Squeeze Play…Target Practice

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Oh say can you, whap……..This s—t is getting serious.

MLB clubs seem to be on some sort of assassination mission issuing  secret “get smart” orders to their pitchers to maim or seriously injure many of the oppositions top players in order to gain some sort of macabre psychological advantage over the team that they’re competing against but also sending a clear message to upcoming teams that they had better worry more about life and limb as opposed getting something mundane as a base hit.

If you were standing in the batter’s box, would you be worried more about getting a hit or getting hit? Would you be more pleased with a round tripper or a one way trip to the bone orchard?

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is as usual; asleep at the wheel. We will all hear is voice piping all across the airwaves only when someone gets killed or seriously injured.

Can’t you just imagine what Mr. Selig’s first press conference will sound like after a tragedy has occurred, voice quivering with emotion?

He might begin by saying; “I am outraged and saddened by this terrible tragedy.” He might possibly continue on with the usual condolences. “My heart goes out to the teammates and family of such and so. Baseball will have a special tribute televised only on ESPN. Also, MLB is also setting up a scholarship fund for his two small children.”

I, Aubrey Bruce have the perfect antidote for “throw-at-batter-it is.”

If you hit a player forget the superficial gesture of awarding the player first base because the player that is violated is truly jeopardized in every since of the word and should be awarded four bases if the bases are empty or in other words given a run.

If a player is hit and there are base runners preceding him the player that is violated should be directed to second base and the runner or runners closest to scoring should be advanced to home. You can bet grandmas girdle that not too many pitches will be “getting away” from MLBs hurlers with those stiff penalties being enforced.

Bud Selig photo PNC Park Dodgers at Pirates game 2 of 3 July 2014

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig talks to Andrew McCutchen at PNC Park before Dodgers at Pirates game 2 of 3 July 2014. (Julio Torres Photo)

Selig has had trouble dealing with almost every major negative issue concerning MLB. Whether it is corked bats or conduct unbecoming to a human being.

When Barry Bonds was close to breaking the home run record of Babe Ruth, it has been alleged that Selig even suggested that he had might not attend certain games as it became more evident that Bonds was going to surpass “the Babe” in home runs.

Currently all I keep hearing about is how everyone is pissed off because Barry Bonds had been hanging out in the San Francisco Giants camp and how Bud Selig was powerless to stop it. Mr. Selig might be better to focus on stopping these boys trying throwing 100 mile per hour fastballs at each other’s neck-bones and noggins, trying to kill each other as opposed to what the haters still feel toward Barry Bonds. On some “wicked” websites they even referred Barry Bonds as “steroid man.”

When Bonds returned to Pittsburgh on opening day, he was booed by most of a crowd not merely displaying displeasure but spewing genuine hatred and venom.

What do they call Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez?

Bud Selig, to my knowledge has never at least publicly defended Barry Bonds before or after his case was adjudicated.

I am going to provide you with a partial listing of baseball players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. Access the entire list that is published on about.com.

This is a running list of those who have been named or suspended. This list of major league baseball players is in alphabetical order, linked to performance-enhancing drugs, either through the 2007 report by investigator George Mitchell or by positive drug tests by Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball.

(Note that this is not a list of players who have been proven to use performance-enhancing drugs.)

Eliezer Alfonso: Colorado Rockies catcher was suspended for 50 games in 2008 for testing positive for PEDs, and 100 games in 2011 for a second positive test.

Chad Allen: Played in majors from 1999-2005 for Twins, Indians, Marlins and Rangers. Linked by ex-Mets clubhouse Kirk Radomski to purchases of steroids. Cooperated with Mitchell investigation.

Carlos Almanzar: Astros pitcher was suspended for 10 days in October 2005 for violating the MLB performance-enhancing drugs policy.

Rick Ankiel: Pitcher-turned-outfielder received human growth hormone in 2004, according to the New York Daily News. Ankiel maintains he took them as part of his recovery from elbow surgery.

Bronson Arroyo: Pitcher told reporters in July 2009 that he took androstenedione and amphetamines from 1998 to 2003, before they were deemed illegal, and could be on the list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs because of it.

Antonio Bastardo: Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher was named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012 and was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 5, 2013.
David Bell: Played in majors for 12 seasons, through 2006. According to Sports Illustrated, he bought human chorionic gonadatropin from a pharmacy in April 2005. He maintains he had a prescription.

Marvin Benard: Played for San Francisco from 1995-2003. Mentioned in sections of the Mitchell Report on BALCO as getting “the cream” and “the clear” from Barry Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson.

Gary Bennett Jr.: Journeyman catcher played for St. Louis in 2007. Linked to Radomski as purchasing human growth hormone. Radomski had a canceled check for $3,200. After the report’s release, Bennett admitted he had used HGH.
Rafael Betancourt: Then-Cleveland Indians reliever was suspended for 10 days in July 2005 for violating the MLB performance-enhancing drugs policy.

Larry Bigbie: Played from 2001-06 for Orioles, Rockies and Cardinals. Linked to Radomski, who had canceled checks for performance-enhancing substances. Barry Bonds: All-time home run king was mentioned 103 times in the Mitchell Report, and pleaded not guilty to perjury and obstruction of justice charges after a grand jury indictment. Linked to “the cream” and “the clear” through the BALCO scandal and trainer Greg Anderson. Was convicted of one felony count of obstruction of justice, but a mistrial was declared on the perjury counts. The case remains in appeal as of June 2013.

Ryan Braun: Tested positive for elevated testosterone in October 2011, but won on appeal from an arbitrator in February 2012, avoiding a 50-game suspension. Named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012, which Braun maintained was only related to his defense in the previous case. Was suspended for the final 65 games of the 2013 season, agreeing to a deal with MLB related to the Bosch case. Did not specifically admit to taking performance-enhancing drugs, but did say he has “made some mistakes” and was “willing to accept the consequences of those actions.”

Kevin Brown: Had a 20-year big-league career that ended in 2005. Linked to Radomski for purchasing human growth hormone and Deca-Durabolin from 2001 to 2003 or 2004.
Marlon Byrd: Boston Red Sox outfielder was suspended for 50 games in 2012 for a positive drug test for Tamoxifen, a banned substance.

Paul Byrd: Cleveland Indians pitcher acknowledged taking human growth hormone between 2002 and 2005, and said he was prescribed HGH for a pituitary tumor.

Everth Cabrera: San Diego Padres shortstop was named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012 and was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 5, 2013.

Melky Cabrera: San Francisco Giants outfielder tested positive for testosterone and was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 15, 2012. He admitted to taking a substance he “should not have used.” Also named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012.

Ken Caminiti: The 1996 National League MVP estimated that 50 percent of big-league players were using performance-enhancing substances. Admitted to taking steroids to Sports Illustrated in 2002. Died of a drug overdose in 2004 at age 41.

Mike Cameron: Longtime MLB outfielder was suspended for 25 games in 2007 for testing positive for a banned stimulant, which he says came from a tainted supplement.

Jose Canseco: Admitted using steroids, and his book “Juiced” named several players who were using performance-enhancing substances. Testified to Congress in 2005.

Mark Carreon: Played from 1987-96 for the Mets, Tigers, Giants and Indians. Linked to Radomski as purchasing steroids when Carreon played for the Giants. Francisco Cervelli: New York Yankees catcher was named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012 and was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 5, 2013.

Howie Clark: A utility player for the Blue Jays. Linked to Radomski as a purchaser of HGH, paid by money order.
Roger Clemens: According to the Mitchell Report, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner’s former strength and conditioning coach, Brian McNamee, injected him several times with steroids from 1998 through 2000, when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Yankees. Clemens denies he ever used steroids. Was indicted in August 2010 for perjury, obstruction of Congress and false statements after testifying before Congress in 2008 that he didn’t use PEDs, and was found not guilty on all six counts in 2012.

Bartolo Colon: Oakland A’s pitcher tested positive for synthetic testosterone and was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 23, 2012. Colon accepted responsibility and did not appeal. Named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012.

Jack Cust: Oakland A’s outfielder is tied to steroids from a conversation with teammate Larry Bigbie in the minors in 2003, according to the Mitchell Report. Bigbie acknowledged that Cust said he had tried steroids.

Nelson Cruz: Texas Rangers outfielder was named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012 and was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 5, 2013.

Faustino de Los Santos: Pitcher was named on a client list by accused PED doctor Tony Bosch in 2012 and was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 5, 2013.

Brendan Donnelly: Free agent reliever played for Boston in 2007 and was an All-Star for the Angels in 2003. According to the Mitchell Report, he was linked to Radomski as a customer for steroids in 2004. Also named in a Red Sox internal e-mail discussing concerns that Donnelly was using performance-enhancing substances.

Chris Donnels: Played from 1991-02 with the Mets, Astros, Red Sox, Dodgers and Diamondbacks. Linked to Radomski in the Mitchell Report. He produced eight canceled checks and money orders for HGH and steroids.

Lenny Dykstra: Played from 1985-96. In the Mitchell Report, he was linked to Radomski, who said he provided Dykstra with steroids after the 1993 season. Radomski said Dykstra admitted to taking steroids in 1989.

Bobby Estalella: Catcher played from 1996-2004. Reported by San Francisco Chronicle as testifying in the BALCO case, and reportedly told the grand jury he took HGH and undetectable BALCO drugs, provided by Greg Anderson.

Matt Franco: Infielder played from 1995-2003 with the Mets, Cubs and Braves. Radomski said he sold Franco steroids in 2000. Franco denies ever talking or meeting Radomski.

Ryan Franklin: Cardinals reliever was suspended for 10 days in 2005 for violating the steroids policy while pitching for Seattle. Linked to Radomski in the Mitchell Report, which said he purchased Anavar and Deca-Durabolin.

Eric Gagne: Retired closer was linked to Radomski as a purchaser of human growth hormone.

Freddy Galvis: Philadelphia Phillies infielder was suspended for 50 games in 2012 for a positive test for Colstebol, a banned substance.

Jason Giambi: The 2000 AL MVP testified to the BALCO grand jury that he used steroids obtained from Anderson and also used HGH, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Was interviewed in the Mitchell investigation and said he began using steroids in 2001 and used “the cream” and “the clear” in 2002.

Jeremy Giambi: The younger brother of Jason Giambi, who played from 1998-2003, testified to the BALCO grand jury and was quoted by the Kansas City Star in 2005 as admitting to taking steroids. Jose Guillen: Kansas City Royals outfielder was suspended for 15 games for a violation of baseball’s drug program in 2007. He was linked to an HGH purchase by a San Francisco Chronicle report.

Jay Gibbons: Baltimore Orioles outfielder was suspended for 15 games in 2007. SI.com reported that Gibbons received HGH and testosterone from a Florida clinic.

Boys and girls could it be that the turnstiles and cash registers were humming so loud that a few power brokers in MLB turned a blind eye and deaf ear to many alleged violations just because the noise of the profit margins cast a light too bright for them to see and emitted sounds that deafened the listeners?”

There seems to be a pattern here.

Could it be that as long as violators aren’t exposed deliberately trying to hit other players or even ingesting illegal substances; could the lesser crime be not whether or not that the act is committed?

Could the genuine violation be just getting caught?

Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412.583.6741 Follow him on Twitter: @ultrascribe

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