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Bloops: Mike Jacobs Tests Positive for H.G.H.

Posted by Steve Lombardi on August 18, 2011

Via the New York Times -

Mike Jacobs, a first baseman in the Colorado Rockies organization who has played over 500 games in the major leagues, including dozens with the Mets, is the first professional baseball player to test positive for human growth hormone, a banned performance-enhancing drug.

Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Jacobs, who was playing for the Class AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox this season, has been suspended for 50 games for failing the drug test.

Jacobs, 30, who was drafted in the 38th round by the Mets in 1999 and has played for them, the Florida Marlins and the Kansas City Royals, provided the blood sample over the past few months, said a person with knowledge of the results.

His blood sample was sent to U.C.L.A.’s Olympic drug-testing lab, which is accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and scientists there detected H.G.H. in it. The drug, which is believed to boost lean muscle mass and aid in recovery, is illegal to possess in the United States without a doctor’s prescription.

What are your thoughts on this development?

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 12:08 pm and is filed under Bloops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

35 Responses to “Bloops: Mike Jacobs Tests Positive for H.G.H.”

  1. I wish I could feel surprised, but just from the circumstances of Jacobs's career, he seems like the kind of player who'd be more likely than others to try and get an illegal edge.

    In 2 years, Jacobs went from making $3 million a year to being a minor-league free agent. He had a fairly short taste of the big-time, big-money life, but now he's 30 and time is running out.

    None of that is meant to either condone or condemn his choice; just trying to understand it.

  2. Agreed with you, JA. The league really began to catch up to him in Florida - he could still mash but he made tons of outs, was mediocre with the glove, and couldn't hit lefties for any amount of love or money.

    His similarity scores are guys like Steve Balboni, Fred Whitfield, and Paul Sorrento - maybe Sorrento had a better eye and plate discipline, but otherwise the profile is the same.

  3. I think it's pretty clear that HGH doesn't improve your plate discipline.

  4. Sadly, the gamble didn't pay off for Mike Jacobs. I wonder if retirement is the only option after the suspension.

    Fifty games will extend into next season, presumably, so he is unlikely to make a major league roster even with an amazing spring training somewhere.

    It makes me think of how many players there must be, filling out AAA rosters, having seen the bright lights of MLB and waiting, waiting to get the call back.

    Desparate times make people do desparate things?

  5. Maybe he had a doctor's prescription?

  6. Why baseball players would ever take HGH is a mystery. Unlike steroids, it does nothing to aid performance.

  7. Nash Bruce Says:

    The testing worked. Good to see.

  8. I agree with Nash...about time this was done. Would love to have gone back about 20 years and implemented this to see what would have happened

  9. @6 - I know Ankiel took something because he was just trying to be healthy again, apart from any performance boost it might have offered. He was pretty much out of baseball (ten IP in 2004, nothing else from 2002-2006) at that point. But he's a unique case among ballplayers, to my knowledge.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Jacobs took the stuff trying to build performance, however. The guy knows he can hit 30 homers in the major leagues, he just needs that slight, slight edge: the thought could be "They test for 'roids and they're bad for you. But this stuff 'helped' Ankiel so why not?"

  10. Nash Bruce Says:

    It would be interesting, and, maybe even inevitable, as 'sports science' gets more and more Star Trek, to have a 'Take Whatever You Want Until Your Liver Explodes' league, where absolutely nothing is banned. Of course, without realizing it, we might have been watching exactly that from the mid 90's through a couple of years ago. (I like this current brand of baseball much more.)

    Although this might not be the forum for this topic,(humor me? smiles) one point of view is, "well, why can't everybody take whatever they want to take? It's their body." More to my point, as genetic engineering, and nanotech continues to advance(?), and (in my opinion) the lines of what constitute a human being continue to become redefined, what role will sports continue to serve? Will they still even have a purpose, if the participants are manufactured bio-elites, who are about as recognizable to me, as current humanity would have been to Neanderthals? Or, being permanently locked into the 'lower' caste of humanity, do I just ignore sports entirely?

    This is the best article that I've read in a long time:
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2048299,00.html
    While understanding that there are a lot of intense things going on right now in the world (I'm living it too!).....I'd still say, much bigger picture, that everything else pales in comparison.

  11. Nash Bruce Says:

    @8: As I commented on another thread, looking back, I think that Dykstra was juicing during his monster '93 season, 20 years almost doesn't even catch that....

  12. @10 - it's very Ghost in the Shell, isn't it? Could even Battou make solid contact off the Major? Would thermal camoflage be outlawed? And would we still need instant replay with umps who could see in full HD at 500 frames per second?

  13. Nash Bruce Says:

    "Nuke the ump" could have literal meaning......and might not even finish the job!!

  14. Nice job, dipshit.

    Only real surprise was it took this long.

  15. @10: Your idea of a league where all drugs are legal reminded me of the classic "All Drug Olympics" skit from SNL in 1988. The steroid era started soonafter.

    Transcript & photos:
    http://snltranscripts.jt.org/88/88aupdate.phtml

  16. he's since been released by colorado as well

  17. bluejaysstatsgeek Says:

    @5, Aryeh posted:

    "Maybe he had a doctor's prescription?"

    On another site that I follow, we have a sarcasm font, which I assume was appropriate here.

    If not, whether he had a prescription doesn't matter. There was an article about a former major leaguer that went to the same clinic to have the same procedure as Bartolo Colon. At that clinic, they said that they normally use HGH as part of the procedure, but not in the case of professional baseball players, because of the ban. (It might have been every professional athlete.) HGH cannot be used, even for therapeutic reasons.

  18. HGH does improve your strength and your ability to recover quicker. Whenever you hear about "rejuvenation clinics," they're giving them HGH if their a high-end one. However, it doesn't not do that much on its own compared to everything else out there, so it usually used as an "enhancer" with other steroids.

    The most amazing this about this is that it is almost impossible to fail a test for it (as in it cannot be detected by a urine test after a day, sometimes less.) This guy must have walked into the testing room with a needle in his ass.

  19. When will they start testing umpires' eyesights? Half-blind people calling themselves umpires are plaguing at the field.

    If players can be suspended for taking unallowed drugs, visually challenged umpires should also be suspended for that or get corrective measures.

  20. Don Mattingly's Disembodied Moustache Says:

    I once thought about taking MGH (Moustache Growth Hormone), however, Don would have nothing to do with it!!

  21. @6:

    "Why baseball players would ever take HGH is a mystery. Unlike steroids, it does nothing to aid performance."

    That's still open for debate.

  22. @19
    Cabriael, I hesitate to ask what you are referring to but I assume it is a "Yankees wuz robbed" sentiment.

  23. This proves the rumored existence of an unusually sinister strain of HGH with a marked and often fatal platoon differential.

  24. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @19/ Cabriael Says: "... When will they start testing umpires' eyesights? Half-blind people calling themselves umpires are plaguing at the field..."

    So how is this particular alleged "wrong call" any different than what the team on the wrong end of any umpire's call has been claiming for the past 150 years?

    @23/ LOL

  25. At the time the Mets dealt Jacobs for Delgado I was worried that deal would turn out awful.Delgado out of baseball in a few years while Jacobs hit 30 hrs a season for a decade.

  26. You can argue all you want to the effects of HGH or steriods on performance, but there is no debate to the effect they had on Jacobs' bank account.

  27. @21, Jeff says: "That's still open for debate."
    --

    Agreed in the sense that anything can be open for debate. People can debate if unicorns exist, but it doesn't mean they do.

    Unlike steroids, which have been shown to increase performance (although probably much less than people think, and not consistently across the board for all players), all testing related to HGH has come back firmly in the camp that it does nothing for a baseball player. Of course, that leads to the question of why would a player take the substance if it does nothing. It's the same reason they take tons of legal vitamins and supplements that also do nothing, or powders and other mixtures players have tried for decades. They do it on the chance that it might do something, or they personally believe it might do something, or they're worried about being at a possible disadvantage compared to other players, so they take it. I'm sure that belief becomes even more powerful as a player watches his career begin to slip away.

    If HGH helps a player heal faster, then MLB should be investigating it for legal usage. Anything that will help a player get back on the field faster should be investigated. So far the investigations have come back negative, yet we do see HGH being used by some of these doctors doing stem cell transplants. Maybe there's something there. It's inconclusive.

    BTW Beyond baseball, there were some doctors promoting HGH for people over the age of 50, suggesting it helped restore lost muscle mass and made the patients younger. Recents testing on that has shown that claim to also be nonsense.

    Anyway, I gotta go. I think I just saw what look like a horse with a horn on its head walk by my home.

  28. Nash Bruce Says:

    @15 LSD......er, LLD: LOL

  29. I blogged about it here: http://bullpen-blog.com/2011/08/18/jacobs-suspension-start/

    Like it says, I think it's just the beginning

  30. The makers of HGH can't be happy about this. This guy can't even keep a spot in the majors.

  31. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I think it's a shame that because Jacobs is a marginal player, this has probably ended his career. He was released today. Is any team going to sign him, knowing he then has to sit out for 50 games? I doubt it. I'm sure the "PED" hardliners are happy about that. I would hope that most people, even if against use of HGH, believe players deserve second chances. Jacobs probably won't get one, for using something which in 30 years may well be part of of a regular healthy regimen.

  32. @ 27 RobMer:

    Our boy in Hollywood, 'vester Stallone, swears by the HGH.....he's got to be 60 years old, looks 40. But, then again, probably is on everything else in the known universe, has testicles like young early peas, and the Neolithic brow shaved down periodically at his "on-retainer" plastic surgeon....rememeber Sosa took on the lizard like appearance ? At $20,000,000 per annum (or film), WTFN ?

  33. Stallone is 65. HGH also tends to provide a look similar to Acromeglia, the pituitary disorder, where the jaw especially grows disproportionately, as do the internal organs. That is why you see competitive bodybuilders with very low body fat, whose stomach still pushes out.

    I would like to see the evidence that HGH does not work. Now some players do not benefit from enhanced muscle that the usual suspect PEDs provide, but most do. It is always possible that a certain substance has mainly a psychological effect, though naturally occurring HGH does keep folks strong & lean, & declines with age. So it stands to reason that it would work to use HGH.

    Also, there is a big difference between using this or an androgen variant that gives you the level you would have had in your 20's, & how these things are normally used: in much greater amounts. The effects of steroids are real: without them you would not have competitive lifters of max. average height, very to extremely low body fat, at around 300 lbs.

  34. At least now he's the answer to a trivia question.

  35. Im_A_Shark7 Says:

    Mike Jacobs does HGH because Mike Jacobs is bad bone.