Via ESPN -
After Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer said his client would fight any discipline from Major League Baseball, a source familiar with discussions told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Wednesday that A-Rod’s representatives are now negotiating a possible settlement that could result in a lengthy suspension.
The source said MLB officials have told Rodriguez’s attorneys that they are willing to ban him for life, although sources said it was not clear commissioner Bud Selig was prepared to make such a move, knowing Rodriguez would fight it in arbitration.
Several sources have told “Outside the Lines” that some MLB officials have pushed for a lifetime ban, saying they would rather force Rodriguez to defend himself than agree to a suspension that allows him play while he appeals. Rodriguez was presented with MLB’s evidence in recent days, detailing what sources said were “volumes” of documents establishing a connection between Rodriguez and Biogenesis clinic founder Tony Bosch.
Sources said MLB was also given evidence supporting accusations that Rodriguez attempted to coerce at least one witness in MLB’s investigation. That accusation is the basis of MLB’s argument that Rodriguez may be punished for his conduct, in addition to multiple violations of the game’s joint drug agreement.
MLB is apparently hoping that Rodriguez will accept a lengthy suspension that could keep him off the field through at least next season, without the time and trouble of an arbitration hearing.
Rodriguez’s attorney, David Cornwell, has consistently said they will fight any suspension. MLB is expected to issue suspensions for Rodriguez and other players connected to Bosch within the next few days.
Well, in this game of chicken, right now, the score is: MLB uno & A-Rod zip.
Via Bob Nightengale this evening –
Commissioner Bud Selig is prepared to levy a lifetime suspension on New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, while suspending about eight others before the weekend, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.
The people were unauthorized to speak publicly because no announcement is expected until Thursday or Friday.
BRENNAN: Crackdown shows tide has turned on MLB dopers
“I hope he does it,” former Commissioner Fay Vincent told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s right for baseball. The harder he comes down, the better it is for baseball.”
Rodriguez, according to his attorney, David Cornwell, will appeal any suspension, regardless of the severity. The other players are expected to receive 50-game bans, and most are considering accepting the discipline without appealing, according to one of the people.
In banning Rodriguez for life Selig could invoke Article XII (B) of the CBA, which states:
“Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball, including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.”
MLB will contend that, in addition to lying about performance-enhancing drug use, Rodriguez lied to MLB officials while attempting to sabotage their investigation, according to one of the people.
When asked if MLB is planning to impose a lifetime ban on Rodriguez, union executive director Michael Weiner said in an email: “I can neither confirm nor deny.”
An appeal would be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz and would likely not occur until September. Should MLB suspend Rodriguez under the CBA, he would be ineligible to play until Horowitz’s decision.
The most recent example of Article XII (B) being used came when Selig suspended Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker in 2000 for 28 days and fined him $20,000 for inflammatory comments made to Sports Illustrated. The sentence was reduced to 14 days by arbitrator Shyam Das.
“I think that given the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” Vincent said, “he has room to use the best-interest clause in the CBA if there are criminal acts. And I think the courts are very protective of commissioners using the best-interest clause.”
Mike Francesa is on vacation this week, right? Who is A-Rod going to call now?
Seriously, raise your hand if you once said that baseball would never try (and succeed?) in banning A-Rod for life…he says, with his hands held firmly at his side.
Clearly, baseball wants A-Rod out…and, for good. Move over Pete Rose, you’ve got company coming. And, way to go Alex. Not even Barry Bonds managed to get himself banned. You’re one up on him now.
Well, he’d be better than Jayson Nix at third, right?
As first reported by the Daily News, Major League Baseball officials met with union leaders in Manhattan yesterday to formally notify them of the forthcoming suspensions. Just how many players will be disciplined is still unknown—the Daily News counts eight, Yahoo “upward of a dozen.”
Yahoo reports that the “vast majority” of the implicated group, which includes Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, and Everth Cabrera, do not plan on appealing their bans. In exchange they’re expected to receive suspensions of 50 games (or a little more—say, the rest of the 2013 season), which is allowable without a failed test under the “non-analytical positives” section of MLB’s drug policy.
The Associated Press’s sources say both MLB and the union are trying to reach as many agreements as possible to head off embarrassing, and potentially CBA-shattering grievance hearings. The drug policy indicates that suspensions become effective on the third business day after punishments are handed down, so that makes Friday the most likely day for a public announcement.
But by all accounts, there’s one player who has no intention of making a deal. Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer said Monday he plans to fight any suspension, and it could get ugly. Because MLB is going after Rodriguez for interfering with its investigation as well as for PED use, it is expected to punish him not under the drug policy, but under a catch-all “best interests of baseball” clause in the CBA. If so, Rodriguez would remain suspended while an appeal is heard by baseball’s independent arbiter. Beyond that, his recourse could be to a federal court, or if the union decides to go to bat for Rodriguez, it could force the re-opening of negotiations on the CBA itself. The remaining $100 million or so Rodriguez’s contract isn’t the only thing at stake; the long labor peace that baseball is so proud of could be in danger as well.
Jessie J was wrong. It seems like … It is all about the money, money, money…
Sorry, Coconut man, Moon Heads and Pea…
Shouldn’t they be sellers now?
Not the Mark Harmon movie, the real stuff. Only works with a lefty on the mound, but, exciting nonetheless!
I dunno. Yes, he’s young. And, yes, he’s strong.
But, a .314 OBA (to date) in High-A tells me that he’s got a lot to learn about hitting.
I’ve been a Yankees fan since 1973. And, I would have to say that those four years from 1989 through 1992 was the worst period – in terms of winning – that I have seen as a Yankees fan.
Seriously, during that time, Roberto Kelly was probably the Yankees best overall position player (as Don Mattingly was in his decline) and Melido Perez was probably the best starting pitcher New York had in any of those given seasons.
It was a time of Tim Leary, Andy Hawkins, Dave LaPoint, Chuck Cary and Greg Cadaret. And, it was an era of Mel Hall, Alvaro Espinoza, Kevin Maas, Bob Geren and a past his prime Jesse Barfield.
This was the dark time in recent Yankees history where Gene Michael then turned the team into what we saw in Yankeeland from 1995 through 2001.
Why bring this up?
Simple – when you look at this current Yankees roster, and the state of their farm system, and the new rules around revenue sharing and free agency, is it a leap to think that 2014 through 2017 (for a Yankees fan) is going to be somewhat like it was from 1989 through 1992? If not, why?
So, how the heck is 2013 a good year for the Yankees? Below is how many times the Yankees won, within their first 105 games of a season, since 1995:
Takes guts to say you missed one like this…
Is that Bud humming the Jaws theme?
Via the Daily News -
If Alex Rodriguez is intent on fighting his looming suspension in an effort to stay on the field and protect his contract, commissioner Bud Selig is prepared to throw the book at the steroid-stained Yankee by invoking one of his office’s most extreme privileges — the right to take action against a player to preserve the integrity of the game, the Daily News has learned.
By invoking that rarely used power – embodied in Article XI, Section A1b of the game’s collective bargaining agreement – Selig would attempt to effectively keep Rodriguez from ever returning to the field by bypassing the grievance procedure outlined in the joint drug program MLB operates in conjunction with the Players Association.
Rodriguez would be suspended immediately for interfering with MLB’s year-long investigation into Biogenesis, the South Florida anti-aging clinic that allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to the aging infielder and other players and would later be hit with an additional suspension for violating baseball’s drug program.
MLB investigators believe Rodriguez attempted to intimidate witnesses and purchase incriminating documents to keep them out of the hands of baseball officials.
In an unprecedented action by a commissioner, suspensions for Rodriguez – once the sports’ biggest star – and 14 players, are expected to be announced imminently.
According to the CBA, the commissioner hears appeals of any discipline handed down under Article XI, Section A1b. Punishing Rodriguez under that clause could lead to an unprecedented legal showdown between MLB, Rodriguez and the players’ union.
But whether such hostilities break out depends upon how damning the evidence is that MLB gathered during its long investigation of Rodriguez. MLB investigators believe they have a mountain of evidence that shows Rodriguez attempted to interfere in their investigation, as well as hundreds of emails, text messages and phone records that show Rodriguez engaged in performance-enhancing drug use in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and possibly longer.
Selig is believed to be so determined to keep Rodriguez from ever stepping on a Major League Baseball field again that he is risking a reopening of the collective bargaining agreement or even a federal court case with his decision to bypass the usual grievance procedures and exercise his power to take action on an issue “involving the preservation of the integrity of, or the maintenance of public confidence in, the game of baseball.”
By basing his treatment of Rodriguez on that clause, Selig is effectively bypassing the arbitration-based procedures in place for doping cases, which are laid out in the Joint Drug Agreement, baseball’s collectively bargained anti-doping policy and putting appeals process in his own hands.
If the Players Association decides to open the CBA, it would still find it difficult to defend Rodriguez because many of its players have abandoned support for the Yankees’ disgraced third baseman.
Let’s get ready to rumble!
Swing reminds me of Albert Pujols.
Via, interesting enough, MLB.com -
[Alex] Rodriguez has been working out at the Yankees’ Minor League complex, hoping to return from his quad injury and get back on the field as soon as possible. Aside from his occasional statements released through a publicist and a few radio interviews, A-Rod has remained silent.
But one thing has become exceedingly clear, based on several published reports this weekend and on Monday: He soon will be disciplined by Major League Baseball.
And Rodriguez’s lawyer, David Cornwell, left no doubt Monday afternoon in a radio interview with ESPN New York 98.7 FM: They’re not going to accept a suspension.
“All I can tell you is my job is to represent Alex in connection with this inquiry by baseball and to prepare an appeal on behalf of Alex in the event that any discipline is handed down,” Cornwell said in an interview with Stephen A. Smith.
“When the time comes, and we haven’t gotten there yet, when the time comes and baseball does whatever it is going to do, then I will sit down with Alex and talk to him about the process of the appeal, filing the appeal and going in and presenting our best evidence that we have — and we think we have good evidence — to defend his interest, to protect him. That’s what I expect to be doing.”
The New York Post first reported Sunday that Rodriguez could be suspended this week as part of baseball’s investigation into the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic, a South Florida operation run by Anthony Bosch, who has cooperated with MLB investigators. Last week, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun accepted a 65-game suspension — the remainder of the season — for his reported involvement with Bosch and Biogenesis.
Cornwell told ESPN New York he wouldn’t consider that a victory for Rodriguez. Asked by Smith what he would consider a “win” in this case, Cornwell said, “No discipline. … Obviously. That’s easy.”
According to the Post, MLB could suspend Rodriguez for the rest of this year and the entirety of the 2014 season. Under baseball’s Basic Agreement, first-time offenders who test positive for performing-enhancing drugs are suspended 50 games for a positive test. A second positive test earns a 100-game ban and a third violation results in a lifetime ban. But those standards might not apply in the case of Rodriguez. Thus, the potential length of a suspension remains unclear.
The New York Daily News reported that MLB officials believe their evidence against Rodriguez “would warrant lifetime banishment.” Such a ruling could come as soon as Monday night or Tuesday, according to the Daily News. There has been talk that Braun’s quick agreement strengthens Bosch’s credibility as it relates to MLB’s case against A-Rod, an idea that Cornwell addressed Monday.
“Obviously they believe that he’s credible. I have my concerns,” said Cornwell, who previously represented Braun, the only Major League player to have a positive drug test overturned. “But what’s most important is whether or not arbitrator [Fredric] Horowitz will believe that he’s credible. That’s something that we will present in the hearing room, not to the media.”
Before a suspension is publicly issued, Rodriguez could choose to discuss a plea agreement with MLB, as Braun did. However, Rodriguez told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Thursday that his representatives hadn’t had those discussions.
According to the Post, Rodriguez’s team “met with MLB officials in the past few days,” but not to discuss a settlement. Instead, A-Rod’s representatives were just trying to “gain a better understanding of potential penalties.”
If MLB is seeking a potential lifetime suspension for Rodriguez, who admitted in 2009 that he took performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Rangers from 2001-03, then a settlement could result in him sitting out until 2015 without pay, according to the Daily News.
In that scenario, Rodriguez’s suspension would be effective immediately. If the 38-year-old third baseman — fifth on the all-time list with 647 career home runs — is able to play after two major hip surgeries and two full years out of the game, it would also give him a chance to collect the $61 million the Yankees owe him from 2015-17, the remnants of the 10-year, $275 million deal he signed with New York in ’07.
For now, it’s uncertain when Rodriguez will get back on the field in a Major League game, if he will at all. But if the reports are true, the next chapter in A-Rod’s story should be unfolding soon.
“I can’t tell you what he’s thinking about or what he says as it relates to the investigation, but I can tell you that in my discussions with him, generally, Alex’s primary focus right now is playing baseball,” Cornwell said. “That’s what Alex’s primary focus is right now. We’ll have a chance to deal with these other issues as they arrive and as they unfold. … When that time comes, we will. But until then … the only thing Alex is focused on right now is trying to get back and play baseball.”
Sounds like A-Rod’s lawyer is firing a warning shot here. The question is: Is MLB blinking? I doubt it.
The sad news -
The body of Frank Castillo has been recovered, according to Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office officials shortly before 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
Castillo, a former standout pitcher for Eastwood High School in El Paso in the early 1980s who played in the major leagues for 13 years, drowned in Bartlett Lake in Arizona near his home Sunday afternoon.
He was 44.
Authorities say Castillo was on a pontoon boat with a friend when he decided to go swimming.
Castillo’s friend reportedly called for help when Castillo did not come back up out of the water.
Castillo’s family released the following statement to KVIA on Monday:
“Frank Castillo died on Sunday in a drowning accident while with his family at a lake near his home. Frank was a wonderful son, terrific brother, and an extraordinary father to his two beautiful girls.
“Everyone who knew Frank loved Frank . We are devastated by this loss.
“It is impossible to express in words the level of sadness we feel due to this tragedy.
All of those who counted Frank as a personal friend, and to all those wonderful fans who cheered for him during his major league career, we genuinely appreciate your prayers and kind words during this extremely difficult time.
“While we may not be able to thank each of you in person, it is very comforting to know that you are with us in spirit.
“We will provide information about the funeral once we are ab le to make all of the arrangements
Castillo was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1987 and played for them for seven years starting in 1991. He also played for Colorado, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, and Florida.
He had a career 4.56 ERA and a record of 82 wins and 104 losses. Castillo was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
I know…some people are thinking “Who?”
But, honestly, this one hits me. Back in the early 1990′s, I had Castillo on my fantasy baseball team – for a couple of seasons. I was always convinced that he was going to be a sleeper, a Greg Maddux-light, etc. But, it never happened. That promise coming off 1992 and his seasons in the minors never developed. But, he was funny to watch. He really labored out there. And, his facial expressions were…well…interesting.
I haven’t thought him in years. Very sorry that his sudden passing is the reason why I am reminded of him now.
Where’s Morgan Ensberg, Andy Phillips, Craig Wilson, Josh Phelps, Austin Kearns, Richie Sexson & Xavier Nady When You Need Them?
Via Deadspin: The Yankees Are The Worst Right-Handed Hitting Team Ever.
Seriously, since Cashman took total control of the Yankees, A-Rod and Jeter have been the only right-handed batters on the team worth their weight in anything.
Kevin Youkilis, Andruw Jones, Marcus Thames, Vernon Wells and anyone else that Cashman has acquired has not been a plus from right-handed batters box. Yet, no one wants to bring that up, I guess?
Buster Olney says:
In the eyes of that lawyer, an argument could be made — maybe successfully, maybe not — that Rodriguez’s actions have diminished the Yankees’ brand.
Well, maybe, another way to say/ask it is: With the mess that A-Rod has created for himself now, does it help the Yankees brand (since he is associated with the team)? And, if the answer is “no,” then he’s either hurting it or not impacting it.
And, I can’t see how it’s not impacting it…right?
I love sabermetrics. But, as a baseball fan, I understand and appreciate the struggle with statistics that require a super-computer to calculate. There’s just something about the administrative ease of being able to see someone has 200 hits and 600 At Bats and knowing that means he’s a .300 hitter. In any event, I love stats like this one. And, if I were the GM of a team, this is the type of stuff I would want to see when evaluating a batter.
Click on the thumbnail to enlarge.
If so, will you miss him? Hughes’ career in the bigs, to date:
|162 Game Avg.||13||10||4.42||40||28||2||1||172||170||90||85||25||54||145||97|
First rounder material? More like a seventh rounder, if you ask me…
So it seems…
Via Jared Max, ESPN New York 98.7FM Host of “Maxed Out” -
Disparity between 1st and 2nd Class seating at Yankee Stadium yesterday for a “sellout.”
Interesting Tino Martinez news via the Miami Herald -
Tino Martinez, the first-year hitting coach for the Marlins and an All-Star first baseman as a player, resigned Sunday in the wake of allegations he abused players, both verbally and physically.
The abrupt announcement came immediately following Sunday’s game within hours after the Miami Herald reported Martinez was on the hot seat due to complaints from players that he was overly combative.
“We’ve accepted Tino Martinez’s resignation as hitting coach postgame today,” said Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations, in a hastily called news conference.
Martinez acknowledged that he grabbed rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich by the front of his jersey in early May and “overreacted” and “probably” swore with others in trying to be firm with some of the Marlins’ younger players.
“I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior,” said Martinez, 45. “I think I was frustrated at times, the way players were behaving and certain ways they were doing things. When I asked them to do something and they wouldn’t do it, whatever it may be, I thought the way to get through was by being firm with them, and I probably used some four-letter words.”
Martinez disputed media reports that he grabbed Dietrich by the neck.
“The only thing I’ve done is, I did grab Dietrich — we had a little thing in the [batting] cage one day — by the jersey,” Martinez said. “That was it. I never touched his neck. I never grabbed his neck. If anything else, [I want] his parents to know that because I have a 20-year-old son and I would be very upset if someone grabbed my son’s neck. That never happened.”
Sources, though, said Martinez — who was owner Jeffrey Loria’s personal pick to take over as hitting coach — displayed a pattern of abusive behavior from the start of spring training and made numerous threats.
“It’s all shocked everybody,” said one player, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. “He uses intimidation. It’s been a problem since Day One.”
I’m not shocked that Tino was a yeller. In fact, that’s one of the things that I liked about him as a player – the willingness and ability to get in someone’s face, behind closed doors, if they were jaking it. And, the swear words? Com’on, this is major league baseball. If you’re not cussing, you’re not speaking the native language.
As far as grabbing the player by his neck/jersey, that’s going to be he said, she said, and who knows where the grabbing took place. But, again, this isn’t Little League, it’s not high school or college. If a NFL coach grabbed a player by the front collar of his uniform and started screaming in his face at a practice, would that be news? Seriously…
Today’s players really are a bunch of babies, sometimes.
WasWatching.com is dedicated to developing and maintaining a friendly online community where members feel relaxed and comfortable. Like any community, WasWatching.com has certain standards. Registered members who leave comments at WasWatching.com must agree to abide by these rules. Being a member of this community requires a considerate and respectful attitude toward fellow members. Repeated violations of these standards may result in a member being barred from leaving comments at WasWatching.com.
Disagreement, debate, and strong opinions are encouraged. Certain topics evoke strong passions, and WasWatching.com aims to provide a safe place for the free expression of those passions and differing views. Members must provide respect to other values, opinions, and ideas even if they strongly disagree with those ideas.
WasWatching.com registered members are not permitted to harass, bash or “flame” other members. Members must note that this also includes the posting of taunts to an entry solely for the purpose of deriding that entry’s topic and/or comments made to it other registered members.
For more on this, click here.
Bottom line, if you can’t play nice in the sandbox, you’re not going to be allowed to play in the sandbox, here, any longer. Thanks to all for their attention on this reminder.