Yesterday, Dave O’Brien posted a (since deleted, but saved by Wendy Thurm here) tweet in which he accused Brady Anderson of using steroids. While Bill is going to have more shortly about why those accusations don’t even make sense, TCM wanted to take a moment to remind everyone how reprehensible those accusations are.
O’Brien, without evidence or quotes or support of any kind is calling Brady Anderson a cheater. He’s saying that Anderson’s incredible 50 homer season in 1996 was not one of the great flukes in baseball history, but one of the great frauds. He’s taking Anderson and his accomplishment, and pissing on them in the middle of the diamond while 34,000 followers who trust him for baseball news and analysis look on. And some of those people will read O’Brien’s tweet and take it as gospel, despite the fact that O’Brien has nothing to back up his claims.
After The Common Man noted O’Brien’s despicableness (and, of course, asking why there is no evidence that O’Brien isn’t a plagiarist), Dave shot a tweet back at TCM that read:
— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) August 16, 2012
@commnman I read your angry retorts and shake my head over how much heat the media took for not writing about steroid rumors all those years
So, there were rumors, O’Brien alleges. If there were rumors, why hasn’t anyone ever presented a credible case against Anderson?
There are two possibilities. One is that Anderson simply didn’t use “PE”Ds, and there is no evidence. That would make O’Brien guilty of slander. The other possibility is that 15 years ago, nobody looked into and reported on these rumors to determine if there was anything to them. As such, we have no idea if Brady used PEDs like hundreds of other Major Leaguers (and we must allow for the possibility that he very well may not have).
It’s undeniable that the baseball writing profession completely and utterly failed to do anything to interrupt the fireworks show because chicks dig the long ball. And given that, O’Brien and his ilk are complicit. To go back now and hurtle unsubstantiated rumors at a man who hasn’t suited up for a game in 10 years allows O’Brien and other reporters to enjoy the fruits of the era they supported and to tear it down now that it’s no longer popular.
Sorry, Dave, you don’t get to have it both ways. If you didn’t do the work to substantiate those rumors in 1996, you don’t get to drop them like they’re fact today. Nobody says you shouldn’t write about steroids. In fact, you should. You should be encouraged to dig and to dig and to write about them as much as you want and to root them out of the game. Go for it. But if you’re going to publicly accuse or suspect a player of using, you simply need to have some damn evidence on the record. But rumor mongering is not journalism, it’s the same bullshit we get from reading the headlines of the National Enquirer and Star Magazine. And if that’s what you want to do, go hide in the bushes and snap pictures of Brad and Angelina and Jennifer and whatever her new fiancée’s name is. And leave Brady Anderson alone.
Pitcher of the Night: Kris Medlin, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 R
Four starts, 25.2 innings, 4 BB, 22 K, 3 runs. It's pretty clear that this kid has earned his place in the postseason rotation isn't it? Now he just has to help get them to that postseason.
Hitter of the Night: Chipper Jones, 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Chipper not only hit these two absolute bombs, but he made this fine defensive play. Not bad for an old man. He's now hitting .315/.391/.519, which is the 9th highest OPS by a 40 year old in baseball history, behind only Ted Williams, Barry Bonds (twice), stan Musial, Ty Cobb, Harold Baines, and Moises Alou. It's also the 6th best OPS+, behind only Williams, Bonds (twice), Willie Mays, and Edgar Martinez. That's some good company.
Play of the Night: Cameron Maybin
Jeez, look at how far Maybin has to go to get this one, from relatively deep center to shallow left-center. That kid's got some wheels.
Runner up: Paul Janish
Janish goes deep in the hole to pick and make just an incredible throw. A month ago, TCM mocked the Janish acquisition. Perhaps that was ill-advised.
2nd runner up: Adrian Beltre
Look at how easy Beltre makes this play appear. We don't have Brooks Robinson around today, but it's hard to imagine seeing a better defensive 3B. Beltre's just a wall. This, and the fact that he's a damn good offesnive player should be enough to get him in to the Hall of Fame, but we've been underestimating Beltre for almost a decade now, so that probably won't happen.
Injuries of Note:
Wilson Betemit, wrist
Betemit's injury means more of Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds, which will not be pretty. At least they have a good excuse to have Manny Machado up now, even as their road to the wild card just got much harder.
Rangers: David Murphy, 3-5, 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI
The rise of David Murphy (.300/.381/.475) this year has really just hit The Common Man. A lefty swinger with platoon issues, Murphy has only started three times against a left-handed starter this year, but has pummeled them this year in a very small sample. In fact his double last night was off Boone Logan. Still, don't be fooled. Murphy is the player Jaques Jones should have been, but that Ron Gardenhire never sat him against lefties, but who comes in and destroys right-handers.
Pirates: Garrett Jones, 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI, BB
As the Pirates pitchers have slumped, Garret Jones has been on a tear since the All Star Break, hitting
.315/.364/.611 with 7 homers in 118 plate appearances. Sooner or later, he'll revert back to the same low average, no walk slugger that has made him a mediocre starter for the Pirates for the last three seasons, so the Bucs better get their pitching in order by then.
White Sox: Francisco Liriano, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 R
Mets: Matt Harvey, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 R, 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI
Harvey delivers his fourth strong start in five tries, and also got in on the fun with a two-run double of his own. He now has three hits in eight at bats, two of them doubles. He sported a .467 slugging percentage at Buffalo, so maybe that's a real thing for him.
A's: Dan Straily, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 R
Straily's the kid you heard about whose offspeed stuff improved about three levels in the span of this season and went from non-prospect to probable mid-rotation starter. It's a fun story, and hopefully he's got a long career ahead of him. What? Don't look like that. TCM doesn't always have to be snarky.
Brewers: Ryan Braun, 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB
Braun halts the Milwaukee death spiral for one day and helps proves that Cliff Lee just doesn't know how to win anymore.
Cardinals: Kyle Lohse, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 0 R
When Kyle Lohse left the Minnesota Twins in the middle of 2006, he had a 7.07 ERA and had been demoted to the bullpen. The Twins were fed up and giving him the Kevin Slowey/Francisco Liriano treatment. Since then, he's been a league aveage pitcher, and he's smack dab in the middle of his best season yet (12-2, 2.61 ERA, 150 ERA+). In other news, the world is going to miss Dave Duncan.
Rockies: Adam Ottavino, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 R
Duncan, for instance, probably could have done great work with Ottavino, who was released by the Cardinals after Spring Training and has turned into Colorado's go-to guy after the starter burns through his 75 pitches. In 53.1 innings, he has 56 strikeouts and a 4.05 ERA (117 ERA+). In August, he's been used in 5 games, has never pitched less than two innings, and has given up just 2 runs in 13 innings.
Rays: David Price, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K, 0 R
Klaw and Karabell talked about this on the Baseball Today podcast yesterday, but why not Price for AL Cy Young? He leads the league in wins (who cares?), 2nd in ERA, 5th in innings pitched and in strikeouts. He also leads the AL in xFIP. He probably hasn't quite pitched as well as Verlander to date, but has pitched three more starts and 24 more innings than Jered Weaver and 17 IP more than Chris Sale.
Blue Jays: Moises Sierra, 1-3, HR, 2 RBI
The Common Man won't lie, he saw Sierra's last name in the box score and wondered if Ruben was making a comeback again. Nope, the unrelated Moises is hitting .359/.375/.538 in 39 PAs though.