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.