First MLB player gets suspended for HGH

517356.jpg

First MLB player gets suspended for HGH

From Comcast SportsNet Thursday, August 18, 2011
DENVER (AP) -- Mike Jacobs is the first player suspended by Major League Baseball for a positive HGH test. The 30-year-old minor league first baseman and former major leaguer received a 50-game suspension Thursday for taking the banned performance-enhancing substance and was subsequently released by the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies released a statement expressing their disappointment in Jacobs and saying PEDs must be eradicated from the sport. In a statement, Jacobs said he took human growth hormone to overcome knee and back ailments. "A few weeks ago, in an attempt to overcome knee and back problems, I made the terrible decision to take HGH," Jacobs said in the statement released through his representative. "I immediately stopped a couple of days later after being tested. Taking it was one of the worst decisions I could have ever made, one for which I take full responsibility. "I apologize to my family, friends, the Colorado Rockies organization, Major League Baseball and to the fans," Jacobs added. "Now, as required by the minor league drug program, I will serve a 50-game suspension. After my suspension is completed, I hope to have the opportunity to continue my career in the game that I love so much." The Rockies said they fully support baseball's efforts to rid the sport of PEDs. "We have routinely educated all of our players about the dangers of performance enhancing substances and strongly encourage all players to avoid their use," the club's statement said. "We strongly believe that baseball and all other sports must continue to directly address the issue of performance-enhancing substances. There is no place in baseball for such substances, and we have and will continue to do what we can to eliminate them from our game." Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, praised baseball's hard stance on HGH at the minor league level. "All those that value clean sport know that HGH testing is a necessary part of an effective anti-doping program; otherwise you give athletes a license to use this potent performance enhancing drug with impunity," Tygart said. "This case demonstrates how MLB has stepped up to the plate and implemented HGH testing in the minor leagues to protect clean athletes and the integrity of competition." HGH testing is one of the items under negotiation between the NFL and the players union as the sides put the finishing touches on the 10-year labor accord they reached last month to end the nearly five-month lockout. Jacobs has played six major league seasons, collecting 100 homers and 310 RBIs with a career .254 batting average with the Mets, Marlins and Royals. He was leading the Rockies' Triple-A team in Colorado Springs with 23 homers and 97 RBIs while hitting .298 over 117 games with the Sky Sox.

Celtics-Cavs Game 4 preview: C's expect an aggressive LeBron

Celtics-Cavs Game 4 preview: C's expect an aggressive LeBron

CLEVELAND -- Marcus Smart made shots, Jonas Jerebko (10 points) outscored the entire Cleveland second unit by himself, and Kevin Love’s hot hand in the first half cooled off considerably in the second.

It was on so many levels the perfect storm for the Boston Celtics in Game 3 which ended with Avery Bradley getting a friendly bounce or two – OK, it was four bounces to be exact – that would be the difference in Boston’s 111-108 Game 3 win, which cut Cleveland’s lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.

But that perfect storm is now a thing of the past, which is why the Celtics are battening down the hatches for Hurricane James – LeBron James – in Game 4.

James scored just 11 points in Game 3 on 4-for-13 shooting.

Certainly, Boston’s defense had a role in James’ struggles.

But after looking to be a facilitator at the start of the game, James never flipped the switch to become a terminator.

So, as his teammates struggled with their shots in the second half, James didn’t ratchet up his aggression level to get buckets and in doing so, was just what the Celtics needed to get a much-needed victory.

Had Boston lost Game 3, this series being over would have been a mere formality with no team in NBA history has ever rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to advance to the next round of play.

But the Celtics are very much alive and well with a chance to even up the series at 2-2 with a victory tonight.

If they are to somehow find a way to beat the Cavs on their home floor a second straight game, it’ll most likely come after fending off a strong surge from James.

This season, James has been an offensive power following games in which he has scored less than 20 points in a game.

In the following game after he scores less than 20 points, James has averaged 27.8 points.

And his record in those games during the regular season was 10-3.

“He’s going to be aggressive,” said Boston’s Avery Bradley. “LeBron James understands how to play the game and he understands what his team needs from him. He’s most likely going to be a lot more aggressive. It’s our job to make sure we defend him as best we can; take other guys out of the game.”

Like Tristan Thompson who had 18 points but only took four shots (he made 3) to get it, as most of his scoring came from the free throw line after getting fouled.

“He had 12 free throws or something like that? He’s playing well for them,” Bradley said. ‘We have to try and limit him to less rebounds. It’s going to be hard. If we’re able to do that and guard the 3, I like our chances.”

Boston’s Al Horford anticipates seeing not just James but the entire Cavs roster try to be more aggressive at the start.

And that means as good as they did in Game 3, they’ll have to be even better tonight.

“On the defensive end, we feel there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement,” Horford told CSN. “We just have to come out and play.”

In Game 3, Boston fell behind by as many as 21 points but for the most part stayed within arm’s reach of the Cavaliers which was a major improvement over Games 1 and 2 in Boston.

And as the Celtics continued to climb back into Game 3, James’ lack of impact plays remained a mystery.

And while there are some who are quick to put Sunday’s loss on James, not surprisingly his coach sees things differently.

“We're all to blame,” said Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue on Monday. “We lost; it happens. For a guy who played great for five straight months, he's got to have a bad game sooner or later. He's human. He didn't shoot the ball well. It wasn't his ordinary game. But Kevin (Love) and Kyrie (Irving) had it going early and they played well, so it kind of got him out of rhythm a little bit in that first half. That's no excuse. Like I said, they played well, but we've just got to play better, be more physical.”

After reviewing the video from Game 3, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was once again impressed with James for the most part making the right basketball play most of the game.

“When you've got guys that are all on fire the way they are, the right basketball play is to find them,” Stevens said. “He just made it over and over.

Stevens added, “The guy is a tremendous basketball player. He makes the right play over and over, and he thinks the game, he sees the game. He's a really good defender. He can read situations. So, I thought he was pretty darned good. But like I said (following Game 3), I'm not going to be critical of the best player in the world.”

Indeed, Stevens has far more important things to worry about, like bracing his players for the impending storm known to all as LeBron James.