So What Are the Odds Galvis Is Getting Hosed?

So What Are the Odds Galvis Is Getting Hosed?

At least one person wasn't so quick to jump to the conclusion Freddy Galvis was doing anything that might be construed as "juicing." Shortly after the news of the 50-game suspension broke late Tuesday afternoon, John Finger tweeted this link, which suggests the substance the young second baseman was taking -- Clostebol -- might have other, less incriminating ways of entering the blood stream.
A paper submitted by a group of doctors to an international journal of clinical laboratory science known as Clinical Chemistry (bear with us) put forth the suggestion back in 2004 that trace amounts of Clostebol could enter the blood steam another way.
The most likely of those seemed to be simply by taking a prescribed medication containing this substance, but one claim even pegged the contamination on sex. Supposedly, if your partner happens to be taking a drug with Clostebol, trace amounts of the drug could be transferred through intercourse. Wild.
Galvis seemingly maintained his innocence in his apology statement yesterday, and at least for some folks, the parts-per-trillion or whatever (we're science-y) in his urine was so low as to not trigger full-on skepticism as to how the drug ended up in his system. Others wanted to defend the kid's character, or point out that he wasn't hitting the ball a ton -- not that that's definitive one way or the other. Still others merely assumed that what was accused was true, because the only thing surprising about PED suspensions anymore is the "who."
Further clouding matters is that while Galvis has denied intent, he either accepted his suspension without appeal or privately appealed and was denied. Ruben Amaro Jr would not comment on whether there was an appeal. Instead, Galvis simply apologized, seeming all too eager to quickly put this whole situation behind him.
It can't hurt he'll be serving his 50 games on the disabled list, but we shouldn't automatically think appealing only serves to delay his return to the diamond. If Galvis is caught again, the punishment only gets worse next time. Even if a guilty user isn't concerned with clearing his name, he probably doesn't want to earn a strike, especially not at the age of 22.
The suspension is unfortunate, and after years and years of finger pointing over steroids and other PEDs in baseball, the logical conclusion when MLB comes down on a guy is he must be caught red handed. Maybe Freddy Galvis turns out to be one of those guys, but maybe there was more to the story as well.

Gunn's Bullet Points: Flags could fly in secondary for Eagles-Cowboys

Gunn's Bullet Points: Flags could fly in secondary for Eagles-Cowboys

Some notes and keys ahead of Sunday night's Eagles-Cowboys game:

• Since throwing for 301 yards against Pittsburgh in Week 3, Carson Wentz's aerial numbers have declined — 238 yards in Detroit, 179 in Washington and 138 vs. Minnesota.

• Even though he missed two games with an injury, I still can't understand how Zach Ertz has been targeted only 16 times in four games this season.

• Dallas WR Cole Beasley is arguably the best slot receiver in the game right now. Last November against the Eagles, he had nine receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns. With the Eagles' best slot cornerback, Ron Brooks, out for the year with a ruptured quad tendon, Malcolm Jenkins will have his hands full trying to keep up with Beasley in the slot.

• Eagles and Cowboys defensive backs beware: Jerome Boger's crew is officiating this game. This season, Boger's crew has called 36 penalties for defensive pass interference, illegal contact or defensive holding.

• The Eagles' 20 sacks ties them for third-most in the league. Dallas has allowed just nine, second-fewest in the NFL.

• Does Doug Pederson still have faith in RB Ryan Mathews late in games? Mathews has fumbled with less than five minutes left in two of the last three games. The head coach says he has not lost faith in Mathews, and Mathews says he'll stop fighting for more yards late in games. Time will tell.

After 2 fumbles, Mathews says he must fight urge to fight for more yards

After 2 fumbles, Mathews says he must fight urge to fight for more yards

Doug Pederson said this week he’s so concerned about Ryan Mathews’ late-game fumbling problem that he’ll consider using a different running back in crucial late-game situations (see story).

If Mathews is concerned about it, he’s not letting on.

“I don’t worry about stuff like that,” he said at his locker on Thursday. “Worrying about stuff like that just causes more stress.

“I can’t control any of that. The only thing I can control is trying to give him 100 percent every time I touch the ball and trying to get better.”

Mathews likely cost the Eagles a win over the Lions with his late fumble in Detroit three weeks ago. Last week, he lost another fumble in the final minutes of the Eagles’ win over the Vikings.

He’s the first back with two fumbles in the final five minutes of two games in the same season since Ahmad Bradshaw of the Giants in 2010.

He has single-handedly accounted for two of the three fumbles by NFL running backs in the last five minutes of games this year.

Pederson on Wednesday said, “By no means am I down on Ryan,” but also said he would consider using Wendell Smallwood or Darren Sproles in late-game situations moving forward.

Mathews is averaging 3.9 yards per carry on a team-high 11 carries per game.

He said Thursday he has to learn not to fight for extra yards when the situation calls mainly for ball protection.

“You can’t fight for more yards, you’ve just got to go down,” he said. “Don’t put the ball on the ground.

“There’s no secret cure or anything like that. You’ve just got to get what you can get and get down. You can’t really fight for more yards like that.”

Mathews said it’s difficult for him to ramp down his natural aggressiveness in situations that call for him to be more conservative and protect the ball instead of trying to fight for extra yards.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I’m not the one to really shy away from not going down on first contact. But situations like that, you’ve just got to be more aware.”

Sproles (4.6 average on 31 carries), Smallwood (4.1 average on 28 carries) and Kenjon Barner (5.8 average on 16 carries) all have higher rushing averages than Mathews.

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said he’s not concerned about Mathews and said his confidence in the 29-year-old former Pro Bowler hasn’t waned.

“I love our guys,” Reich said. “I wouldn't trade our guys for anybody. We use a word around here a lot, and I know sometimes it gets thrown around, but it's family.

“You know, not every family's perfect, and we all make mistakes, but when we put guys out on the field (we’re confident in them). I can't play like that. I can't coach like that. You've got to have confidence.

“Now with coaches, it’s a business and coaches make decisions based on things. And when those decisions get made, they get made. But when a guy is in the game, we have to play with confidence and we have to coach with confidence and I don't see any other way to do it.”