Cubs

MLB, MLBPA agree to random, in-season testing

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MLB, MLBPA agree to random, in-season testing

Coincidentally, a day after the Baseball Writers Association of America did not elect a single player into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball announced a major modification in its yearly testing for human growth hormone (hGH).
Beginning this season, MLB and the MLB Players Association have agreed to allow in-season, unannounced, random blood testing. Prior to this ruling, the parties had agreed to blood testing for hGH during spring training, the offseason and for reasonable cause, "the first sport to deploy this kind of testing at its highest level," according to the MLB's press release.
"The Players are determined to do all they can to continually improve the sport's Joint Drug Agreement," MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner said in the release."Players want a program that is tough, scientifically accurate, backed by the latest proven scientific methods, and fair; I believe these changes firmly support the Players' desires while protecting their legal rights."
Further steps have also been taken to establish and maintain a player's baseline, as the two parties "have authorized the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited Montreal Laboratory to establish a longitudinal profile program, in which a Player's baseline TestosteroneEpitestosterone ratio and other data will be maintained by the laboratory, with strict protections for confidentiality, in order to enhance its ability to detect the use of Testosterone and other prohibited substances."
The decision comes one day after some of baseball's most prolific players -- notably Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens -- were all denied entry into the Hall of Fame, as suspicion of their roles in the infamous Steroid Era continues.

Podcast: Cubs pass the first test in midst of crucial stretch

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Scott Changnon

Podcast: Cubs pass the first test in midst of crucial stretch

On the latest CubsTalk Podcast Scott Changnon and Tony Andracki discuss the state of the Cubs offense, the value of Javy Baez and Addison Russell and what it means now that the starting rotation looks to be finding its form.

With 17 games in 17 days (most of which come against contending teams), the Cubs started things off right with a series victory in St. Louis.

Listen to the entire podcast here:

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.