So much going on in the baseball world, and most of it is tied the absurd, embarrassing, and ongoing PED drama …
- Thoughts on Ryan Dempster today? If you missed it, Dempster pegged Alex Rodriguez in his first at bat last night at Fenway – after three pitches that “missed” – and the reactions have been strong and mixed. On the one hand, Dempster’s fastball was speaking for a whole bunch of players who are pissed that guys like ARod cheated the game for so long (and that he’s still fighting, instead of just accepting his punishment). On the other hand, a baseball thrown at 90+ MPH is very dangerous. Do we really want to sanction that kind of vigilante justice in baseball? I don’t really have much of a reaction, myself. I liked Dempster with the Cubs, and it doesn’t surprise me that he was the one to do this. I don’t think I’m OK with this particular approach, though. I guess, in the end, I don’t really have an opinion. I just watch the theater.
- Speaking of ARod, his story took some additional absurd twists over the weekend, long before Dempster’s fastball met his upper body. Rodriguez reportedly began a grievance process against the Yankees for how they treated his hip issue late last year, going as far as to contend that Yankees president Randy Levine told the operating surgeon that he didn’t want Rodriguez seeing the field ever again (quite an allegation, given the insurance implications). GM Brian Cashman says he’s not comfortable talking to ARod anymore, given how litigious things have become. Wrap your head around all of this, and then remember that ARod is playing, was hit by an intentional pitch last night, and his manager got thrown out of the game standing up for him. Cheers, New York writers, because covering this mess has to be an incredible blessing and curse.
- From one PED-implicated (alleged) liar and cheater to another PED-implicated (alleged) liar and cheater. Ryan Braun, in addition to the Cubs Fan Defense thing we discussed earlier, will reportedly soon “come clean,” admitting to using in 2011. There will be apologies and explanations, which tells me Braun has already wrapped up some of the legal implications of what he’s admitting to. Hopefully this all includes an apology to the collector who wound up crushed under the weight of Braun’s malfeasance.
- And now the intersection of ARod and Braun: a 60 Minutes report claims that, after the Miami New Times story that first blew up the Biogenesis Clinic was released, ARod’s camp helped fill in some of the blanks. Specifically, as you might recall, the original report did not include Braun’s name. That came later, courtesy of ARod’s people, according to 60 Minutes. Rodriguez denies the charge. Who do you even root for at this point? Neither, I guess.
- Enough PEDs for you? Nope, not enough. Miguel Tejada received a 105-game suspension for testing positive for amphetamines.
- There was a lot of talk about moving the Trade Deadline back a couple weeks this year, and MLBTR took a look at whether it would have made much of a difference, in terms of estimated trade activity. Disappointingly, the answer was: not really. At least, not this year.
- Big-time shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts has reportedly been called up to the Red Sox. It’ll be very interesting to see how quickly he takes off – Bogaerts, 20, is a better-regarded prospect than Javier Baez.
- Cespedes Family BBQ thoroughly skewers a Microsoft commercial involving baseball scouts and tablets.
- If you’re going to get a foul ball at a baseball game, make sure you don’t get it by snaking it from a little kid … and then celebrating on TV. (I’m sure he didn’t realize what he’d done, but I reckon his friends and family gave him some grief when they later saw the tape.)