Results tagged ‘ steroids ’

Mets Mutilate Moyer

Jamie Moyer has historically not done well against the Mets; today, however, was a total massacre.  I’m talkin’ a George Romero, Stephen King, Wes Craven-type massacre.  Call it the “Nightmare on 126th Street.”  krueger baseball.jpgPulled after only 2 1/3 innings, Moyer gave up 7 earned runs on 7 hits, 3 of which were home runs.  And in the new Citi Field, home runs are hard to come by.  But the Mets looked like they were taking batting practice off Moyer as balls flew over the high outfield wall.  Apparently, Moyer did not attend the Charlie Manuel Spanish Inquisition.

So JA Happ took over for Moyer and totally shut the Mets down.  Oh yeah, tell me again WHY Happ is not a starter?  Please excuse the sarcasm ;O)  Happ racked up 3 2/3 innings, not allowing any runs.  A job well done!  Could the offense come back to reward Happ for his effort?  Ummmmm…no.   :o{

Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to 16 games today, but the offense was mostly quiet again.  Ryan Howard hit a home run in the 4th that went about 420 feet, which was nice, but then the team went silent once more.  Jayson Werth woke everyone up in the 8th with a 2-run bomb; it was his 4th hit of the night and brought the Phillies closer, then trailing the Mets 7-5.  In his perfect night, Werth was 4 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.  The score held into the 9th inning but Pedro Feliz stepped to the plate and flied out on the 1st pitch.  The 1st pitch!  UGH!  Feliz swings at the 1st pitch probably about 80% of the time – pitchers know this.  Can someone give him a clue, please!  So then Miguel Cairo grounded out, Matt Stairs walked and Jimmy Rollins popped out to end the game.

If the offense could have pulled out a few runs last night, they would have won that game.  But tonight, when Moyer puts them in a 7-1 hole, they finally score, but not enough to overcome the deficit.  This short 2-game series was a real disappointment and another blown opportunity against a division foe.

Manny Being…A Moron?

So, I do not want to dwell on this.  Frankly, I am sick of the whole steroid issue.  Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50-games for taking the female fertility drug, human chorionic gonadatropin.  Ramirez says it was prescribed by a doctor for an undisclosed medical condition.  Well folks, the only reason a doctor would prescribe this drug to a man, would be to treat a lack of testosterone.  And what is the #1 reason among athletes for a lack of testosterone?  Steroid use.  So, enough said on that topic, although I would be curious to see if Ramirez can produce an actual prescription slip.

The Big Apple Has Gone Big-Time Nuts

Today, I logged on to the New York Yankees site to see about getting a ticket to the Phillies series at the new stadium.  I have been anxious to see the stadium; the Yankees are my “other” team so I was really hoping to get a look at what would someday be my dream World Series match-up as well.  However, I was shocked, appalled and utterly disgusted by what I found.  A basic seat beyond row 5, behind home plate in Citizens Bank Park in Philly costs $80.  It is the second most expensive seat in the ballpark.  The exact same seating location at the new Yankee Stadium is $900.  No, this is NOT a mistype – $900 dollars.  That is more than 11 times more expensive!  So, just for kicks, I looked up the same seat at the Mets new Citi Field: $695.  Holy Crap!

Ok, it gets better…the Handicapped seating in Yankee stadium: $375.  Wow!  Talk about raping the disabled.  How about the limited view seating?  toadily-insane.jpgMind you – you cannot see the whole field – $125.  OMG.  The bleacher seats, which are FAR away in centerfield, in CBP are $18.  Same seat for the Yankees: $125.  The Mets – $70.  And the most expensive seat in Yankee stadium – $2,625.  For ONE ticket!  STOP the insanity!  Oh, and by the way, these prices are actually reduced from what they were charging at the beginning of the season…no one was showing up to games, so the Yankees lowered the prices.  These are the NEW prices I have given you.

Seriously, where do these money-hungry, greedy, morally-defunct people get off charging these prices?  Is the state of New York on some higher plane of existence than the rest of the world?  And you know how I hate to cuss, but, WTF!  I am actually ANGRY over this right now.  Because now, unless I hit the lottery or some rich person takes pity on me, I may NEVER see the inside of new Yankee stadium!  And frankly, that is SO unfair to the millions of fans all over who just cannot afford these ridiculous prices.  Please join me in a collective, “ARRRRGGGHHHH!”

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As The Ankle Turns

The soap opera that is the Curse of Cole Hamels continues…  First, he hurts his left elbow in Spring Training and misses his Opening Day start; then in his last start, he gets hit in his pitching shoulder (left arm) with a line drive; and yesterday, he turns his left ankle while fielding a bunt that he knew ahead of time was going to be coming.  The batter turned and squared to bunt before Hamels threw a pitch.  So, is this man made of glass or is he just cursed on the left side of his body?  Will he ever finish a game in 2009?  Maybe we should cover him up in bubble wrap and then seal him in a hermetic chamber.  Just a thought…Hamels ankle.jpg

Cole tossed one warm-up pitch after the turned ankle and then, in obvious frustration, he tossed the ball at manager Charlie Manuel and walked off the field in dramatic fashion.  Cue the cheesy soap opera music…  The good news is, the MRI’s were negative and it appears to be only a sprain.  Hamels told the media he expects to be ready for his next start, but that remains to be seen.  After being very disappointed last year when he did not make the All-Star team, it looks like this year will be no different after this roller coaster start to the season.

The real shame of it all is that Hamels was off to a great start in these last few outings, only to be pulled due to injury.  Last night, he had only given up 4 hits and not surrendered a run before leaving in the 5th with only 1 out recorded.  Chad Durbin came in to take over for Hamels though and pitched a superb 3 2/3 innings of 1-run ball.  That run, an Adam Dunn solo shot, was the only hit recorded off Durbin.  Kudos to Durbin for saving the day!  What an effort to pick up his teammate!

Also doing a lot of the heavy lifting last night was Chase Utley; Utley took his revenge on John Lannan, the same pitcher who broke his hand 2 years ago.  In the 3rd, Utley took Lannan deep for a 2-run shot and then completed the humiliation with a solo shot in the 5th.  That’s what you get for breaking this super-star’s hand!

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Pedro Feliz hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd, continuing his hot streak.  Feliz is now batting .333.  And Raul Ibanez is relentless in his pursuit to call Philly his new home, blasting a solo home run in the 8th.  Ibanez and Utley are now tied for first place in home runs in the majors with Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez; all four players have 7 homers.

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Congrats also to Jimmy Rollins who finally recorded his first stolen base of the season last night!  J-Roll was 1 for 4 at the plate and seems to be in the midst of waking up offensively and getting his batting average out of the gutter; it currently stands at .195, which should change very soon.

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And now on to our Fan of the Game:  This is Buddy from Philadelphia and he is a big Phillies fan.  Buddy was especially high on Raul Ibanez, as I heard chants of “Pat who?” echo throughout the outfield.  Well, we do still miss Pat Burrell, but Ibanez has left no doubt that not only will that role be filled, but he will give us a more consistent bat and so far, great defense as well.  Let’s hear it for RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!

I have posted a Photo Album from the game; these will be a bit different than what you usually see from me as I had a seat in straight away centerfield at the top of the section last night.  A different, and much more distant, perspective for sure.

Romero Sues

JC Romero is suing the company of the supplement he took that was tainted with an unlisted ingredient which caused him to test positive for steroids and resulted in a ridiculous 50-game suspension.  He is also suing the manufacturer and one of the people named in the law suit is Patrick Arnold, a chemist who has already spent time in jail after the BALCO scandal.  Just a few things to note here: Supplements are not regulated by the government and therefore, even if MLB approves of a supplement, it can still cause a player to test positive if it has been tainted in the manufacturing process.  Romero did get an ok from the MLBPA to take the supplement, but did not call some 800# to check again, and so MLB decided he was negligent.  He got the same suspension as would a person who actually took steroids.  Disgusting.

I have been thinking this over for the last few days now and trying to put those thoughts into words.  This has been an emotional ride for JC, his family, his teammates, and his fans.  As for myself, I know personally what an honest and forthright human being JC is and can tell you that not only is he innocent, but he is a victim here.  I hope he takes these people for all that they have and that this sets a precedent for other players who may be victimized by this system.  MLB needs to revisit their policies and create a fair regulation process.

There have been some questions about why Romero is not suing MLB.  What may not be widely known is that when he first tested positive, he was offered a reduced suspension, 25 games to begin immediately, if he agreed to waive his rights to an appeal.  However, he would have missed out on playing in the World Series if he took the deal.  Not wanting to let down his team and knowing he was innocent, he turned down the deal and chose his TEAM over his own personal well-being.  He knew that if he lost the appeal, he would get the 50 game suspension and lose out on more than a million dollars in salary.  And still, Romero did the right thing and should be commended for that.  This is a man who always does the right thing and yet, MLB punished him for it.  The reason he is not suing MLB is probably because as another term of going to appeal, he most likely had to waive his rights to future litigation.  A very sad an unfortunate set of circumstance; so again, I hope he slaughters these companies in court.

Next Up

So the Phillies will work on their 2nd straight sweep tonight, trying to beat the Nationals again starting at 7:05pm.  While you are watching the game, log on to VOTE for your All-Stars!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.  Get the Phillies to St. Louis!!  And as always, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Geoff Jenkins Released; 5th Starter Determined

P2242975 Jenkins.jpg

In a surprise move, the Phillies released Geoff Jenkins today, content with eating the over 8 million dollars they owe him.  The Phillies are trying to find another right handed bat to balance out the line-up and Jenkins is a lefty, so he does not fit into the plan for 2009.  However, picking up Jenkins to begin with was not a great move, which I stated way back when that happened.  His numbers were steadily declining with his age and the Phillies more than overpaid for him.  What I did like about Jenkins though throughout 2008 was his personality, his work ethic and they way he fit into a tight knit clubhouse.  Jenkins is a super nice guy with a great sense of humor.  He will be missed.  I have a few photos of Jenkins for you throughout this piece to remember him by.

And now on with my rant; Todd Zolecki has reported that the Phillies may now be interested in Gary Sheffield who was just released by the Detroit Tigers.  Let me state for the record that as much as I opposed picking up Jenkins in 2008, I am even more convinced that Sheffield is a far worse idea. 

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I’d rather have 2 Jenkins’ than one Sheffield.  And here are the numerous reasons why:

In 2 years with the Tigers, Sheffield played in a TOTAL of 18 games in the field.  Yes, 18 out of like 324 games; he served as the team’s DH.  Therefore, at 40 years of age, it is obvious Sheffield can no longer field.  Not to mention Sheffield himself said publicly that he wanted to go to the Rays, an America League team.  Apparently, he knows he can no longer play outfield and thus, prefers the DH role.  So, if the Phillies pick up Sheffield, are we then saying we believe Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, who have been injury prone in the past, will stay healthy ALL year long?  Not to mention Raul Ibanez, who is 36 year old.  Someone please hire us a Geriatric Nurse, quick!

So you say Sheffield can hit?  Sure, 20 years in the majors and he stands at 499 home runs.  Great.  But his numbers in the last 2 years, as he has gotten older, have declined.  He hit .265 in 494 at-bats in 2007 and then hit .225 in 418 at-bats in 2008.  You cannot say he did not get his AB’s, because as the regular DH, he did.  How can the Phillies, or any other team, expect improvement if he gets to hit off the bench only once every 2-3 games?

And then there is my favorite issue: personality.  Sheffield is the same guy who picked fights with Joe Torre and Derek Jeter of the Yankees; two of the MOST respected guys in baseball.  He called Torre a racist and then turned around and said Jeter  “ain’t all the way black.”  Hypocritical, if you ask me.  Not to mention, Joe Torre is one of the best managers in the game and wouldn’t hurt a fly. 

Not convinced yet?  How about the steroid allegations?  Sheffield admitted to using steroids, P2232711 Jenkins.jpgexcept that he says he did not know they were steroids.  How many times have we heard players say that now? 

Do you believe it?  Read the article here about Sheffield’s issues, and former relationship with Barry Bonds, and judge for yourself.  And even if the man is innocent, do the Phillies really need that kind of distraction in their clubhouse?  Again, I’d rather have 2 Jenkins than one Sheffield.

I do hope my rant has been a waste of time and that the Phillies do not go anywhere near the problem child, Sheffield.  But as in life and baseball, stranger things have happened.  Crossing my fingers and toes that this will NOT be the case here…

UPDATE:  The Phillies have contacted Sheffield’s agent.  UGH!  No word yet on what will happen next.

Also, in a day filled with weird news, the Phillies also just announced that Chan Ho Park has won the 5th starters spot!  JA Happ’s future is uncertain except that he, Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach will now compete for 2 bullpen spots.

 

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Sounding Off For JC Romero

With JC Romero’s impending 50 game suspension, Bud Selig came out yesterday and said absolutely nothing about it.  What he did say was how he’d like to be remembered as the guy who tried to clean up baseball and talked about how the criticism affects him.  In an article on MLB.com, Selig was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to hear the Commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn’t care about it,” Selig said in a telephone interview with Wallace Matthews of Newsday. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I’m sensitive to the criticism. The reason I’m so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we’ve come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible.”  Selig also said that he would “would have to think” about suspending Alex Rodriguez, who admits to steroid use from 2001-2003.

He is going to “think” about it?  Romero.jpgIt is my impression that Mr. Selig “thinks” about very little these days, except for saving face on his part.  As for his sensitivity to criticism, perhaps he should channel that emotion into something more positive?  Say, doing the right thing instead of crucifying a man who has done nothing wrong for fear of looking soft?

The only thing JC Romero is guilty of is not dialing some vague 800# to triple and quadruple check on the supplement he took.  After Romero’s suspension, the drug company came out and apologized, saying the supplement would cause a false positive for steroids.  Then, a few days later, the FBI shut that company down for illegal practices.  Not to mention that the MLB Players union told Romero it was ok to purchase supplements, such as the one he took, at GNC.  He had multiple people check the label and all agreed nothing in it was a banned substance.

A 50 game suspension is the same punishment that would be given to an actual cheater;  someone like Alex Rodriguez, who DID take a banned substance.  And yet, Romero gets 50 games while Selig has to “think” about whether to suspend A-Rod?  Mr. Selig’s moral compass has clearly gone astray.

Not only does this hurt the Phillies as a team, but that is really the least of the issues.  What about Romero’s reputation and good standing in the community?  What about his family and friends?  What about the fans who support him?  Mr. Selig seems to take a stance of ‘screw them all, I will do whatever I want.’  Who is Selig accountable to?  Can the fans protest and have HIM suspended?  Why are some men held above the law of the land and others must pay for someone else’s mistakes?

Bud Selig has one chance to redeem himself and gain the credibility he so obviously desires; reduce the suspension on Romero.  Do the right thing.  Someone once told me that it was not hard to do the right thing; knowing what the right thing is becomes the actual challenge.  Once you know, it is easy to do what is right.  Mr. Selig:  You know.

 

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Steroids: Look On The Bright Side

Before I get to the steroids fun, just a quick update on Chase Utley’s hip surgery recovery; Comcast Sportsnet reported that Utley began fielding grounders and doing some light running in Clearwater yesterday.  This means he is ahead of the projected recovery schedule and could be ready for Opening Day.  I will be in Clearwater in only 8 days and will continue updating his progress for you from there.

And now for some fun!  In this very sad and depressing time with roid rage running rampant, I felt some good cheer was in order.  Watch and listen:

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Funny Money / Steroids Discussion

Funny Money

The Phillies 2009 payroll has skyrocketed after a 2008 World Championship has them flying high.  With about $104 million dollars last year to play with, 2009 will bring an additional $27.5 million in, giving the Phillies around $131.5 million dollars.  This still pales in comparison to the $222.2 million of the Yankees in 2008 or the $143 million of the Mets, but for a team that has won its first championship in 28 years, it is not too shabby.

This kind of play money, however, brings a new level of pressure to the team to contend again in 2009.  Failing to do so would be a disaster of extreme monetary proportions.  New GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has done an excellent job so far in the off-season signing players, but he still has a hole to fill in the bullpen with JC Romero’s bogus 50-game suspension and this team is in desperate need of a right-handed bat.  He’s got the cash, now where are the players?

In addition to filling team needs, I personally hope Amaro will add some new fan-friendly features to the ballpark.  My wish list includes a play area for “big” kids, including the old “Dress Yourself as the Phanatic” area they used to have at the Vet; a water slide – it is always raining in Philly anyway; and of course, I’d like to see batting practice held outside before every game, especially Sunday’s!  If they are going to bleed the fans dry by hiking prices, they can at least entertain those of us who religiously show up to the ballpark when the gates open.  The last few years, BP has been seen less and less.  I have had better luck at away games. 

Ok, so the water slide is asking a bit much, but batting practice is FREE.  And how about getting these guys out on the field to sign some autographs before the game?  I mean, aside from Jamie Moyer.  Again, also FREE and makes the fans very happy.  And with all this money saved, Amaro can now afford that “Rent Your Favorite Player for the Day” program I have been waiting on for a decade now.  I get first dibs and I call Chase Utley :O)  Sorry ladies, my idea, my choice.

A-Rod Discussion

I have spent days thinking about this whole steroid issue and have mixed feelings on the subject, as many of us do.  Of course, I do not condone drug use of any kind and really believe this abuse has not only done individual harm to the players, but has irrevocably damaged the reputation of America’s favorite pastime. 
P3014206 A-Rod.jpgMany fans have been alienated as accusations of cheating attached to the biggest names in sports have been steadily spit out into the open.

On the point of Alex Rodriquez, I am angered, frustrated and sympathetic all at the same time.  The anger and frustration are obvious.  The sympathy?  First, why is he being singled out?  Where are the other 103 names?  And then, let’s go back to 2003: Steroid use in baseball was NOT illegal at this time.  And the tests that have given us this phantom list of 104 players were voluntary and supposed to be confidential with the results getting destroyed afterwards.  This was a poll of players just to see what substances were being used and with what frequency.  It was to assist in the development of a proper drug program.  Again, I stress the word “voluntary.”  Who in their right mind would volunteer for a drug test, knowing they may test positive, if they truly thought they had done anything wrong?  Knowing they were not, at the time, breaking the rules that MLB had set forth, they did not shy away from the request.  For this reason, I do feel a bit sorry for players on this list.

Everyone makes mistakes; some bigger than others.  As fellow human beings, are we really in position to judge?  Is your house clean as a whistle?  Take a cue from our friend at Rays Renegade; he courageously admits to making the same mistake with performance enhancing substances.  He quickly realized the error in judgment and turned his life around.  He should be commended.  Has A-Rod turned the same corner?  He has admitted his wrong-doing and feels regret.  I think we should cut him at least a little slack.  Remove those 3 years from his stats when it comes time for Hall of Fame judging, if you feel you need to, and move on.

Maybe it is because I work with disabled children on a daily basis that I feel the need to forgive more easily; I see the challenges they face every day.  Maybe I am just a hippie child who missed the 60’s.  I cannot be sure, buy my heart is heavy right now and I do not have the strength to persecute anyone.  Except maybe, Bud Selig; Mr. Selig has made a three-ring circus out of all this and failed, starting earlier on in his tenure to secure a solid drug prevention and awareness program.  Education is paramount, especially with young players under tremendous pressure to succeed.  MLB and Mr. Selig flat out failed; they have not gotten the job done and players and fans around the world are paying the price.

Yes, we are all responsible for our own actions.  And yes, I am deeply angered and also feel betrayed by the actions of the 104 players on this list.  In my eyes, they cheated.  But their cheating was born of a lack of education, lack of management, pressure to win and just plain stupidity.  It makes it no less wrong, and it does not take away the fact that their reputations will be tarnished forever; but let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

 

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Roid Rage

I don’t know about all of you, but this latest MLB steroid leak has got me in a RAGE!  I totally feel like throwing a Snow Globe at Bug Selig.  Need some inspiration…

I think Christian Bale must have gotten the news before all of us, because as you will hear, he was more outraged that anyone.  Talk about having a bad day (WARNING: The F-Bomb is about to fly…):

104 MLB Players tested positive for steroids back in 2003 during what was supposed to be a confidential survey.  So what happens now?  Some freak decides to leak possibly the biggest name in baseball; Yankee’s Alex Rodriguez.  I am sick to my stomach with this news.  And on top of that, now will all have to sit here Thumbnail image for screaming2.jpgand wait for the other 103 names to be announced.  It is a sad, sad day in baseball. 

Everyone say it with me now:  Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh! (insert your own F-Bomb here)

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Phillies Cruise Update #2

It’s Jenn again, reporting live from the middle of the ocean!  Lots to talk about again today…more Victorino sightings; Phanatic fun; and some sad, depressing news…  I’ll leave the bummer for the end.

So yesterday I was chillin’ (or technically baking) in the on-board Spa Therapy Pool, reserved only for Spa guests and guess who stepped into the pool?  Shane Victorino.  Hee, hee :O)  More fun for me!  Well, I did not say much to him as I know this was a place of relaxation….just asked how his cruise was going.  He said he was having a good time and asked me how I was doing and what I had been up to.  I told him about scuba diving in Turks and all the pretty fishies :O)  Aaron Rowand look-alike dude was in the pool too.  He talked to Shane for quite a while….I left and headed for the headed marble relaxation chairs and Shane joined me a few minutes later.  Oh, sorry no photos…I generally don’t carry a camera into the pool or around the Spa with me :O)  Anyway, that was fun!

Today we got to “Meet The Phanatic.”  He toured the room, harassing people, messing with the kids, re-doing people’s hair, etc…  Ya know, the usual.  Very funny stuff…then everyone had a photo with him.P1079928 Phanatic edit.jpg  Later we have a photo session with all the players, past & present and then a Q&A Session with Tom, friend of the Phanatic and a few others.  I will try to video tape the Q&A and post that when I return.  I will also have a full photo album to post when we get back so everyone can see what went on.

And now for the not so fun news…this morning, everyone on the ship received a copy of an abbreviated version of the New York Times, like we do every morning.  However, this one was special as the back page contained an article on how JC Romero failed a drug test on 8/26 and appealed it so he could play in the Playoffs.  JC was advised he lost the suspension on 9/23 and will be suspended for the first 50 games of the season.  Supposedly, it was the same anabolic steroid that Mark McGuire used.  (although personally, I think the whole thing is BS).  Now, Major League Baseball has known about this for more than 3 months now.  Why exactly would they wait to release the information TODAY, when they know JC is away on a cruise with 200 Phillies fans and cannot defend himself or respond in any way?  MLB has just ruined all of our vacations.  Within 1 hour of the article being distributed I had a guy on the elevator ask me if the Championship was legitimate.  And I gather this will be the tune of the cruise from here on…nothing but harassment from the non-Phillies fans.  And poor JC and his wife.  Will they even come out of their cabin now?  How humiliating for MLB to do this to him in such a public way.  Yes, it would have been public anyway, but NOT like this where he is trapped on boat of 2,000 jerks, like the guy on the elevator, and cannot escape.  And we fans who paid extra money for this event may now be deprived of speaking to JC as a result.  I don’t know if he will be in the Q&A.  I will let you know.  I am disgusted by this on a number of levels.  I do not condone drug use of course (but like I said, I don’t believe it), however, the way MLB handled it is despicable.  MLB had to know exactly where Romero is right now, as they MUST inform a player before going public.  Therefore, they would have attempted to contact him, so they knew full well what they were doing.  Every one of those involved should be ashamed.

I could go on about this for hours, but it is just too depressing.  I will try to post again soon to let you know what happens next.  I hope everyone at home is doing well and I will talk to you soon!

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