August 2nd, 2005

Calvinball

Drugs, History, and Class...

Another busy day in MLB land, again with most of the interesting stuff happening off the field. First, there was another steroid suspension. This time it was Mariners' starter, Ryan Franklin, who pleaded incomprehension:

"There has to be a flaw in the system," he said. "I have no clue. I tested in [early] May and again three weeks later. The first was positive, the second was negative. There is a flaw in the testing or my urine got mixed up with somebody else's. They said that couldn't happen but I don't believe it."

Uh huh. He went on to say he's been taking GNC supplements since 2003, and has passed about six other tests. He did admit to never bothering to have someone look at the labels to see what he was actually ingesting.

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In other steroid news, Dubya, who used to own the Rangers, is standing up for Rafael Palmeiro, saying he still believes his friend (and former employee) has never used steroids.

Uh huh. Of course, he still believes there are WMDs in Iraq, too.

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There were a couple of good stories today. Up in Pittsfield, MA, researchers confirmed the authenticity of a 1791 document recording a law the banning the playing of certain games, including "baseball," within eighty yards of the town meeting house to prevent broken windows. It's the earliest mention of the game found so far, and is far earlier than any previous mention. Pittsfield allready had a significant baseball history. A few years ago, Jim Bouton, who lives in the area, led a fight against developers and the town government to preserve Pittsfield's old minor league ballpark from demolition (recounted in his book, Foul Ball). He's now one of the folks who helped bring this story to light, and had this to say about it:

"Cooperstown used to brag about inventing baseball in 1839. Heck, by 1791, baseball was already a nuisance in Pittsfield."

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In Dodger news, after coming off several ineffective outings, and still bothered by a sore shoulder, Wilson Alvarez put himself on the DL until the September call-ups, and will retire at the end of the season. He's also offered to forfeit his guaranteed 2006 salary ($2M) for the good of the team. It's a classy move by a classy player.

Hey, you! Yeah, you, Darren Dreifort! Are you paying attention to this?

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On the field, LA beat the Nats on four homers, 5-4. Weaver pitched well.