Len Kasper

A Random Walk before Cubs Pitchers and Catchers Report

Some interesting storylines developing this weekend.

Alex Rodriguez, Donald Fehr and Bud Selig are going to have some splainin' to do with Sports Illustrated breaking a blockbuster HERE regarding ARod testing positive for two anabolic steroids in 2003 while with Texas. In fact, it's not just ARod but 104 players in total are on this list, which led to MLB adopting a random testing program for steroids in 2004. More than 5% of players tested were showing positive results in what was hoped to be proof that steroid use was nothing more than a rare situation. When the games biggest stars get pantsed as cheaters, in this case as defined by ARod turning his talents into $25-30 million/year contracts, the steroid era stain just keeps on spreading. Kind of like that pink spot in "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back".

When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. "You'll have to talk to the union," said Rodriguez, the Yankees' third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, "I'm not saying anything."

Primobolan, which is also known by the chemical name methenolone, is an injected or orally administered drug that is more expensive than most steroids.  According to a search of FDA records, Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the United States, nor was it in 2003.

Rodriguez finished the 2003 season by winning his third straight league home run title (with 47) and the first of his three MVP awards.

Because more than 5% of big leaguers had tested positive in 2003, baseball instituted a mandatory random-testing program, with penalties, in '04.

Truth or Consequences? This is the Katie Couric Interview with ARod after the Mitchell Report was released last year where he flat out denies using PED's. Here are three blunt questions he was asked in that interview:

Q: For the record, have you ever done steroids, Human Growth Hormone or any other PED's?
Q: Have you ever been tempted to use any of those things?
Q: Who do you think has the real HR record, Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds?


Bruce Levine
was on vacation (at the Dunes in Vegas) for his regular ESPN radio
"Talkin' Baseball" show. Jonathan Hood substituted and Len Kasper was
interviewed. Len did say they will have 9 Cub games on TV this spring starting with two from Las Vegas begining March 4th. ESPN-1000's website now has downloadable archives
to Levine's weekly show for those who need a "BRUUCE" fix.

The Waddle and
Silvy show, daytimes (locally in Chicago) on ESPN-1000 radio has a similar site that has archives.
Their show from Feb 4th has an interview with Steve Stone who typically
is critical of the Cubs (this time for trading DeRosa and not signing
Blanco).

In a separate interview (same show) they talk to Todd Hollandsworth who will
now be doing the pre/post game duties for the Cubs on Comcast Sports
Network. Hollandsworth should be a nice addition, replacing Dan Plesac who has moved on to the new MLB network. Hollandsworth had been a weekly feature on David Kaplan's WGN radio Sports Central show, which essentially turned into a test run for him getting the CSN job. Color me a big fan of Plesac's work and the new MLB network which just added Bob Costas to their talent pool this week.

Rock on Len. Roll on Bruce.

Len Kasper Chat Wrap

There isn't a whole lot going down today. The last-ever Hall of Fame game was to feature the Cubs versus the Padres this afternoon...and was poetically rained out. That'll save the Cubs from a freak injury at least.

To hold us over until the big Cubs vs Rays series tomorrow (imagine that, an IMPORTANT Cubs vs Rays series), reader Carlos sent me a link to a Len Kasper chat wrap on Baseball Prospectus from last week. He touches on his love of sabermetrics along with a bit of inside info on the personalities on the team. It's certainly worth a read.

I also would like to mention that the Cubs reached 20 games over .500 with the win yesterday. This is the soonest they've reached that mark since...1906, which is still the record for highest team winnng percentage in a season. Lou's 2001 Mariners did tie the 116 win mark, but had ten more games to do it (162 versus 152).

Some minor league info and run differential update after the jump...

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  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 1 hour 35 min ago view
  • I. Hate. The. Mets.

    billybucks 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • OK Marlins -- take 'em down. Fernandez, at home, tomorrow for the Fish.

    Gotta say, though -- as much as I can't stand them, the Cardinals have had some very impressive late-inning wins against premier closers.

    billybucks 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....

    billybucks 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • If Jason Hammel doesn't get a potato chip sponsorship deal, somebody messed up. Attaboy, Jason!

    billybucks 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • I am looking forward to AChap facing the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • Sure is fun to watch them score finally. To think they were no-hit until the 7th...

    The E-Man 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Got to admit it - it was comforting seeing Rondon come out for the eighth after just taking a two run lead ... And put the hammer down with a 7 pitch inning. Good stuff

    Eric S 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • GRAND SLAM RUSSELL

    blown the hell open...7 run lead

    crunch 2 hours 40 min ago view
  • 11 hits off Wainwright tonight. Everything going right for the Cards right now. Motherfucking motherfuckers.

    The E-Man 2 hours 49 min ago view
  • it was more no-doubt than bryant's HR. it wont make any end-of-season highlight reels, but that one was booked to leave on contact.

    crunch 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • Javy! Javy! Javy!

    How sweet was that - Cranked it!

    393 happy feet

    Eric S 3 hours 5 min ago view
  • baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaez!

    cubs take a 2 run lead in the 7th. sweet.

    crunch 3 hours 9 min ago view
  • ...and the Cards tie and take the lead in the 9th. off Familia.

    blockhead25 3 hours 13 min ago view
  • Familia blows his first save of the season -- gives up 2 in 9th to the Cards.

    Not much going our way these days.

    billybucks 3 hours 13 min ago view
  • bryant's back!

    no-doubt HR towering to CF...tie game.

    crunch 3 hours 31 min ago view