Cokin’s Corner, Friday 4/29/16

  • April 29, 2016

Dee Gordon will be on an unpaid vacation for the next few months. The Marlins second baseman and reigning NL batting champ is down for the next 80 games after getting nailed on a PED drug test.

I’m waiting for the statement from Gordon where he tells everyone he has no idea how these drugs got into his system and why he tested positive. Of course, there’s always the chance Gordon just comes clean and admits he broke the rules, but that very rarely happens.

Aside from the label that will now accompany him for the rest of his career, Gordon is still laughing all the way to the bank. He signed a $50 million extension¬†in January. So losing half a season’s pay is maybe not so much of a penalty as some are proclaiming it to be. Obviously, I have no knowledge or documentation as to when Gordon started juicing, but I don’t think I can be blamed for thinking it wasn’t yesterday. Therefore, it’s no far fetched to connect the dots and at least speculate that he won that batting title and reaped the rewards while under the influence.

The MLBPA did tremendous damage to the game in the steroid era by protecting guilty players at the expense of those who were not violating the rules. I’d like to think they might get it right this time and work to protect the majority of the players, who are not breaking rules.

Here’s one way they can do that. It’s too late to implement this policy now, but when the next CBA negotiations roll around, I would like to see a rule that players caught using PED’s be forced to play for the league minimum for the duration of their current contract. I’m pretty sure the owners would have no objection, I can guarantee the fans wouldn’t and the fact is neither should any player who is operating within the rules.

As for Dee Gordon, he’ll be back in August and he’ll get booed in visiting ballparks. Big deal. He’ll still be back on the clock as far as that mega-contract he signed is concerned and personally, I think that stinks.

A very nice April roll continued Thursday, with the Hawks and Marlins both coming through. Ironically, the now suspended Dee Gordon came up huge in the Miami win. He faked a move toward home plate while taking his lead off third base that caused the Dodgers pitcher to balk and that run proved to be very big.

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No sweat with the Thursday free play as the Hawks blew out the worn down Celtics and closed out that opening round playoff series in the process. Here’s one on the diamond for this evening.

MARLINS (Conley) @ BREWERS (Davies)

Take: BREWERS +115

The Miami Marlins are a hot team right now, having just completed a four-game sweep at Chavez Ravine against the Dodgers. Generally speaking, I don’t like to get in the way of a team on a winning streak, but I’m going to try it here.

As far as the matchup goes, I give Adam Conley an edge over Zack Davies, albeit not much of one. The Brewers have loads of flaws and are a bad baseball team. But I kind of like their lineup against mid-level or worse starting pitchers, and whole I like Conley as a prospect, he’s in that group for now. Davies is a soft-tosser who really needs to command his stuff to hang in. The good news is that Davies gets to face a lineup that hasn’t been all that potent for the most part and is now missing its main catalyst at the top of the order.

But the keys for me here are the scheduling and the intangibles. This is a potential flat spot as it is for Miami, having just swept the Dodgers in LA and now facing a far lesser rival in what is the eighth straight road game in three different cities for the Marlins. The fatigue factor could therefore be in play here.

Then there’s the Dee Gordon thing. Make no mistake, this one was a shocker that no one saw coming. Gordon is obviously a big loss physically, and I can only regard the news as a momentum breaker as far as the team is concerned. Instead of riding high off the great sweep against the Dodgers, the players Gordon left behind will now be catching the media heat for the next few days. That’s not their fault, of course, but Gordon won’t be there to have to face that music, and it’s a distraction.

I won’t put this one into the value category as Miami is still the better team with the more reliable starting pitcher. But it looks like a decent home dog spot to me, and I’ve decided to grab the price with the Brewers to get this one in the win column.