There IS tying in baseball

For the first time since the Kansas City Royals defeated the Mets on November 1st last year, I was able to watch them play a baseball game today.

Sure, the stakes were much lower…today’s contest was just an exhibition, which was allowed to end as a 4-4 tie. And some of the players on the field at the end of today’s game will finish their professional careers with the same number of major league at bats as me.

But it was baseball, and especially for a few moments while we watched Dilson Herrera turn a wind-blown fly ball into an inside-the-park home run, it was magical.

Today wasn’t all fun and games in Mets-land. (Terry Collins says that “fun time” is over, anyway, though better bloggers than me disagree.)

Jacob deGrom refused to sign an autograph on his 2016 contract.Though he will still make more money this year than most Mets fans, deGrom rightly feels that the Mets’ $607,000 doesn’t reflect his value to the team. He’s hardly the first pre-arbitration player to go down this road, and definitely won’t be the last.

And even before today’s Mets game was over, the story was largely forgotten… thanks to an interview Jenrry Mejia gave to the New York Times.

The-Truth-Is-Out-ThereWe all wanted to know how Mejia could get suspended not once, not twice, but three times in less than a year for failing drug tests for steroids.Well, Mejia gave us an answer today… though it sounds like something for Agents Mulder and Scully to investigate.

Mejia said that baseball officials told him that if he appealed the punishment for the second doping offense, “they will find a way to find a third positive,” Mejia, who is from the Dominican Republic, said through an interpreter. “I felt there was a conspiracy against me. I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.”

Maybe those who didn’t think A-Rod‘s case was handled fairly, or those who still believe Ryan Braun‘s original claims of innocence can find a shred of credibility in Mejia’s allegations.

The best I can do is ask: Wouldn’t Mejia be smart enough to come up with something better if he was just going to make up a story? (Of course, we’re talking about somebody who is barred from practicing his chosen profession for failing three separate drug tests…)

But really, even if you do believe Major League Baseball had an axe to grind against A-Rod…how is a player on Mejia’s level even worth planning a conspiracy against? Outside of the New York area, how many people had even heard of him prior to his “lifetime” ban?

For the record, a spokesperson for Major League Baseball denied Mejia’s allegations. However, the former pitcher has retained a labor lawyer and appears to be keeping his options open. It would be interesting to find out if Mejia has any evidence to support his assertions.

But enough of the ugly side of baseball. Spring training is well underway, Opening Day is less than a month away and a new season lies ahead of us. Let’s try to enjoy it.

 

About Paul

NY Mets enthusiast, toy collector, amateur gardener, Christian. I like to take pictures & write things.

Posted on March 4, 2016, in Baseball, New York Mets and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I could believe Mejia’s story. Management in almost any profession WILL do stuff like that. If you appeal, you’re showing them up and they’re going to squash you back down if they can. Now, apparently the Players Association told him he couldn’t appeal the second failed test. Which, honestly, really sounds fishy to me. Ordinarily, I’d say the courts would leave baseball to police their own business. But if appeals are not permitted, then the process is faulty to begin with and I think Jenrry actually stands a pretty good chance of getting MLB overturned–especially since the substances they say they found in the tests linger in the body for a very long time, even from a single usage. The one that resulted in the lifetime ban actually stays in the bloodstream for well over a year. You see what I’m getting at here? Jenrry, in essence, could be getting punished three times for a single incident. A court in a labor dispute such as this is not going to let that go, I don’t think. There is a very clear process required for removing or firing someone (this only truly applies to unionized labor). It’s called “The Seven Tests of Just Cause”. Cutting to the chase for Jenrry, you can’t keep moving up the ladder of discipline for the same incident; the employee has to have a reasonable opportunity to correct his behavior. So if you were disciplined–lets say suspended–for being AWOL on a given day, they can’t then issue a firing or removal for the same AWOL incident simply by rolling in some other (usually previous) behavior (like, lets say, you were also late to work a lot). A better analogy might be testing someone for marijuana. That stays in the bloodstream for a minimum of thirty days and traces can be found months later. So if your employer suspended you for testing positive on Tuesday, they can’t then fire you for also testing positive on Thursday. If appeals are not permitted, then the discipline would fail another of the seven tests. If appeals are permitted, but the Players Assoc. told him otherwise (for whatever reason), then they have failed in the duty of fair representation (and, in theory, he could sue them into non-existence).

    The more I think about it, the more I believe Jenrry’s got a pretty good case, here. He’ll have to sue MLB (and possibly the PA), But, if I was in Vegas, I’d definitely put some money on Jenrry. Hope he’s got a good labor lawyer. All he really has to do is bring forth a few experts who can swear that the substances linger in the body longer than the span between tests (which they do). MLB is going to have to prove that the concentration of said chemicals was higher in the later tests than the earlier ones. Even at that, I think not allowing appeals would get them overturned on that basis alone.

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  2. Hey! i recently just started my own blog where i discuss not only my opinions on the upcoming Major League Baseball season but my opinions of the SuperHero cinematic and television universes. Its definitely worth a look! I’ve read some of your posts, we share some similar interests. Keep up the good work! Much appreciation!

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