Rants

Why Was Wilmer Flores On The Field?

At this point, it’s almost become rote. The Mets have a lead late in the game, and Terry Collins inserts Juan Lagares into the game as a defensive replacement. 

The move makes a lot of sense. Not only is Lagares a Gold Glover in centerfield, but the Mets also lack another true defensive center fielder.  Another thing the Mets lack is a true defensive third baseman. 

With David Wright‘s injury problems, the Mets have been forced to play players out of position. The results have been poor. The Mets collection of third baseman have a -1 DRS and -2.7 UZR which rank 20th and 27th in the majors respectively. 

The main culprits there are Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores. Reyes has a career -8 DRS and -4.5 UZR at third base. Flores has a career -10 DRS and -1.9 UZR at third. Simply put, neither player is a third baseman. 

We all saw that on yesterday’s game. Flores doesn’t have good range at third, and he’s iffy with his throws. In the sixth, he spiked a throw to home plate when he had Christian Arroyo dead to rights. It took a good play by Kevin Plawecki to save him from the error and to record the out. 

There was no one to bail Flores out in the ninth.  In what could’ve been a game ending double play, Flores threw the ball offline. A Neil Walker stretch prevented the ball from going into right field, big it couldn’t get the force out at second.  As we know, this came back to haunt the Mets in a 6-5 loss. 

The obvious question that arises is why was Flores still on the field. The Mets had a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning. Their closer, Jeurys Familia, is a sinker ball pitcher who generates a number of ground outs. With that being the case, isn’t it incumbent on Collins to put his best defensive infield out there?  

Matt Reynolds, who is generally regarded as a good defensive infielder, was available on the bench. Certainly, he’s a better defender than Flores at third. Much better actually. Why wasn’t he in the game?  
Keep in mind, this was another game Collins over-managed. He used four relievers to pitch two innings. He went to the extreme on the matchups to the point where he removed his eighth inning reliever, Addison Reed, because a left-handed batter was coming to the plate. He did that despite Reed pitching extremely well against left-handed batters during his time with the Mets. 

If Collins is willing to empty his pen, why not his bench?  What’s the justifiable reason for keeping the better infielder on the bench with a sinker ball pitcher on the mound?  There is no good reason. 

Look, we can all agree that it’s the players in the field who win or lose games. Certainly, Flores helped lost this game with his error. Familia was the one who gave up the subsequent hits. However, ask yourself whether Collins put his team in the best position to succeed in the ninth inning. 

The answer to that needs to be a clear and unequivocal, “No.”  

Collins Bullpen Mismanagement 

The Mets were up 6-1 in the eighth inning against a San Francisco Giants offense that showed no life all game long.  This could be a function of the fact the Giants have scored the fewest amount of runs in the National League. In essence, with the Mets up by five runs, the game was over. 

Not according to Terry Collins. He managed the game like it was a one run game in the seventh game of the World Series. 

Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless seventh lowering his ERA to 1.47. With his being a reliever accustomed to pitching multiple innings, it was justifiable to send him out there to pitch the eighth. He opened the inning by hitting Justin Ruggiano
This led to Collins lifting him for Jerry Blevins. Even with the left-handed Joe Panik and Brandon Belt coming up, this was completely unnecessary. The Mets were up five runs. You don’t need to start playing matchups late in the game. This was a chance to rest Blevins who is on pace for 96 appearance. Furthermore, left-handed batters are 1-19 against Robles this year. 

This isn’t a one year fluke with Robles either. In his career, Robles has limited left-handed batters to a .164/.255/.304 batting line. That’s better than the .210/.262/.314 Blevins has allowed in his career. There’s no need to go to a lefty in that spot.

Once Blevins came in and did his job, there was no need to take him out. He needed just six pitches to get Panik and Belt out. He’s been much better against right-handed batters since joining the Mets. He very well could have pitched to Hunter Pence. Instead Collins went to Addison Reed

With Reed coming into the game, he’s now on pace to make 81 appearances. That would top his career high in appearances which he set last year. As if using Robles, Blevins, and Reed wasn’t enough, Jeurys Familia came in to close the ninth.

Collins did that despite Blevins, Reed, and Familia having pitched on Monday. He did this despite knowing  Tommy Milone was starting tomorrow. 

Milone was picked up off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. Milone was available because he had a 6.43 ERA in six games this season. In his three starts, he’s averaging under five innings per start. Chances are the Mets are going to need to heavily rely on their bullpen in a day game after a night game. 

Certainly, it’s too soon to pitch Paul Sewald after 3.1 innings on Sunday. To that end, he shouldn’t be available tomorrow. Fernando Salas needed a day off after pitching in seven of the last nine days. 

This is all the more reason you let Robles finish that eighth inning. Then with a five run lead the Mets can pitch Rafael Montero in the ninth inning now that he’s once again out of the rotation.  

Doing this keeps the key bullpen arms fresh for when the team really needs them. Instead, Collins burned the arms with a five run lead against the worst offensive team in the National League. This is how bullpens get burned out. This is why key bullpen arms aren’t as effective later in the season when they’re needed the most. 

Ground Rules: No Replay on Yadier Molina Double

After Seung-hwan Oh blew a save tying the game at 3-3, the Cardinals rallied to win with Yadier Molina hitting a walk off double scoring Matt Carpenter from first base. The only problem was the umpires got the call wrong. 

Molina’s ball bounced over the wall and hit the back wall. It should’ve been a ground rule double with Carpenter being sent back to first base, and Stephen Piscotty should have been at the plate with an opportunity to knock in the game winning run. However, that never happened.  The reason is that by the time Bryan Price determined he wanted to challenge the play, the umpires had already left the field. It should be noted the Cardinals did as well. 

As per Derrick Goold, the umpires advised they left the field because the Reds gave no indication within 10 seconds they had the intention of requesting a replay within the 30 second requirement. According to Major League Baseball Rule Replay Review Rule II. D. 1., the 10/30 replay rule does not apply to the last play of the game. In those situations, an immediate replay request is required. 

It does make sense that an immediate request is required because there is absolutely no reason why a manager would wait for word from the team’s replay officials. If you do not request a replay, you lose automatically. With that in mind, a team should want to request a replay immediately. 

Price didn’t mention why he failed to challenge it immediately in his post-game interview. Rather, he discussed how the loud noise prevented them from complying with the 10/30 rule. What is absolutely bizarre is that Price was willing to lose a game on a technicality because he needed to hear from his replay official. 

Even more bizarre and inexcusable was the umpires not knowing the replay review rules. 

The natural reaction is to call for the Reds to protest the game. Pursuant to the protest rules, the Reds have until noon tomorrow to protest as the basis for the protest was the last play of the game. Protests will only be upheld if: (1) the call had an adverse impact on the outcome of the game; and (2) the rules were misapplied. Another way of stating the second part of the rule is judgment decisions made by an umpire are not a sufficient basis to uphold a protest. 

Accordingly, a protest would not be upheld. First, the Reds did not challenge immediately. Second, whether a ball is deemed out of play or not is an umpire’s judgment. As such, by rule, the protest would not be upheld despite the call being patently wrong and it having a profound impact on the Wild Card race. 

With the Cardinals winning, the Mets magic number to clinch a Wild Card spot is still two, and the Giants have a one game lead over the Cardinals in the loss column pending the outcome of their game against the Rockies. 

It should be noted, the Cardinals still could’ve won this game, but the optics are very bad for baseball, especially with Umpire Bill Miller admitting after the game, the umpires got the call wrong. (C. Trent Rosecrans).  

The only solution going forward is baseball adopting an NFL style rule where all scoring plays and turnovers are automatically reviewed. From now on, baseball needs to implement a rule that all walk off runs need to go to replay immediately. It’s the only way to prevent something like this from happening again. 

Unfortunately, changing the rule won’t overturn the call in this game that may have far reaching ramifications in the Wild Card race. 

Henderson Pitching Shows Collins Learned Nothing from Santana

After Johan Santana threw 134 pitches on a surgery repaired shoulder to throw the first no-hitter in Mets history, Terry Collins was in tears. He seemed distraught. In the post-game press conference, Collins called Santana his “Hero,” and he was prescient in saying:

I’m very excited for him, but in five days, if his arm is bothering him, I’m not going to feel good. 

As we know, even though Santana would make 10 more starts, his career effectively ended that night. He would need another shoulder surgery in the offseason. Between that surgery and other injuries, Santana has never pitched in another big league game. 

When Collins was interviewed by Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated three years later, Collins expressed his remorse. He would say, “It was without a doubt, the worst night I’ve ever spent in baseball.”  Now, no one really knows what effect this game had on the need for Santana to have a second surgery. However, for his part, Collins thinks the no-hitter had a lot to do with it:

I was aware of what the wear and tear of that night could do to him, and basically, the worst-case scenario happened. To throw that amount of pitches with that much pressure and that much adrenaline going, it can beat you down. And it did. 

If Collins truly believes that, it makes what he did with Jim Henderson all the more indefensible. 

Henderson has come a long way to get here.  He’s had two shoulder surgeries himself. He fought against all odds to make the Mets Opening Day roster.  Not only did he make the roster, he quickly established himself as a very important part of the Mets bullpen. 

So far this year, Henderson has pitched in five of the eight games the Mets have played. On Tuesday, he threw 34 pitches, which was the most he’s ever thrown in one game. Wednesday was a day game. The Mets added Rafael Montero to the roster so the Mets would have a full bullpen for the game. With the score tied 0-0 in the seventh inning, Collins put Henderson in the game. 

Before Wednesday’s game, Henderson’s fastball averaged 95 MPH. On Wednesday, he was sitting around 89 MPH. He allowed a single and two hits before Collins pulled him from a game he shouldn’t have entered in the first place. Collins excuse?

It’s difficult to believe that Collins used this as a justification.  He says he is troubled by Santana’s no-hitter, and he thinks it had a profound impact on effectively ending his career.  Why would he willingly do the same thing again with another player?  Why would he go to Henderson when there were other, fresher options?  It doesn’t make sense.

It should be noted that Collins had a different tone in Wednesday’s press conference than Santana’s. Collins was fired up. There was no hint of him fearing for Henderson’s future. 

Collins thought this was a must-win game, but it’s a stretch to believe he would sacrifice a player’s health for it.  Collins said he was desperate, but there has to be a line. Collins might’ve wanted to respond to people questioning the Mets effort, but putting a player’s health and career in doubt, you prove nothing. 

At the end of the day, Terry Collins has shown he has learned nothing.  While we all understood him leaving Santana in, there was no excuse for pitching Henderson there. Collins could’ve ended someone’s career for what really was just another April game. Overall, Mike Vaccarro put it best when he chastised Collins:

Collins has had some nice moments as the manager of the Mets. Wednesday wasn’t one of them.  Collins once called Santana’s no-hitter the worst night of his baseball life. Wednesday could’ve been the worst day of Henderson’s professional life, but Collins showed no remorse. Collins may be haunted by Santana’s no-hitter, but he has clearly showed he’s learned nothing from it. 

Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsmerizedonline.com

Blame Alderson for the Panic City Nonsense

I have a bone to pick with Sandy Alderson. No, it’s not the offense that isn’t hitting. They should hit eventually. Well, we at least hope they will. No, it’s when Alderson dubbed Mets fans “Panic City.”

Let’s remember the context of that gem. The Mets were one game over .500, lost six of their last 10, and were 3.5 games behind the Nationals. They had allowed 14 more runs than they had scored. The Mets had scored the third fewest runs in baseball. The Mets had gone from seven games over .500 with a 4.5 game lead in the division (5.0 games over the Nationals) to falling in the standings. The Nationals were hot, and they were getting better. The Mets were seemingly falling apart while their General Manager was mocking the fans. 

Funny thing is the Mets got worse offensively after that. It got to the point where fans were EXPECTING Clayton Kershaw to pitch a perfect game. Not too long after that, the Mets got healthy, made some trades, ran into a cushy August schedule, and they took off. Panic City was forgotten. 

Until now. 

The Mets are grossly underperforming now. In five of the Mets six games, they’ve scored three runs or less. Terry Collins is batting low OBP guys in front of high OBP guys, and he’s stacking lefties (yes, with Neil Walker‘s L/R splits, he’s effectively a lefty). Mets fans are annoyed as well they should be. But no, that’s not how it’s characterized.  Because of Alserson’s comments, we’re “panicking”:

Everybody’s a comedian.

Look, no matter what happens from here on out whenever the Mets have a tough stretch this fan base is going to be mocked for panicking. Honestly, I do not know one Mets fan panicking. Not one. I know if people raising legitimate concerns about a lineup that strikes out a lot and doesn’t have high OBP. But that’s not panic, that’s reality. 

I haven’t heard one person declare the season over, demand a trade, or call for Collins to be fired. There’s no panic. There’s just really justifiable frustration over a team that’s not hitting, losing to bad teams, and wasting some good pitching performances. No, Mets fans are colored as being unreasonable and overly reactionary. 

We will never see the article about how right the Mets fans were in 2015. We will not see how that the fans were 100% right in their complaints. We will not see how the fans were right about demanding that Michael Conforto be called up.  However, we will see articles and tweets demeaning the fanbase once again calling them “Panic City” as if Mets fans should enjoy really bad offensive baseball. 

It’s all because Alderson thought he was hilarious in demeaning Mets fans one day when they were irritated watching an inept offensive club ruining start after start. Apparently, realizing a team that finds runs hard to come by is panicking. A fan base that wants their General Manager is panicking. Apparently, not being happy with a team playing poorly against a weak early schedule is panicking. 

Thanks for that Sandy. 

Blame Alderson for the Panic City Nonsense

I have a bone to pick with Sandy Alderson. No, it’s not the offense that isn’t hitting. They should hit eventually. Well, we at least hope they will. No, it’s when Alderson dubbed Mets fans “Panic City.”

Let’s remember the context of that gem. The Mets were one game over .500, lost six of their last 10, and were 3.5 games behind the Nationals. They had allowed 14 more runs than they had scored. The Mets had scored the third fewest runs in baseball. The Mets had gone from seven games over .500 with a 4.5 game lead in the division (5.0 games over the Nationals) to falling in the standings. The Nationals were hot, and they were getting better. The Mets were seemingly falling apart while their General Manager was mocking the fans. 

Funny thing is the Mets got worse offensively after that. It got to the point where fans were EXPECTING Clayton Kershaw to pitch a perfect game. Not too long after that, the Mets got healthy, made some trades, ran into a cushy August schedule, and they took off. Panic City was forgotten. 

Until now. 

The Mets are grossly underperforming now. In five of the Mets six games, they’ve scored three runs or less. Terry Collins is batting low OBP guys in front of high OBP guys, and he’s stacking lefties (yes, with Neil Walker‘s L/R splits, he’s effectively a lefty). Mets fans are annoyed as well they should be. But no, that’s not how it’s characterized.  Because of Alserson’s comments, we’re “panicking”:

Everybody’s a comedian.

Look, no matter what happens from here on out whenever the Mets have a tough stretch this fan base is going to be mocked for panicking. Honestly, I do not know one Mets fan panicking. Not one. I know if people raising legitimate concerns about a lineup that strikes out a lot and doesn’t have high OBP. But that’s not panic, that’s reality. 

I haven’t heard one person declare the season over, demand a trade, or call for Collins to be fired. There’s no panic. There’s just really justifiable frustration over a team that’s not hitting, losing to bad teams, and wasting some good pitching performances. No, Mets fans are colored as being unreasonable and overly reactionary. 

We will never see the article about how right the Mets fans were in 2015. We will not see how that the fans were 100% right in their complaints. We will not see how the fans were right about demanding that Michael Conforto be called up.  However, we will see articles and tweets demeaning the fanbase once again calling them “Panic City” as if Mets fans should enjoy really bad offensive baseball. 

It’s all because Alderson thought he was hilarious in demeaning Mets fans one day when they were irritated watching an inept offensive club ruining start after start. Apparently, realizing a team that finds runs hard to come by is panicking. A fan base that wants their General Manager is panicking. Apparently, not being happy with a team playing poorly against a weak early schedule is panicking. 

Thanks for that Sandy. 

NFL Handles Domestic Violence Better Than MLB

All the media and the fans were up in arms when Ray Rice received a two game suspension for knocking out his fianc√©e and dragging her out of an elevator. That weak suspension was 12.5% of the NFL season.  

The same people had similar angry reactions when Greg Hardy only received a four game suspension. Hardy allegedly beat a woman, threw her on a bed of guns, and intervened with her testifying at trial. His suspension was 25% of the NFL season. 

Aroldis Chapman is alleged to have choked his girlfriend causing her to flee Chapman’s house scared. After she fled the house, Chapman had to be convinced not to storm out of the house. Instead, he shot his gun off in his garage. After an MLB investigation, it was found Chapman had committed acts sufficient enough to warrant a suspension. He got 30 games or 18.5% of the MLB season. 

And with that masterful strike Commissioner Rob Manfred has shown himself to be weaker on the issue of domestic violence than Roger Goodell. Do you know how incompetent and/or clueless you have to be in order for Goodell to look like the commissioner that gets it?

It gets better.  Chapman was rumored to have been able to reduce the suspension by cooperating. Some clueless people are actually commending MLB for this suspension. It’s an embarassment and a black eye on the sport. 

If Chapman did nothing wrong, then he shouldn’t have been suspended. Case closed. However, MLB determined a suspension was warranted, and Chapman agreed not to appeal the suspension. Instead, Chapman is probably laughing. 

Thirty games isn’t even a slap on the wrist. It’s hardly a “tsk-tsk” with a disappointing look. Better yet, it does nothing to delay Chapman’s path to free agency. If Chapman has a great year, he’ll certainly make-up the lost $1.7 million because apparently baseball has no problem with domestic violence. We know the Yankees don’t

And yet somewhere this season, some player is going to test positive for PEDs and receive an 80 game ban.  It’s nice to know in baseball an attempt to make yourself a better player (even if it is cheating) is a far greater sin than choking a woman. 

Today, I’m embarrassed to be a baseball fan. 

People Are Fast to Criticize Cespedes

Overall, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Yoenis Cespedes‘ 2016 season isn’t a disappointment. He’s expected to break Barry Bonds (or Roger Maris‘) single season homerun record, Hack Wilson‘s single season RBI record, and find a cure for cancer. Yes, this is hyperbole, but it’s really not that far from what’s being expected of him. 

After his incredible run last year, Cespedes has set the bar sky high. When he came to the Mets, he played the best baseball of his life. It was some of the best baseball anyone has ever seen. More than anything, this has been the reason why he’s had all the attention surrounding him. If Tim Teufel had these cars, it would be an amusing antidote, but it wouldn’t be the focus of each and every day this Spring. 

Look, the Cespedes’ car thing has been terrific. It’s added some fun to Spring Training. We’re talking about this instead of Terry Collins leaving in Matt HarveyDavid Wright‘s back, Jacob deGrom tweaking his groin, Alejandro De Aza‘s possible discontent, or Roger Bernadina having visa issues. No, the Mets are having a fun camp in large part due to Cespedes. 

That’s is unless you’re John Harper of the Daily News:

Just as Mets fans were quick to turn on Harvey during the innings-limit controversy last season, citing his look-at-me tendencies, they’ll tire quickly of hearing about Cespedes’ lifestyle if he doesn’t put up big numbers. 

Same goes for the clubhouse. Teammates will gladly accept Stsr behavior as long as it comes with star performance. And certainly Cespedes has earned plenty of slack in this area, having astonished his fellow Mets with his offensive exploits last summer after coming over from the Tigers on July 31. 

Why are we preemptively chastising Cespedes?  Keep in mind, this is the same writer that despite knowing all of the “issues” Cespedes presents, he implored the Mets to re-sign him. Now that he’s here, what’s the point of tearing him down?  

Cespedes was everything the Mets thought he would be and more last year. So far, he has been everything we thought he would be this Spring Training. It makes sense that the guy with the neon yellow arm sleeve and the 52 medallion would have an epic car collection. It makes more sense that Cespedes was going to be the focal point of this team no matter what he did. Why not have some fun along the way?

Look, his season is bound to be a disappointment. His 162 game averages are “only” 30 homeruns and 103 RBI. That’s not going to be enough for some people. That’s a shame because fans wanted Cespedes here, and he wanted to be here. No matter what Cespedes does this season that should be celebrated. Instead, the Daily News is already finding ways to tear him down.

These preemptive attacks should be driven off a cliff.  

Editor’s Note: this column first appeared on metsmerizedonline.com 

Manfred Has an Easy Decision to Make on Chapman

Due to the disturbing actions of a few players, Ken Rosenthal reports that Rob Manfred is in a “no win” position when doling out punishment in these cases. 

Nonsense. 

The only way that Manfred is in a no-win position is if he doesn’t came down hard on Jose Reyes and Aroldis Chapman. You want to know if he did his job in suspending these players?  He needs to be able to look Joe Torre, Baseball’s Chief Operating Officer, in the eye and explain to him he did the right thing. 

For those that are unaware, Torre started the Safe at Home Foundation to help the victims of domestic abuse. It was started out of his experiences with an physically and emotionally abusive father. Torre saw his mother beaten by his father. His father was never arrested. No charges were ever brought. It would finally end when Torre’s older brother, Frank, was finally able to stand up to his father at the age of 20 and kick his father out of the house. 

So when I hear about how Chapman’s girlfriend, the mother of his child, didn’t press charges, I scoff. It’s not a defense to his actions which allegedly include pushing her against a wall and choking her. After the alleged attack, she fled the house because she was scared for her and her daughter. At the same time, Chapman was firing a gun off in his garage. 

Of course, she didn’t cooperate with police. Domestic violence victims don’t always cooperate. Some would say they rarely cooperate. Reasons for the lack of cooperation include a fear for your safety for cooperating with an investigation, wanting to reconcile, and/or the financial pressures that would ensue if there were a separation or conviction.  Don’t believe this is the case?  Look no further than Torre. 

Yes, Chapman is innocent until proven guilty. However, that principle only applies to criminal courts. In the court of public opinion is not held to such standards. More importantly, here, Major a League Baseball is not held to such a standard.  They are not beholden to a victims refusal to cooperate. They can and are able to conduct their own investigation and implement their own punishments. 

If there is any proof that Chapman did indeed choke his girlfriend, he should be suspended for the year. Let him appeal the suspension as he says he will. Let an arbitrator be the one to be weak on the domestic violence issue. Commissioner Rob Manfred can’t appear weak.  That doesn’t mean he’s in a no-win situation, it means he has an important decision to make. 

That’s the job. 

Unfortunately, he’s got a resource in Joe Torre. I say unfortunately because no one should have to live through what Torre did growing up. Hopefully, after these and many other discussions and analyses, Commissioner Manfred needs to make the right decision. He needs to be able to look his Chief Operating Officer in the eye and tell him he came down hard on the players that attack women.  He can’t look like a hypocrite, like the Yankees owners and front office will, when they attend the Safe at Home Gala. 

The only person right now in a seemingly no-win position is Chapman’s girlfriend. Conmissioner Manfred has an easy decision to make. He just has to have the courage to do what’s right. 

Editor’s Note: this article also appeared on metsmerizedonline.com

Could Mejia Possibly Be Innocent?

Well unless you’re living under a rock, by now you’ve heard that Jenrry Mejia is permanently suspended from baseball for testing positive for steroids use a third time. The universal take is that he was incredibly stupid. At first, that was my take as well. 

However, there is something in me that began to question this premise. The one question I kept coming back to was why would he continue to use steroids while he was on suspension?  There was nothing he could gain from it. He wasn’t eligible to pitch until the 101st game of the 2016 season. It just doesn’t make sense for him to get busted for using steroids half a year before he was even allowed to pitch. 

To gather an understanding of what happened, let’s first start with the banned substances Mejia was taking and the correlating suspensions:

  1. April 2015: Stanozol
  2. July 2015: Stanozol and Boldenone
  3. February 2016: Boldenone

Looking over this list, there are two things that jump right out at me. The first is he tested positive for a banned substance during a suspension. The next is that each time he tested positive, he tested positive for a banned substance he had tested positive for in an earlier test. 

What is interesting about Stanozol is that with one injection, the presence of Stanozol in your system can be identified for several months. Therefore, it is at least possible that Mejia tested positive for Stanozol in April and July for just one injection.  What’s problematic for Mejia is he also tested positive for Boldenone in July. As such, there were two banned substances present in his system. 

Now, Boldenone can be detected in your system for a whopping 16 – 18 months after its been injected into your body. Again, it is possible that Mejia tested positive twice for one dose. Whether or not you choose to believe this is what happened is up to you. However, scientifically, it is plausible Mejia is getting suspended a second time for the first (and only?) Boldenone dose he took. 

For his part, Mejia has stated, “It is not what they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”  He also states that, “I am going to appeal. Lose or win, I have great faith. I have to clear my name. I will take this case to the ultimate consequences.”  

It should be noted that Mejia never appealed his first suspension despite claiming he had no idea how Stanzonol got in his system. There were no appeals or statements after the second suspension. It seems now with his baseball life on the line, he’s not going to go down without a fight. 

Unfortunately for Mejia, he is unable to appeal this third suspension. If he is going to have if overturned, he will have to go the Tom Brady route and sue Major League Baseball. The question is whether or not he has a good case. 

In judging that, we are at a disadvantage. It’s possible that Stanozol and Boldenone could remain detectable in a person’s system over a long period of time. What we don’t know is the levels detected in Mejia’s body. If these levels significantly decreased, it’s possible Mejia got nailed twice for the same dose. That’s inherently unfair. In that respect, remember Mejia twice tested positive for Stanozol in a three month span. However, Stanozol was not found in this latest test.

Stanozol itself is interesting here. This year there was an inordinate amount of Stanozol usage. As a result, Commissioner Rob Manfred determined that the issue needed to be investigated. 

Looking over the Stanozol suspensions each player was from Latin America. Over the course of baseball’s steroid testing, players from Latin America have been suspended more than players from anywhere else. The Dominican Republic, where Mejia is from, has more steroid suspensions than any other country. It’s clearly an issue. 

For what it’s worth, Latino Sports published an article examining Mejia’s second steroid suspension. In the article, it was alleged Mejia tested positive the first time because of an injection he received while he was having asthma problems. It was also alleged Mejia could’ve avoided the second suspension altogether by naming the individual who gave him the steroids. The article alleges this person was working with other baseball players as well. For his part, Mejia was quoted as saying he had no dealings with that person. 

While I’m skeptical about this Latino Sports article, I will admit it fits the narrative of MLB conducting an investigation into the increase in Stanozol usage. 

At this point, I don’t know what to believe anymore. On the one hand, I cannot fathom how anyone can continue to take a banned substance knowing if he did his career was over. It’s inane to take something again without first seeing if you could compete without it. 

And yet, Mejia did test positive three times. All we have to try to make sense of everything is guesswork and rumors. It’s not exactly how you build a strong case. 

While I can rack my brain to try to figure out how this possibly happened, I keep coming back to my initial reaction. Maybe Mejia is just that stupid.