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Yes, I'm talking about steroids

Like Sam, I don't like talking about the steroid situation. I'm going to touch on it a bit though since the first thing I'm going to talk about could affect the Rays some.

We all know about the 38 minor leaguers suspended the other day, but as has been pointed out these suspensions all came from systems that trained in Arizona. That means that the Florida ones are still coming, Will Carroll says (BP subscriber article) that the list will be revealed to the public this week and may have as many as 60-80 names on it. It's likely that there will be at least a couple Rays minor leaguers on it but we can hope that it will follow suit with the Arizona list and be almost exclusively fringe players. It's possible that any Rays on the list won't even be in the organization due to the recent cuts.

While it's good that no teams are having anyone significant test positive, that seems suspicious. Sure, these are mostly players that are just barely hanging on or don't have much shot at the majors so it might make sense that they would be more likely to risk punishment in order to gain whatever edge they can. However, shouldn't there at least be some real prospects on there? Maybe not the top guys but the lower tiers, the kind that John Sickels grades out around C/C+, how is it that practically none of them are trying to get that extra advantage to boost their stock?

As far as I know there weren't any changes made to the minor league testing policy for this season. It's not surprising that no lists like this have been released before, it hasn't been MLB policy to do that and it makes them look like they're doing something and have an effective policy if they start revealing things like this. However, if large numbers of players were suspended in the minors, even if gradually caught over the course of the year instead of all at once, wouldn't more details have come out? Wouldn't we have heard more about it and have a lot of people asking questions about the number of players being caught?

If there's one thing we know about MLB it's that we can't trust them to reveal anything negative on their own unless they're forced to. I think it's very possible that this is just a smokescreen, MLB trying to sacrifice a bunch of insignificant players in the hope that it will satisfy the watchers and they can avoid the bad PR (and a negative thing for the quality of its teams) that would come with name prospects getting suspended for steroid use.

I know it sounds a little conspiracy theoryish but I don't think it's far-fetched at all. Can't you easily imagine Selig and his minions taking advantage of the control they have over the testing results to hide the worst of it from everyone?