Biggest Question About Freddy Galvis Still Unanswered
Here's what we know about Freddy Galvis:
(1) Galvis was tagged Tuesday with a 50-game ban, the usual for first-time violators of the MLB substance-abuse policy. (PDF here.)
(2) Found in Galvis' samples were metabolites of Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance. How much? Eighty parts per trillion, or (per David Murphy of Philly.com) "a drop of ink in 12 trillion gallons of water." That volume in the blood, according to a 2004 study (also per Murphy) could have been caused by "contaminated meat, contaminated medicine, or a woman's vagina that that had been contaminated with contaminated medicine."
(3) Barring appeal (more on that in a sec) Galvis' suspension is effective immediately, and will (probably) be served out in its entirety while he's on the DL. Why? On the first: A pars fracture in his back. Suffered the apparent injury June 6 -- the same day the Phillies hung him up. Diagnosed June 13. Brace for three weeks, re-evaluation thereafter. On the second: Because MLB rules allow him to.
(4) Galvis has played the "Innocence In The Same Breath As Ignorance" card. (Said he didn't, and that he'd never would (wait for it...) "knowingly." )
That's probably all you're going to hear -- at least by way of fact. Lots of opinions, value judgments, moral high grounds. A whole mess of those.
But details? Developments? Reveals? Anything else moving forward? Probably not.
Not insofar as what really matters most.
Simply: When was the test administered? After June 6, when Galvis back started screaming? Or after?
This absolutely blows my mind. How is this question not answered? Really. You can't find it anywhere. Not even a drop. Nothing. Not even a bead of ink in 10,000 swimming pools of water. Nothing. I checked. Here. Here. Here. Here. And ... (page ... loading) ... here and here and here and here.
Really. Maybe the most important detail of the divulgence, and its nowhere to be found. Not sure whose toes to roast here, though I'm leaning more toward the league (who probably wouldn't or couldn't say) than the legion of men who cover it (who I'd hope would actually ask the question, and figure they did).
Still, this is a disgrace. If we've learned nothing else from this -- and from the NFL's handling of the Saints bountygate scandal -- sports leagues can't be continued to get away with this whole, "Selective Information Dissemination" thing. Let's make that our next crusade, media types.
Why? Because the implications of that little nugget, the seemingly tiniest of tid bits, are about as big as the repurcussions hanging from Galvis 5'7, 170-pound frame. The loudest lesson learned from "not guilty" verdicts in the Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong cases, all centered on alleged drug use? People don't care about doping. Couldn't care any less. Their sentiments are indifference, distilled. Unabated apathy. Wide-scale wide-mouth yawns. That matters.
That matters for us, the people entrusted with writing the guy's unabridged (and unbiased) history.
And that matters for Galvis, whose legacy is going to be speckled with assumptions and conclusions and everything else that comes with mere association with steroids, and, now, association without all the information.
It'll matter for Galvis the same way it will matter for Andy Pettite, who only took steroids to recover from recurring hamstring injuries. (Which you'd figure be the case if Galvis started taking something to heal up his back in a hurry.) The same way it will matter for Alex Rodriguez, who only turned to the needle after scribbling ink on a dotted line in Texas that he never thought he'd live up to. (Which could be Galvis, charged with filling the shoes of the city's golden child, Chase Utley, who, oh by the way, is an MLB-mandated 12 days or less away from a return.) The same way it has the countless anonymous masses of fringe players, who shot up to ensure their roster spots. (Who, before this season, Galvis absolutely was.)
Might this keep him out of the Hall of Fame? Maybe. Maybe yes. Maybe no. Maybe the voters, who've pretty much maintained they're not letting anybody within a whiff of steroids in, flip-flop. Maybe Galvis, who's not exactly posting the offensive numbers it takes to enamor the very offensive numbers-minded voters, just flops.
But how he's regarded, you'd figure, has to matter. It matters to the rest of us. (Why else do we spend so much time penning and analyzing and debating sports? Casually or professionally?) It probably matters to him. (Explain to me the suicide rates in ex-athletes in a way that doesn't involve CTE and how tightly athletes peg their values as people to that of their playing careers?)
Doesn't that matter to anybody? Doesn't that distinction make a difference?
And yet this question isn't yet answered. Think about the implications here. Yes, Galvis -- knowingly or unknowingly, honestly or dishonestly, innocently or guiltilyilyily -- allowed a substance to permeate his bloodstream. Whether it was from spoiled meat or sour lady parts or good drugs gone bad, he's responsible for that. (For record, he and the club and everybody have also taken said responsibility for it.)
Maybe it will be later, by then, far too late to change the initial verdict in the court of public opinion. People will have made their minds up on this guy, prematurely and (maybe) wrongly, because they didn't have all the information. Shame on us for being too reactive, sure. But shame on the sport (probably) and/or the scriptuals (less likely, but possibly) for not being forthcoming with/inquisitive about vital information.
I understand and respect and appreciate the sanctity of the league's process. Really. I do. Without it, the sport would be the same sauced out mess, that, like any other bubble, would be totally unsustainable. (Guys wouldn't stop saucing themselves up until they looked 142 times bigger than Hyde in "The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman." (Or the goon who took, like, a zillion viles of Jekyll's serum to the face.) Wouldn't work.) But this, to me, is totally unconscionable.
I need that question answered. Needed it, like, yesterday.