Only Baseball Matters
…. Odds & Ends

Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheehan has two things to say in his latest article, both of which state my position better than I did. This is Premium content, so I’ll only lift a taste, but it’s worth it, and Joe has allowed me to share some PC with you in the past:

…. Just based on the real evidence at hand—not “he looked like…” stuff, or the absolute joke that the treatment of Mark McGwire has become, but the data from the four years of testing—the steroid problem in MLB appears to have been overblown.

But when the names leak, as they inevitably will, a half-dozen or a dozen guys will have to answer for their actions of four years ago. A program in which players were promised anonymity in exchange for their willingness to help MLB find out the extent of its problem, will instead be used to embarrass the players who trusted the agreement reached in 2002.

…. San Francisco is probably a good fit for Zito, though. AT&T Park has a big outfield and is fairly good at suppressing home runs. I suspect that 2007 may not be that much fun for him, as the Giants don’t have a good defensive contingent covering that ground. Zito may only give up 20-25 homers, but allow 60 doubles and 15 triples along the way. Down the road, a younger, faster Giants outfield could make Zito a threat to push his ERA below 3.00, and I have to say that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him challenge for a Cy Young Award a couple of times during this deal.

I guess I’m not an idiot. ;-)

Many, many sportswriters have noted that the Giants overpaid for Zito, citing this deal as another Scott Boras coup. Well, yeah, but the Giants, having missed the postseason three straight years, had to overpay to get him.

Some of the backtalkers chided me for connecting the BALCO injustice angle to our government’s naked greed and ineptitude. It does seem to me that a McCarthy-esque bent exists today in part due to the shameless antics of the Republican leadership these last 6 years. Nevertheless, I stand corrected, in that my comments did make, at best, a tenuous connection betweem the two, one which did little to strengthen my point.

Thanks for the great backtalk, keep it up.

UPDATE: Over at the Sports Law Blog, there’s two posts (here’s a link to the second) regards the latest BALCO news, and a boatload of comments that are very much worth your time. Here’s a taste:

…. Violations of due process and Fourth Amendment privacy rights get me fired up fairly easily, and this case deals with the latter. Simply, by allowing investigators to use the initial warrant as a basis for gathering gobbs of incriminating information with respect to non-targeted individuals, the investigators, in effect, were able to use a generalized search warrant to obtain evidence without probable cause.

The court used the difficulty of retrieving and separating electronic data as an excuse to allow federal investigators full discretion to not only retrieve private and confidential information about thousands of individuals that are not even the subject of the warrant and for which there is no probable cause, but to also determine when there is “intermingling” such that an on-site search would be impracticable. This puts way too much discretion in the hands of federal investigators. Even further, the court didn’t place any limitations on the government’s use of incriminating evidence obtained with respect to non-targeted individuals.


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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