Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thanks... do you have the receipt?

According to Major League Baseball’s rule 21-b, the Twins’ Torii Hunter could face a three-year suspension. The rule as it is written, prohibits anyone connected with a particular team from offering a gift or reward to a person connected with another team.

Gift for defeating competing club. Any player or person connected with a Club who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Club for services rendered or supposed to be or to have been rendered in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Club, and any player or person connected with a Club who shall solicit or accept from a player connected with another Club any gift or reward for any services rendered, or supposed to have been rendered, or who, having been offered any such gift or reward, shall fail to inform his League President or the Commissioner or the President of the Minor League Association, as the case may be, immediately of such offer, and of all facts and circumstances connected therewith, shall be declared ineligible for not less than three years.

Yeah, three years.

In other words, Hunter potentially could have sent the Kansas City Royals the most expensive case of Dom Perignon ever.

The reason for the gift (for those unfamiliar with the story) was to reward the Royals for their late-season sweep over the Detroit Tigers in 2006 which opened the door for the Twins to win the AL Central.

Fortunately, it appears as if reason will win out. Hunter’s gift was made in fun and it doesn’t seem as if the penalty will be anything more than a slap on the wrist. Hunter only sent four bottles of champagne to the Royals, who sent the unopened ones back when they learned about the flap.

However, it’s worth noting that Major League Baseball’s gift policy is much tougher than its stance on performance-enhancing drugs.

Speaking of performance-enhancing drugs, it appears as if the Floyd Landis case has once again resurfaced. According to the French bastion of journalism ethics, L’Equipe, Landis’s failed drug test from last summer’s Tour de France revealed a synthetic steroid. The paper knows this because it ran the leaked results that may or may not be true.

According to the Rant Your Head Off blog, here’s the deal:

  • L’Equipe has a very good source at LNDD and that the source repeatedly leaks information about test results
  • L’Equipe’s source claims the results show testosterone use in other stages of the Tour, but no actual proof is offered to back up those claims
  • Testing performed over the last week, according to Landis’ lawyers, was done at the direction of USADA’s outside counsel
  • USADA’s observers and lawyer had full access to all aspects and phases of the testing, while Landis’ observers were denied access to crucial parts of the analysis
  • LNDD, under the direction of USADA, are able to come up with “evidence” against Landis that supports the LNDD’s conclusions from Stage 17
  • The Arbitration panel, though ruling that an independent observer must be present for any testing performed, had no independent observer at the testing
  • News of Landis’ supposed results has already circled the globe

What we don’t know is this:

  • Whether or not the reports in L’Equipe and other newspapers are true
  • If the reports are true, we don’t know what exactly the results were or whether LNDD’s conclusions are, in fact, correct. If they are similar to the results from Stage 17, it may be arguable whether or not there is any evidence of synthetic testosterone in Landis’ system during the Tour
  • When (or if) Landis’ defense team will be provided with the test results
  • Whether the arbitration panel will allow the results as evidence, given that their own order that an independent observer be present was ignored

It doesn’t appear that anything will be resolved in this case before the 2007 Tour de France, not does it seem as if Landis – innocent or guilty – will get a truly fair hearing.

For another solid synopsis of the latest developments check out the always trenchant Trust But Verify site.


I finally tried the veggie cheesesteak (yes, I am away of the oxymoron there) and will offer a full review either tomorrow or the next day. I even took pictures.

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Blogger DBrower said...

Thanks for the plug; we gave you a link back.


Wed Apr 25, 12:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Motorboat Jones said...

Sweet... thanks a lot. You guys do a great job and have become the first place I go to decipher the latest Landis news. Thanks again.

Wed Apr 25, 06:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Thanks for the link, most appreciated.

- Rant

Thu Apr 26, 03:25:00 PM EDT  

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