, faster, etc, and a drug that helps you recover quicker.

      We really need to have more studies done on the effects of all these drugs.

      • Preston

        Well steroids help you recover faster too. It’s all in the way you use it. If these things were being used transparently under the instruction and care of a doctor it wouldn’t really be a health problem.

        • Jim Is Bored

          True enough.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    good news but other sports proved 10-15 years ago that HGH-tests are basically useless. Compared to WADA tests the MLB tests are nothing but a joke.

  • OldYanksFan

    IF you are going to have a law, I am for strong enforcement.
    However, HGH is NOT a PED (even the Mitchell Report said this), and only has a ‘PED Effect’ when used in conjuncture with steroids.

    Manny was caught TWICE, and can still play the game.
    If they really want to stop/slow down PEDs usage, they
    need stronger punishment.

    One year suspension, no salary, first offense.
    Out of the game, 2nd (and last) offense.

    I won’t make a judgement about how/if PEDS are bad for the game.
    But IF…. IF MLB decides they want them out of the game,
    then frequent testing and harsh punishments are the only
    way to discourage usage.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Completely agree with this.

    • Steve (different one)

      While I agree the Manny thing was absurd (no one has yet to make a plausible explanation why his secone suspension was not 100 games), I think the possibility (granted, slight possibility) of false positives makes these penalties too stiff.

      Sometimes, and I believe this might have been the case with our new BFF Mike Morse, you can test positive twice from the same cycle. Would be tough to ban someone forever if that happens.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Yet if you really want to enforce the rule, I think that would do a pretty good job.

        And if you’re still going to risk cheating, you’d better do a damn good job covering it up.

  • LarryM., Fl.

    All players should be tested at anytime from ST through the end of the WS with a minimum of 3 times. It seems a bit severe but IMHO it should be done for the benefit of the game. Also contracts should contain language which puts leverage of the contract to stay clean.

  • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

    Well, this if this isn’t reactionary, and about 8 years late.

  • Tom

    One thing that hasn’t been reported on too much is there is also a slight (but significant) change to how they do the the urine testing.

    In the past there was the initial epi T (testosterone) ratio screening test – it was set at one level which was pretty high (it had to be set high as there is a range of levels from person to person) and if someone failed that test it triggered the secondary test, which actually looks for and identifies substances (and is a lot more sensitive).

    The new testing will track a player’s baseline epi T ratio level and if a test comes back significantly over that level, the secondary test is triggered. So instead os using the one side fits all threshold they will have something specific to individual players to trigger the secondary test.

    This might be better in terms of catching folks using fast acting suff where testosterone levels can drop rather quickly (especially when they had just one high threshold to trigger the secondary test)