How likely was Sabathia’s leap?

If you’e reading this, you know what a star pitcher CC Sabathia is today. In each of the last 6 years, Sabathia has qualified for the ERA title with an ERA+ of at least 136. He’s the only pitcher since 1901 with a qualifying ERA+ of at least 130 in each of his 6th through 11th years. (For the rest of this post, I’ll use the term “star season” to mean a year qualified for the ERA title with ERA+ of at least 130.)

But before he became a star, Sabathia was a rotation fixture for 5 middling years, averaging a 107 ERA+ in 195 innings. His best season ERA+ was 122; the other 4 years fell in the range of 100-106. Those first 5 years were remarkably similar all-around: starts ranged from 30 to 33, IP from 180 to 210, strikeouts from 139 to 171, HRs from 17 to 20.

During his early years, many folks in Cleveland and throughout baseball thought it was only a matter of time before he became an elite pitcher. However, the studies I’ve just done studies that suggest that, after 5 years without significant improvement, it was historically quite unlikely that Sabathia would become a star.

I looked at this in three different ways, each time covering the years 1901-2005 for a pitcher’s first 5 years, and 1901-2011 thereafter.

(1) Pitchers with at least 4 qualified seasons of ERA+ at or below 115, within their first 5 years. Their were 65 such pitchers, counting Sabathia; 9 met this standard in all 5 years, the rest in 4 of 5 years.

For the rest of their careers (year 6 onward), only 13 of those 65 pitchers had even one star season, with a total of 30 such seasons from the 65 pitchers. Sabathia has 6 of them; Red Ruffing 5; Don Sutton, Catfish Hunter, Jim Perry and Chief Bender 3 each; and 7 others had 1 such year.

(2) For his first 5 years combined, Sabathia totaled 973 IP and a 107 ERA+. I looked at pitchers with 800 to 1,100 IP and ERA+ from 102 to 112 over their first 5 years. Then I looked at their performance in their 6th through 11th years combined.

Out of 113 pitchers in this group, only 8 totaled as much as 20 bWAR in their 6th-11th years. Greg Maddux was #1 with 40.9 WAR; Sabathia was 2nd at 34.8 WAR; no one else had 27. Maddux also led in ERA+ at 172; Sabathia was 2nd at 142; no one else with 200+ IP was over 133. Only 7 other pitchers had at least 800 IP and ERA+ at least 120 for years 6-11.

Comparing Sabathia’s 6th-11th year totals to the average of the rest of the group:

  • Sabathia: 1,392 IP, 142 ERA+, 34.8 WAR
  • The rest: 754 IP, 103 ERA+ (weighted), 6.4 WAR

(3) This time I started from the other end of the question. I found those who had been roughly similar to Sabathia in years 6-11, then looked at what they’d done in years 1-5. The results here are a bit different from the other two studies.

There are just 20 pitchers with at least 4 star seasons in their 6th through 11th years. Only Sabathia has 6; 10 pitchers have 5 (most recently Johan Santana); 9 pitchers have 4 such years.

Of those 20 pitchers, 8 had no star seasons in their first 5 years:

Another 5 from the original 20 had just 1 star season in their first 5:

The group totaled just 26 star seasons in their first 5. Jim Palmer and Pete Alexander had 2 each; Roger Clemens, Walter Johnson and Ed Walsh had 3; Lefty Grove and Christy Mathewson had 4.

So the first two studies suggest that it’s very uncommon for a pretty good pitcher to become a star after 5 years and 800 IP. Yet the third study shows that those who are
stars in their 6th-11th years generally weren’t stars in their first 5 years. This seeming disjunction suggested one last study.

(4) What happens to those pitchers who are stars in their first 5 years? I looked at pitchers with at least 2 star seasons in their first 5, then looked at their 6th-11th years. Out of 110 such pitchers:

  • Almost half had no star seasons in years 6-11 (53 of 110).
  • The median was 1 star season, the average 1.1.
  • Three had 5 star seasons in their 6th-11th years; four had 4; 14 had 3; and 36 had 1.

So what does it all add up to? If young stars are unlikely to remain stars in mid-career; if mid-career stars mostly weren’t young stars; and if pretty good young pitchers are unlikely to become stars — does it just mean that a pitching career is even more of a crapshoot than we already think?

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131 Comments on "How likely was Sabathia’s leap?"

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Ed
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I wonder if the difference with Sabathia is that he started so young. His 5 “middling” seasons began at age 20, a time when most pitchers are still in the minors.

Ed
Guest
One issue, particularly with #3, is that it seems to be counting something as a season, even if a guy just pitched briefly. It’s counting Pedro Martinez’s 1992 season, in which he pitched 8 innings, as his first season. Similarly, it’s counting Greg Maddux’s 1986 season, in which he pitched 31 innings, as a season. Another issue I see is with the specificity of the definition of a star season. I understand it has to be that way, but I think certain things get missed as a result. For example, Greg Maddux’s 1988 season in which he started the All-star… Read more »
Ed
Guest

Odd that you and I seem to be the only two interested in this thread. I certainly thought it included several well-thought out analyses and some interesting results. I’ve run out of things to say though unless other commenters chime in.

Tmckelv
Guest

I have always been under the (anecdotal) impression that it takes lefties a little longer to get going. I am sure statistically it would be disproved, but I always think of guys like Koufax, Randy Johnson and Ron Guidry. I remember being surprised that Steve Avery was so good at a young age.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

For all of the lefties on this thread, their star-uptick follows an extreme drop in BB.
_____________________________________________________

Just an honorable mention to Walter Johnson:
posted at least a 147 era+ from seasons 4-13, except for season 11, where he dipped to 120.

And Maddux managed at least a 146 from seasons 7 – 17, except for one hiccup at 126.

Ed
Guest

Tmckelv: That was certainly “common wisdom” pre-Bill James/SABR. Not sure what SABR studies have shown.

Anyway, one pitcher who I thought of when you mentioned this was Geoff Zahn. He made the majors at age 27, but mostly struggled until age 32, after which he had 4 seasons of ERA+ between 122-129 and another of 109.

birtelcom
Guest
A quick study, for what it’s worth: There have been 19 seasons of 6 or more WAR by pitchers in their age 22 season (since 1901): 13 by righties and 6 by lefties (32% lefties). There have been 53 seasons of 6 or more WAR by pitchers in their age 27 season (since 1901): 36 by righties and 17 by lefties (32% lefties). There have been 28 seasons of 6 or more WAR by pitchers in their age 32 season (since 1901): 22 by righties and 6 by lefties (21% lefties). There have been 8 seasons of 6 or more… Read more »
Dr. Remulak
Guest

…and tall lefties (Johnson, Sabathia) take even longer to find thier mechanics, so the cliche goes…

MikeD
Guest

You know, you could be right, but is there even a lefty-starter compare group to those two based on size? : -)

Doug
Guest
I’m guessing the reason Sabathia has done better than most of his comps is that the comparison group is based on season sequence numbers rather than age. – Generally, younger guys will ramp up more slowly than older guys, before arriving at peak level. The guys who start younger will take longer to get to their peak, but the peak will be higher. – Since Sabathia started young, I expect most of his comparison group will be older. – Since we’re looking at a group that was just “okay” in the first 5 years, we’re probably seeing guys older than… Read more »
Ed
Guest

Doug check out my initial comment to this thread and John’s response. That may answer your question.

Doug
Guest

Right. Thanks, Ed.

I suppose that if, as most would concur, CC is a very elite pitcher, then we shouldn’t be too surprised that it’s hard to find many good comps.

Despite being a different type of pitcher, Glavine has a similar kind of ramp-up to CC. Glavine was below 100 ERA+ his first 4 seasons (age 21-24), then had star seasons 6 of his next 8 years, and 8 of the next 12.

If guys have the ability, they can become dominant pretty quickly, once they’ve figured out how to use that ability.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Doug,

I think the fact that C.C. was young AND had his first five complete seasons be full years, this combination is what makes him difficult to compare to other pitchers. Most other pitchers’ first five seasons involve one partial season (often more) before they establish themselves.

A 107 ERA+ in 195 innings is better than “middling” or ordinary. While not an elite pitcher then, he provided a fair amount of value and real stability in the Indians rotation.

Doug
Guest

Point well take, Lawrence.

Sabathia, Seaver and Eddie Plank are only pitchers since 1901 to start a career with 11 straight seasons of 180+ IP and ERA+ >= 100.
– 10 times in 11 years: Larry French (!), Pete Alexander, Walter Johnson
– 9 times in 11 years: Maddux, Radke, Stieb, Blyleven, Jenkins, Ford, Lemon, Spahn, Passeau, Hubbell, Root, Grove, Coveleski, Mathewson, Mordecai Brown

Ed
Guest

Good stuff Doug! Seaver and Plank both ended up with 13 years. Time will tell if CC can tie or pass them.

bstar
Guest
John, Good study. I won’t go so far as to call your arbitrary pick of ‘6th thru 11th seasons’ as cherry-picking because it was a great study and a fun read. I just have a little problem with the way it paints Sabathia in such a historically great light. I love CC, don’t get me wrong, but suggesting he’s had a better peak than anyone since 1901 is misleading. I would bet you are familiar with the seven consecutive immortal years of Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez. ERA+ wise, their 7-year run far surpasses anyone in recent memory. Pedro(1997-2003): 213… Read more »
Michael E Sullivan
Guest
I don’t think John is claiming that CC is in that company. But he has been remarkably consistent in giving excellent seasons for somebody who will not be an inner circle all-time great. Consider Roy Halladay, a guy I think most would agree is at least as good as CC (fan ELO has roy at #28, and CC at #128). But Doc has not yet had 5 seasons in a row let alone 6 at john’s “star” level (he has 7 total out of 14 to CC’s 6 out of 11). He’s had an 11 year peak, that is on… Read more »
bstar
Guest

OK, John, thanks for the reply but you did state, in your third sentence, “He’s the only pitcher since 1901 with a qualifying ERA+ of at least 130 in each of his 6th through 11th years”. This was before you mentioned the two groups of pitchers you were comparing him to; this is what I found misleading, that you pretty much led off with that statement.

Michael E Sullivan
Guest
I think Ed has got what’s going on here with the specificity of a “star” season. What’s really going on IMO, is how unlikely it is even for great, hall of fame pitchers to put together strings of consecutive, or even 4 of 5, 6 of 7, etc. “star” seasons by your definition. 130+ ERA qualifying is a level of season that you have to be pretty good to achieve even once or twice. Turns out, even all-time great pitchers in their prime almost never go 5 seasons in a row without either some injury cutting their innings to less… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I think Sabathia is the classic Yankee ace-really good, but not absolutely among the all-time elite. Look at the lifetime ERA+ numbers for pitchers with 1000 innings or more, and with the exception of the cyborg known as Rivera, you have to go down to Whitey Ford at 29th, Spud Chandler at 32nd (only 1485 innings) and Lefty Gomez at 57th (2503 innings.) In deference to all here, I am not going to imply that they “pitched to the score”

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Do you think Sabathia has any chance to pass Ford and Rivera as the best Yankees pitcher ever?? It’s kind of a longshot, but if he pitches till age 40, he could pile up over 200 wins as a Yankee, plus some other impressive stats.

I kinda doubt it, though; both Ford and Rivera pitched too well too long as Yankees. Not pitching for the Yankees till age 28, plus C.C’s body type, are the two main limiting factors.

bstar
Guest

Lawrence, I just don’t see his body type being a factor. Think of some big guys like Rick Reuschel, David Wells, and Gaylord Perry. They all pitched well past 40. Sabathia’s a damn fine athlete despite his weight; he can even hit a little if he goes back to the NL. And people also forget that the guy is 6’7″. Sure, he’s rotund too, but if he was 6′ I don’t think as big of a deal would be made of his weight.

Dave V.
Guest
Many good points throughout this thread. In looking over Sabathia’s career, while his ERA+ was not especially special early in his career, his WAR totals weren’t too shabby. I see that in his first five seasons, he produced WAR’s of 2.7, 2.8, 3.8, 3.3 and 1.8 for a total of 14.4. Those first 4 seasons could be considered All-Star worthy, if we look at 2.5 WAR as a marginal All-Star season (as discussed in a prior thread, with the WAAS concept; also, Sabathia did in fact make the All-Star team in the two seasons with highest WAR just mentioned). While… Read more »
topper009
Guest

I was actually at Sabathia’s should have been no-hitter in Pittsburgh on August 31, 2008 while carrying Milwaukee to the playoffs. Complete crap, in the 5th inning Andy LaRoche hit a little nubber right back to Sabathia and he bobbled it…and it was ruled the first (and only) hit of the game.

You can see this “hit” at the 1:05 point in this video

Can anyone one else find a near no-hitter that was the pitcher’s fault(1 hit in the pitchers fielding area)?

topper009
Guest

That hurts for Bosman, I would know who he was if he would have made that throw he had made 1000s of times since he was a little kid.

The Galarraga perfecto is a pretty good example, although he didn’t do anything wrong and it was hit to the 1B.

Are there any examples of a 1-hitter with the only safety being a bunt hit?

Doug
Guest

Ken Hill was perfect for the Rangers in this 1996 game, but for a “Single to P (Ground Ball to P’s Left)” by Bobby Higginson in the 1st inning.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET199605030.shtml

Hill went to a 3-ball count only once in the game, on a 5th inning strikeout of Melvin Nieves. Hill also ended up in the leadoff spot in the batting order, after DH Warren Newson moved to RF in the 9th inning.

Richard Chester
Guest

Topper:

I remember reading in the Charlton Chronology that there was a game where a pitcher lost a no-hitter because he failed to cover first base on a grounder to the right side. If I can retrieve it I will post the details.

Richard Chester
Guest

On 5/11/22 Bill Doak missed a no-hitter due to a bunt single by Dave Bancroft. It happened in the first inning.
Later that year, on 7/13, Doak missed a no-hitter when he failed to cover first on a ground ball to the right side. This happened in the 7th inning.

Richard Chester
Guest

Bobo Newsom missed a no-hitter on 7/10/36 because he failed to cover first.

nightfly
Guest

John, when I saw your list of one-hitters, I immediately said “Dave Stieb.” Of course, he did eventually get the no-no, but he came so heartbreakingly close before then… three consecutive starts with no-nos broken up in the ninth, IIRC. I would have thought he had more than five, though.

nightfly
Guest

AHA. That’s my mistake. Stieb did lose three no-no’s with one out to go, but only two were consecutive. And the third wound up being a two-hitter, hence it’s not on the career one-hitters list. Stieb does have five 1-hitters total if I’m counting correctly: three in ’88 and two in ’89.

HHS or bbref has covered Stieb before, right?

Richard Chester
Guest

Stieb pitched one-hitters on 9-24-88 and 9-30-88. His next start was 4-5-89 and he had 8 IP giving up 4 hits. His next start was 4-10-89 and he pitched another one-hitter giving him 3 in 4 games.
He is one of 6 pitchers to throw two consecutive one-hitters, the others being Rube Marquard, Lon Warneke, Mort Cooper, Whitey Ford and Jack McDowell.

Doug
Guest

Here’s the opposite.

Bob Forsch gets the no-hitter on Apr 16, 1978, despite what should have been a clean 8th inning single into right field by Gary Maddox.

I saw the game on TV and it was a laser shot to the 3rd baseman’s left that barely ticked off the end of his glove. To me, very clearly a homer official scoring call.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN197804160.shtml

Richard Chester
Guest
Hook Wiltse retired the first 26 men he faced on 7/4/08 and then hit the 27th batter with a pitch. He ended up with a ten-inning no-hitter. He retired the the side in order in the tenth and the Giants scored a run in the bottom of the tenth. Of course if he retired the 27th batter it does not mean he would have retired the side in order in the top of the tenth. Also there was a two-strike count on that 27th batter and the umpire called the next pitch, a close one, a ball and then later… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Too bad for Hooks. He hit only 40 batters in more than 2000 IP in his career. In constrast, his older brother Snake Wiltse plunked 26 guys in just over 500 IP.

Doug
Guest
One of Nolan Ryan’s one-hitters was almost another no-hitter thanks to a homer official scoring call. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL197907130.shtml With one out in the top of the 8th, the Yankees Jim Spencer apparently broke up Ryan’s no-no with a bloop into center on which the Angels’ Rick Miller charged hard and almost made on a shoe-string catch. After a bit of a delay, the scoreboard flashed E8 and the Yankees dugout spilled onto the field in protest, with Reggie Jackson shaking his fist in the direction of the official scorer behind home plate. Reggie got his revenge, breaking up the no-hit bid… Read more »
Ed
Guest

Wow, I thought I was the only one who remembered that Nolan Ryan game. I actually watched it on tv. Why there was a live baseball game on a Friday night in the pre-cable era, I have no idea. (I was living in Ohio at the time, so it was by no means a local game).

Anyway, the error call on Miller was definitely a terrible call but I remember the announcers tried to justify it on the basis of Miller being a Gold Glove centerfielder.

Doug
Guest

Topper,

Here’s another one – Alex Fernandez in 1997.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN199704100.shtml

Described as “Single to P (Ground Ball to Weak 2B)”, it came with 1 out in the 9th and the Marlins leading the Cubs 1-0. The game got interesting after that with the Marlins making errors on the next two balls in play, but Fernandez got out of the jam, striking out Ryne Sandberg to end the game.

nightfly
Guest

Rhino played in 1997?? I thought he retired after the strike.

:::checking:::

Sandberg hit 25 homers in 1996? Wait, did I sleep through an entire year?

John Autin rocks
Guest

this is Andy just testing the email notification system….

MikeD
Guest

I don’t know. Looks like spam to me! : -)

Hopefully you can figure out the email glitch.

John Autin rocks
Guest

Another test…don’t worry—John still rocks.

Dave V.
Guest
Thinking more about Sabathia’s first 5 seasons, which went through his age 24 season, I was curious as to how his WAR through age 24 stacked up against other starting pitchers who have debuted since 1950…so here’s a just-for-fun, by-no-means comprehensive list of WAR through the age 24 season for a bunch of starting pitchers that I thought were good or interesting enough to look up: Blyleven – 35.1 WAR Tanana – 30.9 Gooden – 30.2 Drysdale – 29.1 Felix – 24.4 Fernando – 23.8 Seaver – 21.5 Saberhagen – 20.4 Clemens – 20.3 Matlack – 20.1 D.Chance – 17.8… Read more »
bstar
Guest

Great list, Dave, it seems that despite CC’s “mediocre”-ish start, he started early enough age-wise to compile some good pre-25 numbers. There are only 3 Hall of Famers above him(plus Clemens).

Dave V.
Guest
Thanks and I went through numbers for another 178 pitchers on top of the 101 pitcher listed above. So of the 279 total pitchers, only 25 of them had a higher WAR through their age 24 season than Sabathia did (new additions included below): Blyleven – 35.1 WAR Tanana – 30.9 Gooden – 30.2 Drysdale – 29.1 L.Dierker – 27.7 (just added to the list) Felix – 24.4 Fernando – 23.8 G.Nolan – 22.6 (just added to the list) Seaver – 21.5 Saberhagen – 20.4 Clemens – 20.3 Matlack – 20.1 D.Chance – 17.8 Kazmir – 17.4 (just added to… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest
Very impressive research, Dave V., in putting the start of Sabathia’s career in the proper context. It was interesting seeing Gary Nolan’s name – as a kid, the back of his baseball card, with his low ERA and high W/L%, fascinated me. Looking at his B-R page now, it appears that all that work at a young age (he started at age 19 and had 226/ 150/ 108/ 250 IP his 1st four years) probably wore his arm down; his last full-time year was at 28, and he was out of MLB by age 30. His career trajectory reminds me… Read more »
Dave V.
Guest
Thanks Lawrence and for Maloney, I thought he was going to be a guy who finished ahead of Sabathia on the list (he was fairly close, at 12.1 to Sabathia’s 14.4). Maloney is a pretty fascinating pitcher to me. In addition to his two no-hitters (one being a 10-inning no-hitter), he had another game in which he pitched 10 innings of no-hit ball with 18 K’s – and lost! He gave up an 11th inning HR to lose the no-hitter and game. It’s too bad the Reds couldn’t score for him, as otherwise he’d have three official no-hitters. And wow,… Read more »
bstar
Guest

If you’re gonna mention Cincinnati pitchers with great W-L records who flamed out early, how about Don Gullett? In fact, he’s 7th all-time on the WP% board, with a 107-50 record.

Dave V.
Guest

@104 bstar – off the top of my head, I am going to say Gullett is at least one of the 2 or 3 = best starting pitchers with a WAR under 20, whose career is already over (Herb Score would probably be my top choice, as if it wasn’t for his freak injury, I think he would have been an all time great).

MikeD
Guest
Great post and good timing from my perspective as within the last week I was looking at Sabathia’s career numbers and for the first time it immediately struck me how there was a clear dividing line in his career. He had establish a consistent level of pitching over a number of years, and then raised it up, establishing a new consistent level of pitching, going from good pitcher to an elite pitcher. My gut reaction was there is probably something unique about Sabathia’s career path. Judging by the comments, I think people are struggling with trying to place the start… Read more »
bstar
Guest

I would put Curt Schilling and John Smoltz in that category too. A lot of people think Smoltzy was already good/great by his ’91 postseason heroics, but he really didn’t blossom until 1996.

Ed
Guest

Maddux was oh so close to having an 11 year streak of 130 or above ERA plus. In 1999, his ERA+ was 126. In his final start that year, he pitched 3 innings, giving up 7 earned runs, and his ERA jumped from 3.33 to 3.57.

No one else on John’s list was particularly close to having a longer streak.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
#96/Dave V. – Larry Dierker also fits into this grouping with Gary Nolan and Jim Maloney, in that: – they started in the same decade (60s) in the NL – they started very young in MLB (Dierker’s debut was on his 18th birthday!) – they were almost entirely with only one team till the very end of their careers – they were worked very hard in their early years at an early age – they were very hard throwers – they pitched very well several years, but never quite seemed to fulfill the potential of their early years – their… Read more »
bstar
Guest

Dierker is the still the all-time leader in Astro IP.

Dave V.
Guest

Good call on Dierker fitting in with them. He had 106 complete games by age 30 (when his career ended). Wow.

Hartvig
Guest
Sam McDowell would fit pretty nicely into your group also. What made me think of that was that I was just re-reading Roger Angell’s wonderful book “Five Seasons”. It was a section where he was musing over the idea the Tom Seaver might be finished as an effective pitcher since he had had some difficult outings in the first half of the year and was sporting a losing record and McDowell was one of the pitchers who’s career he was comparing to Seaver’s. Seaver managed to eke out another 176 wins beyond that point. I guess even the best of… Read more »
topper009
Guest

Sabathia’s most talented teammate ever, Ryan Braun, has WON his appeal and will not be suspended! ESPN and EVERYONE else who assumed he must have been guilty can start apologizing now!!!!

bstar
Guest

WOW!! That is great for baseball in general. What was the short story of it, topper?

topper009
Guest

Another important distinction is that it was originally reported Braun tested positive for a “Performance Enhancing Drug” and later on reports suggested it just a banned substance that was not a masking agent, so ESPN was incorrect in their original report that most people still want to believe.

Mike L
Guest
Four things on Braun, and they probably aren’t going to be very popular here. First, the initial testing result was supposed to be confidential-it wasn’t because someone leaked it. If the leaker was either from the testing lab (an agent of MLB) someone in the chain of custody, or MLB, that should have ended the process-no suspension, no hearing, unless Braun wanted a information-only no-penalty hearing to clear his name-there has to be a penalty for leaking. Second, once it’s leaked, the news organizations, including ESPN have a duty to report it-they have a duty to get all their facts… Read more »
topper009
Guest

“Third, winning on a technicality is not necessarily the same as winning on the merits…but this isn’t the equivalent of a TKO”

Considering neither you, nor any other human on the planet save probably about 10 people deeply involved in the appeal process, actually know the details of what this “technically” is do NOT assume that there must be something here that is not a TKO for Braun.

topper009
Guest

So I guess if the New York Times had a “source” in the Allied headquarters in early June 1944 they had a “duty” to report that D-Day was on June 6th.

Now that may be an extreme example, but just because you have some information does mean you are obliged to report it. Stop pretending like ESPN broke this because of their strong journalistic integrity and sense of duty instead of their desire for ratings.

The information ESPN had was meant to be confidential, if anything it was their duty to keep it quiet.

Mike L
Guest
I respect your passion. I did say people would disagree. Two points. The first is, I don’t have to pretend that ESPN was operating with journalistic integrity. There is no duty by news organizations to keep embarrassing info private, and most of the time, that’s a good thing, because in a democracy, sunlight is the best disinfectant. The second is, I don’t pretend to know what went on in that room, I was merely making a lawyer’s observation that “not guilty” is not the same as “didn’t do it”. The report the Times just posted included the following: “The person… Read more »
bstar
Guest

There are also reports that Braun’s camp think they could have won despite this technicality; there are reports that he was taking a medication for an STD which may have caused his testosterone to spike; there are also claims that the testosterone level was so high it was almost impossible to be a correct result.

topper009
Guest
I am just getting sick of all of this “person with knowledge of the appeal” What person, who is this, what is this guys name and job title? What was his exact involvement in the process? Then I hear things like it is supposed to be confidential so the source cannot be revealed, well if it is supposed to be confidential then why isn’t this source being investigated and charged for breaking the confidentiality agreement? On top of all this BS by ESPN trying to cover their tails, it is infuriating that MLB has not spoken at all about the… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
One last point on Braun. If The Times report is correct that the arbitration turned on the sample not making FedEx, then the entire testing program is going to be in trouble. You will only be able to test at times and in places where you can drop off at FedEx right after. That means no evenings, no national holidays, (in many places) no Sundays, etc. etc. Further, if the reason you throw out the test is because of the time-lag, then you must be assuming that the sample itself isn’t otherwise sealed. MLB is probably livid because the whole… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Nah. MLB teams all play in major cities. There are 24-hour FedEx spots in (I would guess) all MLB cities. There is a 24-hour FedEx less than ten miles from Miller Park. I just found that it, and it took me less than a minute to do so. I actually don’t like how much blame some people (not on this site) are laying on the courier. Frankly, his instructions should have been better. And it’s also MLB’s (or the testing agency’s) job to know that, if FedEx in Milwaukee (or Cincinnati or wherever) isn’t open on Saturday, you shouldn’t test… Read more »
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