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Tuesday, November 27, 2012



It's like the cherry on top of the season, or whatever the negative equivalent would be. One of the few players who had a good season was on amphetamines. Which probably speaks to how exhausting the job of catcher is, but nevertheless....I'm stunned and disappointed.

Well, it's about time he got caught. Amphetamines stunt growth in young people.

At least its not there's that.

That makes his numbers believable at least.

Just goes to one is beyond skepticism. Not even our beloved catcher.


I thought watching Ryan Howard writhing in pain was bad...

this feels...


Thanks Amoron for having a stiff like Schneider forcing Manuel to pretty much NEVER give Chooch a day off...

At least we know the Eagles players aren't taking anything.

Next thing you know, they'll tell us that the Santa Claus we threw snowballs at wasn't real.

On the positive side, Beerleaguer went four days without posters rehashing the same petty arguments endlessly. That's a record.

I wish I was surprised by this, but in 2012, there are two types of exceptional sports performances: those that are revealed to be drug-enhanced and those that I suspect to be drug-enhanced.

Oh man. Very surprised and disappointed. I hope Kratz and Valle are ready to go. They'd better not re-sign Schneider.

I think someone tampered with Chooch's sample as a way of getting Weitzel to open a new thread. Well done, DPatrone's sources!

And just like that, Brian Schneider WILL be getting an MLB contract this year.

Geez you guys. Don't act like Chooch was in the Mitchell Report.

Chooch brought back beerleaguer, his powers are unlimited.

I wish I was surprised by this.

Is Beerleaguer Dying?

Who cares?

Its really not that big a deal.

So, window is closing rapidly, or is it already closed?

It shouldn't be that big of a deal, but it is because he was the only piece of pure enjoyment I got from the Phils this year.

Ditto Jason.

What about Ruf?????

Exactly. Another in a growing list of great seasons goes down with an *.

Career year for Chooch in 2012, but oh yeah, *

"On the positive side, Beerleaguer went four days without posters rehashing the same petty arguments endlessly. That's a record."

A record, perhaps, but more worthy of an asterisk than Chooch's season.

It's disappointing that he'll miss the first 25 games, but I don't really see why it puts an asterisk on his 2012 season. Amphetamines are not PEDS. No doubt, players believe -- and have long believed -- that amphetamines improve performance. But they're wrong. We debate this on Beerleaguer every year, but there is actual scientific research on the issue. Amphetamines DIMINISH performance. They don't improve it.

An honest question: Do amphetamines carry any performance enhancing benefits? The talk concerning them is usually about how they help on long road trips and with the daily grind toward the end of the season, but how? Do they just help shake off the groggies of an afternoon nap, or actually help with regeneration somehow? I can't see them helping out the ol' ISO all that much.

These Phillies have rapidly become a thoroughly unlikeable bunch.

bap, I drive better with a couple of beers in me...thus, I deny your reality and substitute my own.

~not serious~

Yes, adderall is responsible for his career year. I don't think so.

Not sure why anyone is surprised by PED revelations anymore...I am in the same camp as BAP re: amphetamines' actual performance enhancement, but in general at this point if the numbers are difficult to believe outliers, there's probably a reason for it.

Thanks Amoron for having a stiff like Schneider forcing Manuel to pretty much NEVER give Chooch a day off...

Posted by: HammRadio | Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 05:24 PM

As much as I love Chooch, to try to blame this on anybody but Chooch is ridiculous.

Perhaps Chooch grabbed a bottle of "vitamins" from Shane's old locker by mistake.

Perhaps Chooch should have gotten a prescription for Adderall like everyone one else that ever claimed to have ADHD...its not exactly hard to get one.

2 of the 8 suspended have been Phillies. That pisses me off. 25 games from Chooch's to begin the season is a big deal. 2013 season already has a sour note.

Also, I'm not 100% sure this is fair but I tend to blame this on Ryan Howard's contract more than anything.

Dude, it's Addreall. Everyone needs to chill out a bit.

The only crappy part about this is we lose him for 25 games.

Isn't Adderall the same thing that Shane Victorino takes for his ADHD? It sure as hell didn't enhance HIS performance last year.

At least Chooch should be fresh down the there's that.

Yes bap it is the same thing.

Sadly I am not surprised by this in the least. Chooch had a very heavy workload in '11 and was on an insane historical pace for a catcher at 33 through the first half of '12.

He wouldn't just need a prescription. He may have even had a prescription. What he didn't have was an exemption from the league (therapeutic use exemption granted by panel of 3 ADHD experts).

Two interesting bits out of this:

1) Salisbury says they were 'taking calls' on their young catchers, and this might stop that. I'm not sure why, but the fact that they are 'taking calls' points to a possible trade brewing.

2) Salisbury was very adamant on CSN just now that they are 'hot and heavy' after BJ Upton. We already knew they were interested, but it looks like he's approached Rube's 'White Whale' status, and the loss of Ruiz is only going to increase the possibility that he overpays to get more RH power.

Over the weekend while BL was off the grid, Salisbury also had a note that if Upton turns them down, they'd turn their attention to Dexter Fowler, who would command a hefty return. I can't stress how much I hate that idea.

"Also, I'm not 100% sure this is fair but I tend to blame this on Ryan Howard's contract more than anything."

Totally. The connection is too obvious to ignore. Still, there's plenty of fault to go around. Let's not overlook Mini-mart's role in this either.

***He wouldn't just need a prescription. He may have even had a prescription. What he didn't have was an exemption from the league (therapeutic use exemption granted by panel of 3 ADHD experts).***

Yeah, I know.

***We already knew they were interested, but it looks like he's approached Rube's 'White Whale' status, and the loss of Ruiz is only going to increase the possibility that he overpays to get more RH power. ***

Rube has likely offered Upton a 17 year, $476 million offer with 3 vesting years for seasons 18, 19 & 20.

Fowler has horrific home/away splits. No frigging thanks!

Fowler career splits:

Home: .882 OPS
Away: .698 OPS

There's no chance at all that he's a creation of Coors chance of that sir.

Looks like GM Carson beat me to it.

GM/NEPP: yeah, we have similar opinions on this.

Also, I know how clout consistently rails against defense metrics, but Fowler (despite his speed) has always been rated as a very poor defender by basically every traditional metric. He also can't steal 20 bases despite being quite fast. Other than that, I'm completely sold!

Iceman, where is that note from Salisbury on Fowler? All I can find is a tweet from Troy Renck of the Denver Post on MLBTR.

There's also no chance at all that his "breakout year" in 2012 had anything at all to do with his .390 BABIP.

No chance at all. He's definitely a 117 OPS+ hitter now. No way he regresses.

Mike G- looks like I was wrong. I think I saw it on MLBTR in the same article where a Salisbury story was linked. Whoops.

Ice. I wasn't saying you were wrong, just wanted to read the article.

@brookob: Per Ruben Amaro, the Phils had signed veteran catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor-league deal even before the Ruiz news.

At least Quintero is a veteran catcher who has a rep as being a good defensive catcher who actually still is solid behind the plate.

Weak offensively but he's fine for basically a backup catcher in April while Chooch serves his suspension.

Upside is now Chooch comes back fresh and hopefully avoids his annual slow offensive start in April.

Quintero? Okay then.

Better living through chemistry.

I had read this the other night:

Jim Bowden of reports that the Braves have a "slight lead" in the battle for B.J. Upton.
Bowden says there is a "fascinating bidding war" developing between the Braves, Phillies and a mystery team. The Nationals, Giants and Rangers have also been linked to Upton previously. As the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin first reported and Bowden has confirmed, Upton is expected to make a decision this week after teams submit their final bid.

If the words "fascinating bidding war," and "Phillies" don't terrify you, they should. I'm sure r00b's balls are in an uproar.

Quintero > Schneider

I wouldn't mind Fowler but supposedly the Rockies have a very high asking price right now.

Probably takes a minimum of Worley, another one of the Phils top 3-4 starting prospects, and another highly rated prospect (top 10) at A/AA.

No one's actually upset with Chooch, are they? Ballplayers have been doing speed FOREVER. 25 games is a huge punishment for a pretty minor transgression. At least he'll be fresh for a playoff run...

MG- what is there to like about Fowler? I'm genuinely curious. Unless they are planning on using savings on CF to upgrade significantly at corner OF at 3B, why is he appealing at all? I just don't get it. Maybe I'm missing something.

Not sure what Upton would do for the Braves, as they're losing Bourn and Chipper. He'd be a fascinating choice for them. He and Uggla could hit a combined 55-60 HRs with 400 Ks.

Upton isn't worth it.

The way baseball nitpicks and uses draconian scare tactics by making examples of (mostly Latin) players is an absurdly prosecutory, opposite extreme of doing nothing to dissuade steroid use for years on end. Look, I'm glad they're now rooting out the true frauds of the game, but really, to dock a player 25 games for Adderall? Lunacy. Meanwhile, Mark McGwire still commands lucrative coaching contracts. MLB is just one more PR-obsessed bureaucracy, despicably inconsistent with its heavy-handed rulings which in truth haven't the faintest thing to do with morality or integrity. My passion wanes not because of anything Carlos Ruiz ingested, but because of the ongoing wretched governance of the game. I haven't lost an iota of respect for Ruiz. If you want to quibble about amphetamines, then we have to place the same asterisk next to Schmidt, Bowa, Rose, most of the 1980 team - not to mention what is probably an inordinate percentage of all players from that era, dating decades back in fact. And no one will.

Quintero was involved in one of the best plays against the Phillies in recent years, so there's that.

RSB: Bart Giamatti was the last hope that professional baseball had.

A month without Chooch is certainly going to hurt the Phils a few games, which is likely going to be crucial for the playoffs - but it's nice to know that Chooch coming off Adderall isn't going to ruin him whereas a true PED could have meant that his whole season could have been a mirage.

At most this is a single additional loss. Did anyone expect him to perform like he did last year, anyway?

sneed: so since his WAR in 25 games will be at most 1, that means his absence from the team can only be 1 game?

RSB: That's all part of it, too. For sure.

Ha - Phils sign Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal. Moment after this news broke, I told a guy in the office the Phils would sign this exact guy.

I don't remember where I read it, but the percentage of players who are prescribed this drug, compared to the general public, is crazy.

This is a chance for Chooch to spend April in Florida learning 3B.

Whether amphetamines affect player performance may be up to debate, and maybe it's that Carlos Ruiz's last season was completely authentic, and that would be all well and good.

But the substance is illegal (whether it ought to be or not is another issue). Ruiz and the Phillies knew this. And yet he still took it. He must have thought it was helping him in some form, so in terms of intent and the effect that it will have on the team (his missing 25 games), Ruiz deserves to be chastised for this. He broke the rules, and will hurt his team.

And for that, I'm VERY disappointed in Ruiz. Sad that he is a guy that would break the rules like this.

I really fear this Upton contract. He had a .298 OBP and 150 strike outs last year. Anyone see the clips of him jogging after fly balls to the wall?

I can't believe Chooch couldn't find a doctor to write him the note he needed to approve Adderall. I mean, come on.

Len39 - I agree about Upton. Happy to let the braves overpay for him.

"I don't remember where I read it, but the percentage of players who are prescribed this drug, compared to the general public, is crazy."

Not sure really. ~4-5% in general population versus ~9% in MLB IIRC. But remember that the professional athlete pool is not representative (in terms of access of healthcare as well as incentives to get prescribed and a possible sampling bias). There are a lot of reasons that the percentages are different and phony MLB prescriptions is just one of them.

"I can't believe Chooch couldn't find a doctor to write him the note he needed to approve Adderall. I mean, come on."

Not sure that was really the issue. Again, getting a prescription is not the issue. For a player to get a TUE they need to appeal to a panel of 3 experts. You can have a prescription and still be suspended. Read the policy.

Also remember that the 4-5% is a percentage of the population as a whole and not simply adult males (putting aside the fact that these are certain kinds of adult males, professional athletes with easy access to the best medical care). ADHD is diagnosed in many more boys than girls.

finally getting around to watching Firefly on Netflix streaming.... why did no one ever tell me that Mike Lieberthal was on this???

Rumor on twitter saying Salisbury reporting Phillies in trade talks with Rockies over Dexter Fowler fearing Upton negotiations going south. Fowler is 26 a switch hitter who batted .300 last year and would be a lot cheaper and depending who we would have to give up a much better option than Upton

Chooch getting suspended means he was not only busted once on this charge, but twice. That's being an idiot on top of breaking the rules. So yeah, a loss of respect can apply regardless of whether the substance in question aided his on-field performance, as not being available hurts the team.

Team A is "slightly in the lead" for X player. What the hell does that really even mean?

Glad Beerleaguer is back. Had to talk to may family for 4 days...

I agree with Fatalotti. I'm not displeased with Ruiz because he took Adderall. I'm displeased with him because he broke a rule, which he knew was a rule, and got himself suspended for 15% of the season.

And, while amphetamines are definitely not performance-enhancing, one could certainly argue that the intent was to cheat. That coupled with his huge uptick in power at age 33, could lead one to suspect that Adderall might not have been the only thing he was taking . . .

Some winter league OPS's to warm you up.

Nothing like speculating that a guy was roiding up because he was popping freaking Adderall. Hell, if he broke one rule, who's to say he wasn't shooting up heroin? Good to see BAP was staying in practice during BL's radio blackout.

Following BAP's logic, I'd like to know how Ruiz managed to mask his PED usage to testers, yet couldn't manage to mask his usage of Adderall.

Call me crazy, but I actually like Dexter Fowler and hope they land him. I share the Coors Field concerns but I think those concerns can sometimes be overstated. When the Rockies were getting ready to trade Matt Holliday, everyone pointed to his home-road splits & said to keep away. The factor that everyone forgot to consider is that MOST players hit better at home. The phenomenon may be exaggerated somewhat at Coors, but it is certainly not unique to Coors.

Is there a chance that Fowler could turn out to be purely a Coors Field artifact? Absolutely. But I'm willing to take that chance for a centerfielder/leadoff hitter who draws lots of walks, is only 26, has a low salary, is under team control for 4 more years and, if he can come anywhere close to replicating last year's numbers, would be precisely what the Phillies need & a far better fit than any of the available FAs. And, if he does turn out to be a Coors Field artifact, you can dump him and move on since, unlike B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn, he won't require any kind of huge financial commitment.

Iceman: Surely, you don't really believe that the only players who are taking PEDS are the ones who have been caught.

I have absolutely no idea what Chooch was doing. But he clearly took Adderall, knowing that it was banned, because he thought it would improve his performance (even though it probably wouldn't). In other words, he intended to cheat. And he also posted a career year at age 33, including a big surge in power. Given those facts, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to wonder if he might have been taking other stuff too. It's kind of a natural inference, so let's drop the faux outrage.

phk phk phkitty phk

The thing that bothers me the most about Chooch's suspension is that, according to the article, he tested positive late in the 2012 season. So unless he tested positive with less then 25 games to go, why wasn't he suspended last season? And why does it only come out now?

Also, the phillies re-signed Pete Orr! YAY!

Jason babin signed by the Phillies....Amaro: "we know he's a hard worker and a quality guy in the locker room and will be agreat influence on our squad."

Conway Twitty, it boggles the mind that Mini-Mart keeps getting chances to play at ANY level.

BAP, I agree with your thoughts. I'm not suggesting that Chooch did more than Adderall, but he obviously intended to gain an advantage through the use of a substance. Given that I think no players are above reproach, I wouldn't be surprised if he tried another substance to boost his performance.

Either way, he knew (or should have known) the results of what he did, and he shouldn't have done it.

Call me crazy but I want Mark Reynolds.....

The news on Chooch was hard to hear.
He would be the last player on the Phils that I would think would be on something on the banned substance list.
His image was team player, smart enough to command the respect of an elite group of pitchers, and tough enough to take the demands of catching a ton of innings.
Just thought he would also be smart enough to avoid the stuff on the list.
Naive me, how many times do we need to learn not to make heroes out of athletes?

Sad. Puts a small cloud over 2013 before it's even time to think about pitchers and catchers reporting.

A rotten way to end one of the more rotten weeks in Philly sports for quite a while.

Lots and lots of people at very good colleges and grad schools take adderall to study for exams.

I wonder if we should start considering putting an asterisk on their diplomas.

"It's kind of a natural inference, so let's drop the faux outrage."

There's nothing natural about what you're saying. It's entirely speculative. You don't know why he was taking Adderall. And there is certainly a large gap between taking something relatively harmless like Adderall and PEDs that are extremely detrimental to a person's health.

You're closing that gap by ignoring the differences and lumping it all in under the 'cheating' umbrella. It's the same as assuming someone is a meth addict because they got caught with a dimebag. 'Well it's a drug, and he knows it's illegal! Connect the dots!'

By all means, join the witch-hunt, BAP. Just know that none of what you're saying is grounded in fact or logic. And PS- Fowler is an awful idea.

Iceman: NCBI's website lists like 40 side effects of Adderall. It most certainly isn't harmless. If anything, the adverse side effects of amphetamines are far better known and understood than the adverse side effects of steroids.

Upton isn't worth it.

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