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November 12, 2012 5:00 am

Pebble Hunting: How Many MVP Votes Will Ryan Braun Lose?


Sam Miller

If the BBWAA doesn't select Ryan Braun as NL MVP, should we blame PED payback?

A few years back, Jay Jaffe introduced an MVP Predictor formula called JUMP on Baseball Prospectus. It was, if his descriptions of his spreadsheets are any indication, a spectacularly messy equation, befitting the complex and irregular methods voters use to choose their MVPs. As Jay wrote at the time,

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How much did Melky Cabrera's suspension affect San Francisco's odds of appearing in October?

When news of Melky Cabrera’s 50-game suspension for taking testosterone broke this afternoon, the Giants had 45 games remaining, were tied with the Dodgers atop the NL West, and were half a game worse than the Braves and Pirates, the two teams tentatively holding the two NL Wild Cards. Shortly after that, they lost to the Nationals, 6-4, but let’s pretend that never happened. (Who knows, maybe with Melky they would have won.) This morning, with Melky, the Giants had a 60.5 percent chance of making the playoffs: 53.2 percent from winning the division, and 7.3 percent from winning a Wild Card. How much did losing Melky for the rest of the regular season affect their odds?

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Comics come to BP, as Indy tries to track down a lost sample containing testosterone levels high enough to upset the balance of power in baseball.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Although he’s been exiled to Wisconsin, Jim Gardner continues to follow the Los Angeles Angels just as rabidly as he did while growing up in the shadows of Angels Stadium. Since joining the staff at Halos Heaven in 2008, Jim has spent his time blogging about the boys in red while creating the occasional "A Day at the Park" comic under the screen name "WiHaloFan." When he’s not doing something Angels-centric, he can be found in his backyard chasing away deer and cursing at the snow.

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National League MVP has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and faces a 50-game suspension barring an unprecedented overturning of the result.

This story was initially published around 8:30 PM ET on Saturday night and has since been revised several times as new information has emerged. Please scroll down to see updates.

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The injured Reds pitcher's 50-game ban raises questions but shows MLB's drug policy is working.

We have our "semi-big" name.

Edinson Volquez was suspended by the commissioner's office on Tuesday for 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. That's pretty much what we know, so I'll try to fill in the gaps of knowledge as much as possible, based on the process, Volquez's less-than-illuminating post-suspension statement, and the minimal leaks surrounding the case.

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February 5, 2009 11:13 am

Under The Knife: Dr. X2


Will Carroll

A trip back inside the steroid underground to talk about the next big performance enhancer.

I walked into the restaurant and sat at the bar, figuring it wouldn't be long until the person I was waiting for showed. Since leaving my hotel, I'd been feeling a sense of dread, excitement, and dj vu. Five years ago, I met with a man I called "Dr. X", one of the leading figures in the steroid underground. Tonight, I'd be doing the same. Last time, I had to jump through hoops, seeing meetings canceled and conditions changed, and when we finally did meet face to face, he was wearing a disguise. There were no such concerns this time, as if men like Dr. X had undergone the same transformation as their drugs. Things were more advanced, clearer (no pun intended), and done much more out in the open.

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December 8, 2004 12:00 am

Steroids in Baseball


Will Carroll

There are many chemical compounds available to enhance performance, and the only way to address their use in baseball is through a stringent testing program.

Biochem 101

Amidst the hue and cry, what's been missing are some basic facts about the substances in question. For example, there are a number of drugs that have come under the generic word "steroids" that do not include anabolic steroid components. I prefer the term "performance enhancing drug" (PED) as more accurate and encompassing. However, it is even difficult to classify things as PEDs without finding yourself on a slippery slope.

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September 1, 1998 12:00 am

Homers and Hormones


Rany Jazayerli

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