Uh-oh. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that a source "who would know" is telling him that Jose Bautista did not in fact get tested for PED usage over the past two years, and goes so far as to say "not even in the ballpark."
A source who would know said Jose Bautista has NOT been steroid tested 16 times the last two years. The source: "Not even in the ballpark." Source was unsure whether the reporter misheard, Bautista miscalculated or something else. Said Bautista's tests were average amount. Point being: For all those theorizing Bautista has gotten extra tests because of suspicion from MLB, that is not the case."
Now, before everyone goes all crazy, perhaps this is a translation thing with Bautista, where he was actually tested four times and each test was used to look for four separate things like Passan's source speculates above. Maybe he's doing long division on an abacus or maybe he doesn't know what test means or maybe the reporter heard him wrong (though the immediate next thought is what does 16 sound like? Six or Sixty?) or maybe there's a perfectly safe and ordinary explanation for this little mix-up. There probably is. Perhaps.
But let's assume Passan's source has no reason to lie, actually knows Bautista's testing frequency, and Passan has no motive to pass on phony information (recall that Passan is the one that first broke the Pujols-to-Angels megastory). The immediate next question is, why would Bautista lie about that? Why put himself further in the cross-fire of speculation?
Let's also acknowledge that (allegedly) lying about testing frequency doesn't mean anything by itself, and let's also admit that we (baseball people) tend to get a little excited when we see great players with big arms getting inexplicably better. More, we have to admit that Bautista has been unfairly targeted with accusations simply because of his home run totals spiking.
This could all be nothing, and hopefully, is. It's just as likely he got in great groove, saw his power numbers go up, suspicion followed (an unfortunate reality in the "post"-PED era), and he either wildly miscalculated or he misunderstood or...something.
Clearly, one or the other is true. Either he tested 16 times or he didn't. This story could really explode if Passan's source is right, but not even because Bautista might've been using PEDs, but because he might have exaggerated. Bizarre.