Jordan Schafer and Growth Hormone

I’m heading out the door to catch a plane to Memphis, so I don’t have much time. But, I want to briefly comment on the 50-game suspension of Braves prospect Jordan Schafer for violating MLB’s drug policy in regard to human growth hormone. I’ll offer a few thoughts.

— What the hell is this kid doing? Growth hormone doesn’t improve athletic performance, and it is very bad for you. It’s funny that I have yet to see any mainstream media bring this up, even though this fact was discussed in a widely-covered Congressional hearing two months ago. Maybe Jordan should be reading Sabernomics more and driving his Hummer less.

— When it comes to Schafer the baseball player, I’ve never seen what all the fuss is about. He could be good or drift off into nothing. His numbers aren’t that eye-popping and he is young. He is not good enough to garner the media attention he has been getting.

— The fact that no one will say how he was busted makes me think that he has been ratted out by a dealer. Maybe it’s someone we have already heard of, or it could be that this is just the first of several names to come.

UPDATE: Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus write the following.

Stories are beginning to come out of an investigation of Schafer and other Braves teammates that led to a confession from Schafer, but it sounds like this could get ugly, if these early stories are true.

Possibly, but keep in mind that early news reports are often tainted by incorrect rumors.

— What does the future hold for Schafer? This is going to be tough to shake, because the first time he doesn’t perform up to his hype—something that is likely to happen anyway—people are going to say, “see, he’s off the drugs.” He might even believe it. Damn placebos!

— Should Schafer be punished for using growth hormone, even though it lacks performance-enhancing benefits? Absolutely. The rules state you can’t do it. Corking a bat doesn’t increase the distance that you can hit a ball, but it is against the rules to do so. The rules must be enforced.

5 Responses “Jordan Schafer and Growth Hormone”

  1. Marc Schneider says:

    Agree that he should be punished but I doubt it will have much effect on his career. If he can play, he can play and it doesn’t really matter what people say. It’s not as if the Braves are averse to giving guys with rap sheets a chance. I agree he is stupid but let’s face it, most of these guys are kids with little education who desparately want to play major league baseball. They look for any edge they can find, like college students taking speed so they can study longer. And, like most kids, especially athletes, they don’t think about health consequences in 40 years (or even sooner I suppose)because that’s forever. Why else do you see people in their 20s smoking?

  2. Jon S. says:

    Does anyone else find it a little strange that Schafer drives a Hummer but only received a $320,000 signing bonus? Considering minor leaguers aren’t breaking the bank, this seems like a strange way to spend your money before you’ve cracked the 25-man roster.

    (For the link to Schafer’s bonus, just search the page for “Schafer” and it will show you his signing bonus.)

  3. Kyle James says:

    I was disappointed when I heard read about Schafer yesterday.

    I’ve definitely been reading different reports on Schafer than you have. All the plans I’ve seen had him as the starting CF by the start of ’09 season three months ago. Kotsay has been very impressive and that’s kind of died down and then this. What is he thinking?

  4. Ron says:

    He’s thinking the same thing they all are thinking, “This will give me an edge and since baseball doesn’t test for it I won’t get caught.”

  5. mraver says:

    Regarding the money thing, he’s also got a Nike contract, so I’m sure there’s some cash there. Also, what else is a 21 year-old going to spend $320k on besides a big truck?

    His dad really seems to want to say something, but I guess there may be a legal proceeding or something. Could be interesting.