Quick Hits: Braun, Aoki, Kuroda, Nationals

Links for Monday night, as we await word on Coco Crisp’s next team…

  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that the club doesn't know if an appeal date has been set for Ryan Braun. The 2011 NL MVP faces a 50-game suspension for using a banned substance. 
  • The Brewers are in the process of setting up a meeting with Norichika Aoki that will occur within a week or so, McCalvy reports. The Brewers won the rights to the Japanese outfielder last month via the posting system.
  • Agent Steve Hilliard told Sponichi last week that free agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is working toward a decision and considering options in Japan and with MLB teams, Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker notes.
  • Jim Margalus of South Side Sox points out that the White Sox have reduced their payroll by at least $20MM and suggests the club faces a steep, potentially messy climb back to respectability.
  • Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com breaks down the latest Prince Fielder rumors and explains that the Nationals may be wary of committing $20MM or more to three players at once. Jayson Werth will earn $20MM-plus starting in 2014 and Ryan Zimmerman will be a candidate for a salary in that range after 2013, when he hits free agency.


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42 Comments on "Quick Hits: Braun, Aoki, Kuroda, Nationals"


BeisbolJunkie
3 years 8 months ago

I’d like to know how it is that Eliezer Alfonzo is playing winter ball in VZ without serving his complete 100 game suspension first. Because back when Manny wanted to play in the DR, MLB said he couldn’t because it was sanctioned by MLB. Anybody know?

Karkat
3 years 8 months ago

How on earth has the Braun thing not been worked out yet? If I’m the Brewers, this is something I would want to know ASAP.

melonis_rex
3 years 8 months ago

Dude, its Bud Selig. When has he acted in the best interests of the game? 

Seriously, that guy loves to let major issues twist in the wind until he absolutely has to address them. 

Karkat
3 years 8 months ago

Ah, but he HAS been known to act in the best interests of the Brewers 😛

vonhayesdays
3 years 8 months ago

braun is gone for 50 games.  done said done . slash finger wag 

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

It’s not Selig. He is just following the process which is outlined in the CBA and was agreed to by both the players and owners. Braun is appealing and that’s what’s taking so long. It’s his right to appeal. So don’t blame Selig.

NatsTown
3 years 8 months ago

Mark Zuckerman the voice of reason

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Braun is still likely to get the 50 game suspension even if its viagra or any other random crap. As long as its not a PED or something related its good news, and Braun will still be able to build towards a HOF career. 

vonhayesdays
3 years 8 months ago

unless viagra elevates testosterone levels. then dude took something that mlb has determined to be illegal, and i dont put it past products you can get a gnc, wont be cheating and addind trace amounts of those illegal substances because they know they work and are not illegal to have outside of the mlb

i just found my girls light saber :]

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Well thats kind of what I mean by other crap. Guy could be doing NO Explode or something for all we know. I am not a  Brewers fan but im still hoping that he isn’t guilty. Not that it matters. Very few generations of the game can def doubt they had a problem with it. Its been known to be used for this since the 1930’s and athletes in the 60’s used it so its very likely that many members of the HOF from the so called good days got in before it was checked for.

xthetouristx
3 years 8 months ago

I agree with this 100%.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

I disagree. Anabolic steroids were not widely available in the decades prior to the Canseco era. There is no evidence baseball players took them then, apart from maybe a very rare instance or two. If it was widely used then, we would have heard about it by now. There would be leaks. Outings. But instead we have nothing.

I would bet players like Aaron, Seaver, Gibson, and Carter were clean.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

I am not personally doubting any particular players authenticity. It was well known in the 60’s even olympic athletes used them. Baseball never had some huge comprehensive testing until the late 90’s so you can say nothing was ever proved but thats only because there was no system in place to do so. You can not prove that players then didn’t do them because they didn’t care enough to check. Unless a player from that generation wants to open up a whole new can of worms he has no reason to say anything because the lack of a system means we will never know anyway. If it wasn’t for the system getting established and these hearings we would still have no evidence Bonds wasn’t clean. So because none of that happened then that is the only reason why we assume that generation was clean and played on nothing but tobacco and hardwork. Canseco was doing it for years undetected so obviously the entire league of players he played with our subject and everyone before him.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

Steroid use among Olympic athletes wasn’t even widespread and the steroids weren’t easy to get back then. The Olympic athletes who did cheat got them either from their trainers or most often from their government-sponsored sports federations (Eastern Europe; Russia).

Since those early decades, much has come out about the the steroids use of those Olympic athletes and there was no steroids testing back then either (or it was very poor). But no comparable stories have come out about baseball players. We have past Olympic  athletes and their trainers and federations fessing up to the cheating — or others saying they cheated. If there was any significant cheating among top baseball players prior to the Canseco era we would have heard stories  by now — for example, a player saying they saw Seaver or Gibson shooting up or buying PEDs. We have virtually zilch.

And, BTW, baseball didn’t have “huge comprehensive” testing until 2004. But we still know of the usage of steroids by players prior to that time  (but not before Canseco’s time) because they either admitted to it or were outed by others. So there was no system prior to 2004 — YET we know about juicers from the mid-to-late 1990s through 2004.

You have to assume the generation of Seaver and Gibson was clean because of the TOTAL lack of evidence to the contrary. They are only suspect in the minds of those trying to make excuses for and give today’s cheaters a free pass.

And, sure, at the time Canseco cheated no one knew for sure but the point is (1) there were suspicions about him at the time and (2) it came out shortly after that he was cheating.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Late 90’s-2004 its makes the same point. If steroids were available players could have taken them. Period. baseball players have trainers and get unparalleled access to everything in American life because they are celebrities.  Nothing says they couldn’t have or didn’t. And its not like a ton of players from the Canseco era got outed, it was mostly obvious offenders. Canseco didn’t get outed until the twilight of his career so I don’t see that as shortly after. And yes there is not a lot of evidence at all to connect older generations to it but there was really none until 04 so you can’t assume its only a recent trend either. It would be negligent to assume that the league just suddenly got hit with usage after the drug had already been available for 40 or more years. They didn’t get tested so we don’t know, but given what we know about high school athletes, and athletes the past 30 years its not a stretch at all to assume they had a lot of players using them.  Its a fantasy to assume that because they weren’t tested we should assume they were all clean. What happened in the past ten years is more likely a correction of an ongoing trend that hit its apex rather than the stomping out of an entirely new problem in the sport. That generation had mafia’s buying judges and police officers. Certainly usage could have been kept quiet. That generations silence was for sale in a big way, they didn’t have the internet to compete with.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

1) The point is not whether a ballplayer “could of” taken steroids. That’s nonsense as basically 100% of players who have ever played any game since the advent of anabolic steroids “could have” taken taken them. The issue is whether it is likely or not baseball players of a certain generation ever did them to a significant degree. And contrary to what you say about there being “not a lot of evidence” on prior generations, there is NONE. ZILCH (again except for a very rare instance or two).

2) Late 1990s – 2004. You tried to make a point that the only reason we know of players from that time frame cheating is because of widespread testing. But they didn’t have ANY testing during that time. So you’re wrong there and the fact that players from that time frame have been outed in various ways proves that you can’t keep those things under wrap for long if in fact players are cheating to any significant degree.

3) The advent of the personal trainer for baseball players didn’t pop up until recent decades.

4) “but there was really none until 04 so you can’t assume its only a recent trend either” … Sure you can. So far you haven’t given one solid reason why one can’t assume it was a trend that started around the time of Canseco. And there was some evidence before 2004 but it was relatively little.

5) You can believe what you want, but your position regarding the Seaver-Gibson era is all pure speculation and assumption, not based on any facts.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

There is no facts about older generations use thats the point. So where is you may choose to see that as evidence of a clean game, I choose to see the possibility that it wasn’t. There is no reason to assume an untested generation was clean, when the tested ones weren’t. If you wanna believe every star from those generations was clean thats your perogative, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense to assume players doing very similar things athletically (Except for the Bonds and Sosas ect.) Necessarily did them clean. There is reason to be skeptical, because they were available and could be had by any athlete in the league if he wanted.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

At least we agree that there is ZERO evidence that past generations cheated with steroids.

But your tact that lack of evidence means possibility of guilt is silly. You are entitled to that opinion but it’s silly.

Think of it … a man goes before a judge and says “Your honor, I wasn’t speeding. There is  zero evidence to suggest I was.”  And the judge says: “Doesn’t mater. You could of been speeding! Therefore, guilty!”

“There is no reason to assume an untested generation was clean”

But as I pointed out, the generation from Canseco to 2004 was NOT tested and no one is assuming they are clean. There is other evidence on them that they are not. There is no such evidence of any kind on the generation of Seaver-Gibson and earlier ones.

“but it doesn’t make a ton of sense to assume players doing very similar things athletically”

Actually it’s the high incidence of players from this most current generation (1990s-2005) doing things very differently at odd points in their careers and often accompanied by odd physical changes which sets them apart from earlier generations.

“There is reason to be skeptical, because they were available and could be had by any athlete in the league if he wanted.”

No, they weren’t as readily available as in recent decades. And even f they were it’s again folly to assume something without lack of any evidence. Are you a tax cheat, juicer and pedophile? I am sure you would be miffed  if someone accused you of these things without evidence. But all 3 routes of activity are likely open to you. So it’s possible right?  That’s the way you are suggesting we should treat older generations of baseball players.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Well I want you to look up an article about steroid use in the 60’s and 70’s. Its testimony from a pitcher named Tom House. So I guess my skepticism is warranted. Its info from 05 and when you search for it you will see its on a reputable site. Its on NBC sports. Check it out. Bam! 60’s and 70’s arn’t clean.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

See reply below on House.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah that leaked info could be true, but its just as likely that its not. Its best to just wait.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

Except that there are those trying to use that same leaked info to defend Braun. Can’t have it both ways.

I agree that it might end up not to be what Braun’s side is claiming. If that’s so,  then  can’t wait to hear what his defense is.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

I am not defending him though. I hope he is clean because its a waste of talent, but im just waiting for facts.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Actually I did a little digging, emphasis on little and there are accounts of use. NBC sports has a link from 2005 from major leaguer Tom House saying use was “rampant” in the 60’s and 70’s and that his team mates used them. I don’t think you can link on MLBTR but check it out for yourself. And again I am not saying I neccesairly believe every detail, just like I don’t believe everything Canseco has said. But its a testament to use back then so its evidence it wasn’t a pure game back there either. So I guess my skepticism is warranted.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

One, House just gave an interview with a newspaper. It was not “testimony” as you claimed above, and it was not under oath.

Two, House was talking about PEDs in general and even included greenies in his statement. I am talking exclusively about anabolic steroids.

Three, as I said in my first post in this thread, there WERE a very few rare exceptions to the clean players of that era. House was one of them.

Four, House didn’t log any significant time in the majors until 1973, so his observations on the 60s players have to be highly suspect.

And don’t get me wrong. I am not saying the Seaver-Gibson era players were choirboys. To the contrary, they did pot, coke, greenies (totally legal at the time), and drank a lot. But their stats are more REAL than those from the likes of Clemens and Bonds because they didn’t cheat with anabolic steroids the way recent players have and steroids can inflate stats unlke any other drug in the world.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Anybody talking on other players using is subject to criticism. But it doesn’t make invalid at all. He played minor league ball obviously to prior to his majors days he onviously saw players who would become pro’s doing it as well. I said testament not testimony. And the guy mentions in the article that it was rampant in the league, and on his team. Quote from the article “Hall estimated about six or seven pitchers per team were using or experimenting with steroids or HGH. Hall said “We didn’t get beat. We got out miligramed. and when you found out what they were taking you started taking them” 
Another quote “We were doing steroids they wouldn’t give to horses. That was the 60’s when nobody knew.”
This article is enough evidence to consider that many people during that era probably used PED’s, and seeing as anabolic steroids were available they were likely used by some players. So again try to beat around the point, but that generation is not clean. Most to all generations had cheaters. And I don’t doubt some of them are in the HOF.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

Leonard, see reply below. This part of the thread was getting too skinny to continue here.

cachhubguy
3 years 8 months ago

He tested positive. He didn’t request a waiver for medical reasons. He is guilty and will serve the 50 days.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Probably will.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

As far as the ChiSox needing a huge boost to regain respectability I am not buying that. They need their rookie OF to work out, Chris Sale to transition solid, the lineup to hit like it should, and Peavy to bounce back. The thing about those possibilities is that they could happen and would drastically improve the team without money even being spent. So if most of that can happen which wouldn’t be that crazy, I could see them at least being in the picture for a playoff spot. If all of it happened they might well be in the thick of things. 

xthetouristx
3 years 8 months ago

Those are a lot of things needing to go right.  A good start would be Beckham turning into what everyone thought he would be.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

I am just pointing what Kenny Williams has been trying to articulate. That they have a solid core of talented players who could make major improvements even despite the moves like Santos and Frasor. As for Beckham he is done.  I am sorry I gave up on that guy last year. His big entrance into the league was because they hadn’t pitched to him before. Now the leagues pitching has adjusted and he is not likely to ever realize that promise again. I don’t see anything in his hitting that screams he should be putting up better numbers. 

Guest
3 years 8 months ago

i can’t for the life of me figure out what KW is doing…you seem to make sense because his moves have been head scratchers..including the danks extension

3 years 8 months ago

Chris Sale can just about do everything ok. From here it’s just building up his pitch count. Overall he has a lot of upside. Peavy is off the books next year with a club option and Humber is a free agent. PV alone accounts for 17 million back next year. 2012 will most likely be a build up of depth to see what we can do and build off of next year via free agency. Also, there could be a potential Floyd trade for more prospects. A better deal then the Quentin return I hope.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

I have not read of one credible claim — backed by facts or medical studies — showing that the type of drugs Braun is now saying he took can result in incredibly high levels of testosterone on steroids tests. Braun’s lawyer will not only have to prove that, but will have to show this drug was medically prescribed for him by a doctor. That’s a tall order.

Not that Braun would have ended up with bonafide HOF credentials — but if he ever did, he probably wouldn’t get in now.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

I have not read a single statement that came from Braun or his lawyer stating the specific name of anything they are claiming caused this positive result. I have read that he claims he is innocent, and I have read articles where sports writers speculate without evidence. So unless you have read a statement from his lawyer, or Braun himself that I haven’t there is no possible way you could have found the credible facts needed to support his innocence. So looking is kind of pointless. And if Braun kept himself on this pace or close for the next 7 or so years he could be near 3000 hits with a great career BA, and a little under or over 400 HR. If he has health he could def put together a HOF career. 

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

It’s been leaked that Braun is claiming the positive results are from a drug to treat herpes. So far his side has not refuted that and for all we know it was HIS side that leaked that.

So far I have not read one article with solid support for the idea that drugs to treat herpes can result in unusually high testosterone levels on a steroids test. If that were scientifically or  even anecdotally proven, don’t you think it’s to Braun’s benefit to have his PR people leak that?

“So looking is kind of pointless.”

If his side is claiming herpes medication, it’s really up to them to “look” and find the evidence and show it to the world. Failing that, it would not be pointless at all for a journalist to interview an expert medical doctor experienced with STDs and ask him his opinion about herpes drugs as they relate to hormone levels in the urine and steroids tests.

As for the HOF, that is neither here or there unless he was already on a surefire trajectory to that honor before he got caught. And he wasn’t. Baseball Reference has a series of HOF yardsticks and Braun isn’t close to the HOF on any of them. For example, the Hall of Fame Monitor has a likely HOFer grading out at 100 in batting, and Braun is only at 80.

cachhubguy
3 years 8 months ago

It doesn’t matter. You need to get a medical waiver BEFORE you take a drug to be excused by MLB. Not after you test positive. He will serve the 50 days and hope that the medical excuse keeps him from being lumped in with Bonds and the rest of the cheaters.

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

Yes, I know you need to get pre-approval. It’s called a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption). My comments there are aimed at those who feel the rumor alone that the positive test results arose out of herpes medication absolves him from blame, whether or note he got that pre-approval (and there are some who feel that way).

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

“I said testament not testimony.”

Hmmm. Leonard, this is an exact quote from one of your posts above: “Its testimony from a pitcher named Tom House.”

My point in pointing out that this is not testimony under oath is that anyone can and does say anything they want to a newspaper reporter, especially if they are not naming names and especially if doing so will make them look better. House, after all, is the earliest identified juicer in major league history. And he looks bad.

This would not be admissible in a court of law, and you have to wonder why House was never called to testify before Congress during the PEDs hearings and is not even named in the Mitchell report! My guess is he was talked to by some of the investigators working for both the Congressional committee and by Mitchell’s staff and either he refused to repeat his stories under oath or they found him otherwise not credible.

He played minor league ball obviously to prior to his majors days he
onviously saw players who would become pro’s doing it as well.”

Maybe he did maybe he didn’t, but IF he did we don’t know if it was greenies, steroids or something else, and it would be a stretch and a huge jump to say that because he may have seen some players using PEDs in the minors in the 60s then steroids usage was rampant among major leaguers at that time.

“Hall estimated about six or seven pitchers per team were using or experimenting with steroids or HGH.”

He’s not even saying steroids exclusively here. He includes HGH here and for all we know he may be talking about greenies too which are mentioned elsewhere in that article.

My argument all along has been exclusively about anabolic steroids.

If House was such a fountain of knowledge why did he never testify before Congress?  Or before Mitchell?  I believe this sole accuser from the 70s is not credible at all.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

House was a minor leaguer, major leaguer, and a pitching coach for the Texas Rangers. He was around the game enough to know. He isn’t some two year in the league bitter tattle tale. He spoke of what he saw. The reason why he didn’t testify before congress is unknown, but I doubt he would say it was rampant in the league just to say it. Maybe he wanted it to be known without specifically throwing otherwise good people under the bus. It would make sense. Not everybody is a bloodsucker like Jose Canseco. In reading the article he says players did many PEDS ranging from greenies, steroids, and HGH. Thats enough right there to justify skepticism for the cleanness of that era. He doesn’t need to say anabolic steroids for it to mean something, thats likely what the guy meant. He mentions that the other teams were doing it too not just his own. He throws himself under the bus for using a drug he didn’t know the side effects of. I find this as credible evidence of steroid use in those era’s. All types of PED’s were available back then and its silly to think that lots of players didn’t take advantage of them and that suddenly something clicked in the late 80’s.  

caseyB
3 years 8 months ago

Sorry, but House wasn’t a major leaguer for any significant time until 1973. If you believe that gives him magical powers to proclaim knowledge of what went on with most ML teams in the 60s, years before, that’s your choice. But I think that’s illogical and I strongly disagree.

As for testifying before Congress or before Mitchell’s people, you are wrong. You do NOT have to name names, and in fact many players testified before either Congress or Mitchell’s people about steroids use without naming names. I suspect House refused to tell his story if he had to do it under oath so he is not credible in my book.  I also notice that he hasn’t repeated his allegations anywhere since his initial story which further leaves him suspect.

And the reason he would say PEDs usage was rampant in the league just to say it is, again, because he wanted to make himself not look so bad. Because if “everyone” was doing it too, then he’s not a bad guy, right?

And, remember, it’s really hazy whether or not House is talking about HGH, greenies, or anabolic steroids. There’s a big difference between steroids and that other stuff, and my position has to do with steroids exclusively.

And, once again, I don’t think steroids were nearly as readily available in those early years as they were later when Canseco played. That’s also a big reason why I think any claims of significant steroid use before Canseco’s time is nonsense.