Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prep baseball: Catching up with Holmes Beach native Chris Perez

photo by The Associated Press
Before he was a St. Louis Cardinal and Cleveland Indian, Chris Perez was a Miami Hurricane.
So the Holmes Beach native and a member of Team USA for the upcoming World Baseball Classic was surprised to hear the school's strength and conditioning coach for the baseball teams was linked to baseball's newest PED scandal.
Jimmy Goins, the Hurricanes' strength coach who served in the same capacity when Perez was at Miami from 2004-06, was attached to a Miami anti-aging clinic in a story by the Miami New Times.
According to the New Times story, the clinic, Biogenisis, supplied performance-enhancing drugs to a number of current major leaguers, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera.
Cabrera was named the MVP of last year's All-Star Game while with the San Francisco Giants before he was suspended in August for failing a drug test.
"I really couldn't see (Goins) doing it," Perez said during my interview with him Thursday afternoon. "It's an unfortunate situation, and hopefully, we'll learn more as more stuff comes out. But it doesn't look good."
Goins' attorney, Gordon Fenderson, told the Huffington Post his client is innocent and still employed by the university.
"He hasn't done anything wrong either personally or as a representative of the University of Miami," Fenderson told the site. "And as far as being on a client list of a certain doctor, any connection of the University of Miami or their baseball program would be purely coincidental."
Kyle Bellamy, a former Hurricane now in the White Sox system, agreed when he spoke to The Miami Herald.
“He has complete paperwork and documents to back it up and prove he was not there illegally or to buy stuff to sell or anything in that matter,” Bellamy told the paper. “There’s no doubt in his mind his name will be cleared.”
In the wake of this latest drug blemish, many players and media members are calling for harsher penalties if players are caught using performance-enhancing drugs.
While Perez wants a clean game, he considers some of the ideas a bit extreme.
"I lie somewhere in between. Maybe they need to be more stricter, but I've heard some really off-the-wall ideas," he said, "like being suspended for a full season for one positive test and being suspended for life for a second. People have to remember that a lot of these players are coming out of high school and they're still young kids...They're still learning to be adults, learning to be major leaguers. They're going to make some mistakes.
"I want a clean game. I'm 100 percent clean, and I remember blowing a couple of saves against Melky Cabrera when he was with the Royals."
As for the game itself, Perez is pleased with the Indians' offseason, which has included the acquisitions of outfielder Nick Swisher and corner infielder Mark Reynolds, and the hiring of manager Terry Franconca, who won two World Series while piloting the Boston Red Sox from 2004-11.
"It's been the most active winter since I've been an Indian," Perez said. "It's great."
The Indians headed into the All-Star break last year at 44-41 and three games back of the White Sox in the American League Central. The second half, however, was a disaster: Cleveland went 24-53 the rest of the way, posting their fewest wins (68) since 2003.
Perez had another solid season, finishing fourth in the league with 39 saves and earning his second-straight trip to the All-Star Game.
"Something needed to change after last year," he said. "Everybody is real excited to see what we got and put last year behind us. And I'm really excited to play for a guy like Terry Francona - I've only seen him from a distance, but I've heard nothing but good things.
"Just really good baseball moves."



Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/01/3211355/ex-miami-hurricanes-player-says.html#storylink=cpy

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