Tag:Paul Byrd
Posted on: May 8, 2009 5:00 pm

Stories they could (and do) tell

Of course Manny Ramirez blames a doctor in Florida for prescribing him bad stuff for "a personal health issue."

Of course the doctor "gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me," Manny said in his statement.

Of course. Rare is the player who violates baseball's drug prevention program testing, or is shoulder-deep in circumstantial evidence, and is actually guilty.

Let's review:

Alex Rodriguez: Said his cousin in Florida got some stuff for him. "I didn't think they were steroids. Again, that's part of being young and stupid."

Paul Byrd: The pitcher, then working for Cleveland in the 2007 American League Championship Series, said he began taking Human Growth Hormone as part of treatment for a tumor on his pituitary gland. Said he took it under medical supervision. Later reports alleged that Byrd actually began taking HGH before any pituitary gland tumor was found and that one of the medical "professionals" to have prescribed Byrd's stash was a Florida dentist whose dental license had been suspended for fraud and incompetence. Don't know if that Florida dentist knows Manny's Florida doctor.

(I don't know whether Byrd's Florida dentist knows Manny's Florida doctor. Or whether the dentist and the doctor know A-Rod's Florida cousin. I do know this is all sounds like something hatched in a Carl Hiaasen novel.)

Rafael Palmeiro: "I did not do this intentionally or knowingly." He said he thought he was getting vitamin B-12 from then-teammate Miguel Tejada.

Alex Sanchez: The first major-leaguer suspended, back in 2004, under the drug policy. "I take stuff I buy over the counter," he said. "Multivitamins, protein shakes, muscle relaxants. That kind of stuff."

Barry Bonds: The Cream? The Clear? Bonds said he thought it was flaxseed oil.

Roger Clemens: Hey man, it was Vitamin B-12. And the injections were Lidocaine.

Sergio Mitre: Former Cubs pitcher suspended in January after taking banned substance "unwittingly" that was purchased from a legal supplement at a GNC store.

Mike Cameron: Tested positive for a banned stimulant twice. "I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted."

J.C. Romero: Phillies reliever has filed suit against nutritional supplement manufacturer alleging an unlisted ingredient in one of its products caused him to test positive for a substance banned by Major League Baseball.

Likes: Former pitcher Rob Dibble on SIRIUS XM satellite radio Thursday: "I almost believe that you should get a lifetime ban for idiocy because it's just so ridiculous that you could think 'I'm above it all, I'm Manny Ramirez, I'm Alex Rodriguez, I'm Rafael Palmeiro, I'm Roger Clemens.' How many more guys do I have to name before we run out of heroes and superstar players in the major leagues that you actually believe aren't doing this stuff?" ... And this from Dibble on SIRIUS XM: "To me, it's an embarrassment for all of these guys, more so for the people that didn't cheat and the guys that played, 20, 30, 40 years ago, including people like Roberto Clemente or Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays. Can you imagine these older gentlemen sitting at home and hearing about this?" ... Dontrelle Willis to start for Detroit at Minnesota on Wednesday. ... State of Play. Entertaining movie, though a little schmaltzy in places with the repartee between the Russell Crowe reporter character and the Rachel McAdams blogger character. ... KLOS, the venerable rock radio station in Los Angeles (95.5 on your dial). Good stuff.

Dislikes: Bob Melvin is a good man. Arizona's problems run way deeper than him. But it's right there in the manager's handbook: One day, you must go.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?
"A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
"What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
"Joltin' Joe has left and gone away"

-- Simon and Garfunkel, Mrs. Robinson

Posted on: April 22, 2009 9:26 pm

Angels: No go on Pedro

With four starting pitchers on the disabled list, the Los Angeles Angels remain determined to patch their holes from within and will promote right-hander Matt Palmer from Triple-A Salt Lake to start Thursday night's game against Detroit.

Which means, for now, you can forget about the few scraps still out there on the free agent market such as Pedro Martinez. And behind him, neither Paul Byrd nor Mark Mulder should be waiting by their telephones.

"There are obvious free agents out there," Angels general manager Tony Reagins says. "Pedro's representative (Fern Cuza) reached out to me a couple of weeks ago. Since then, there hasn't been any contact."

Nor, Reagins said, are the Angels anywhere close to signing a free agent despite the fact that ace John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Dustin Moseley and Kelvim Escobar are on the DL. The Angels also are still recovering from the death of starter Nick Adenhart, who opened the season in the rotation, in a tragic traffic accident two weeks ago.

"There is nothing imminent," Reagins said when asked if there are plans to go outside the organization for help. "We're confident in the players we have in house. I want to be clear on that.

"Right now, we're not playing as good as we can. We can play much better. We're trying to re-set our bullpen. Our starting pitching has been fine.

"We're 13 games in. We're not pushing any panic buttons. We have some talented players. We're very confident."

The Angels gave a spot start to reliever Darren Oliver on Saturday in Minnesota. But manager Mike Scioscia said before Wednesday's game against Detroit that Oliver was "still a little stiff" from that start and that the club did not want to push him any harder with another start.

Besides, despite so many starting pitchers out, the Angels cannot afford to dip into their bullpen for spot starters because they need all hands on deck there. Los Angeles' 7.85 bullpen ERA is the worst in baseball.

As for Palmer, who will face the Tigers' Edwin Jackson at Angels Stadium on Thursday, the Angels signed him in January as a minor-league free agent from the Giants' organization.

Originally selected by San Francisco in the 31st round of the 2002 draft, Palmer has three big league starts on his resume, all last year. He went 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA for the Giants in 2008. In 12 2/3 innings, opponents batted .333 against Palmer last year. He walked 13 and struck out three.



Posted on: April 10, 2008 5:04 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2008 5:08 pm

Byrd migrating south, questions abound up north

Things were moving along just fine for Cleveland pitcher Paul Byrd, right up until Game 7 of last year's American League Championship Series.

Then word leaked that Byrd had taken human growth hormone, he acknowledged he had because of a medical condition, the Indians lost Game 7 and went home and then 2008 started and Byrd is standing here with an 0-2 record and a whopping 11.05 ERA.

OK, so that's an abridged version of what's happened over the past six or so months, but however long you analyze it, the bottom line is not good for Cleveland's Byrd man.

"My fastball just doesn't have a lot of life," the right-hander was saying after the Los Angeles Angels battered him for six earned runs and five hits over just three innings in Wednesday's 9-5 wing-clipping of Byrd and the Indians. "When I miss, it's like batting practice. You can't be perfect every pitch, but if you throw batting practice and you're  not perfect, you just watch (the baseballs) go over the fence."

The uncomfortable question here is whether the aftermath of the HGH stuff from last October is having any effect.

Has it affected his concentration level?

"I feel like that's been pretty good," Byrd says. "As far as I know, it hasn't caused me to lose concentration on the mound. It's been distracting sometimes when I'm not on the mound. But on the mound, my head's been pretty clear. I'm just leaving stuff up."

Is he putting extra pressure on himself after the fact?

"Not that I know of," Byrd says. "I'm excited to help this team get off to a good start, and I've done the opposite. I'm not giving the team quality starts, which is what I usually do."

Sundials always have been more suited than radar guns to measure Byrd's slow, mid-80s fastball. For him, it is all about location.

When he struggled in Oakland last Friday (five runs, three earned, eight hits, two walks in 4 1/3 innings), Byrd thought perhaps the chilly evening air affected him adversely.

But as he noted after walking two more batters in three innings against the Angels, Wednesday was a beautiful day.

"There's 85 m.p.h. fastballs that guys foul off, that have life, cut, sink, is sneaky," Byrd says. "Then there's 85 m.p.h. batting practice fastballs with no life that don't move and look like they're on a tee, that aren't sneaking up on anybody.

"That's what I have right now."

Byrd next is slated to start Tuesday night in Cleveland against Boston in an ALCS re-match. By then, perhaps his fastball will have its sneak back. He sure hopes so. The Indians do, too. Because the longer he goes without it, the uglier it's going to get.

Likes: The MLB Extra Innings television package and XM radio. I don't mean to be a shill for other people's products here, but to be able to watch or listen to almost every game being played every night is fantastic. The technology available today to bring the home team's games to fans who have moved, or to give those who live nowhere near a big league ballpark all sorts of options, is way cool. Had they had these things when I was a kid, I might still be sitting in my parents' living room. ... Toronto having to re-think its $2 tickets because of too many fights. Listen, I'm not promoting fighting, but in the days of luxury suites, new ballparks and rising ticket costs, it's nice to see baseball isn't losing touch with its blue-collar roots. Keep the $2 seats -- and just hire bouncers instead of ushers for those sections. ... The Masters this weekend. I'm not a huge golf guy, but I do appreciate American institutions, and every time I see a TV shot from Augusta, the place looks breathtakingly beautiful. ... Two incredible Bruce Springsteen shows in Anaheim this week. Anytime you get Light of Day to start, you know anything could happen the rest of the way. Anytime you get Trapped, you know it's a great show. And when you get several different songs on night two, including Candy's Room, Brilliant Disguise, Meeting Across the River and Jungleland, well, you sure ain't going home unhappy.

Dislikes: The weekend approaching and baseball underway? You're on your own for dislikes today. I've got no grumpiness at all.

Rock 'N Roll lyric of the day:

"One love
"One life
"When it's one need
"In the night
"One love
"We get to share it
"Leaves you baby if you
"Don't care for it"

-- U2, One

Category: MLB
Tags: Paul Byrd, U2
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