Getting Ready – As we approach the post season, the Cardinals have started playing better baseball over the last week or so. They are also getting healthy with Jaime Garcia on the way back and Furcal getting over his bad back. In the meantime, Molina missed two games in the Diamondback series due to middle back soreness but, hopefully, he’ll be ready for the coming Pittsburgh series starting Friday night. Unless something unforeseen happens, Garcia will be back pitching Sunday and Joe Kelly will be moved to the bullpen. Not sure who will be sent back to Memphis but, I’m betting on Trevor Rosenthal, who was recently called up when Brian Fuentes was put on the restricted list. More on that later, but the St. Louis Cardinals did lose a valuable player for the rest of the season in Memphis. Matt Adams had season ending surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs. He was most certainly going to be one of the September call-ups.
Fuentes Gone – Recently acquired, Brian Fuentes was barely used but, did well when he did pitch in relief. However, he recently left the team and put on the restricted list. He told the front office he needed to step away from baseball and deal with a personal situation. All indications from those who spoke with him is that he won’t pitch again this season.
NL Central Champs or Wild Card – Well since last week, the Cardinals have done better. But, losing the series to Philadelphia was a series they should have and could have won. But, the Cincinnati Reds have stumbled and I’m certain they will not continue their current winning ways. The Cardinals will go a long way in helping themselves if they can sweep the struggling Pirates in a series starting Friday. They are currently 9-6 for the month of August. With their current schedule and the way they are currently playing, they need to win 20 games this month to stay in the hunt for the NL Central crown. They are currently tied for a wild card spot. As a member of Cardinal Nation, I want more.
Is PED use rampant in baseball – If you believe former BALCO founder, Victor Conte, up to half of the player in MLB use Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) of some type. Call me naïve but, I find that percentage a bit high. Obviously, players are still using PEDs and in my humble opinion, you have to be very stupid or very arrogant to use in light of the testing by major league baseball. But after reading the actual policy, it’s really pretty weak. For example, there is no “random” testing during the season. This is confusing to me since Melky Cabrera was suspended just this past week. Maybe they had reason to test him which in that case, wouldn’t be random. Also, the players’ union has agreed to testing up to 375 players but, MLB only test 50-60 players on average since 2006, when the policy was put in place. Also, according to Conte, the test currently in use, allows a certain threshold to be in the player’s body without causing a positive reading. Apparently, this isn’t the same test used for Olympic players. So, if baseball is going to get serious and really stop the use of PEDs, they should have random testing, test more than 50-60 players and punish the team somehow as well as the player. Until this happens, I’m afraid we will always have players trying to get an edge with PEDs. As a fan, I don’t suspect every player; I take baseball for what it is. A sport I enjoy and realize that every sport will have individuals that will try to gain an advantage and improve their performance by whatever means necessary. It isn’t right and it shouldn’t be tolerated but, it will continue to happen until baseball does a better job in enforcing the drug policy.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards!