Billy Koch got into some trouble over the weekend

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Former big leaguer Billy Koch was arrested over the weekend on criminal mischief and battery charges after getting into a wild incident with his neighbor in Florida.

Details on how the whole thing got started seem somewhat sketchy, but
apparently 48-year-old Luis Camacho “pushed” Koch’s stepson while they
were both in the street at 2:00 a.m., at which point Koch’s wife “came
running out of the house, screaming and spitting at him.” Koch was not
far behind, and that’s when things got crazy:

The altercation began near the Koch residence and moved to Camacho’s
driveway nearby as Camacho and his son retreated. According to
statements by the Koches, Camacho and several witnesses, Camacho
grabbed a bat to defend himself and when it was taken away, grabbed a
spade shovel. Camacho pushed Brandi Koch to the ground and swung at
Billy Koch while his son lowered their garage door. Billy Koch landed a
punch on Camacho, splitting his lip, the report shows. The injury
required seven stitches.

Billy Koch stopped the garage door from closing one time by striking
it with the bat. As the door lowered the second time, Koch turned and
began hitting a car that belonged to Melvin Habrat. Based on witness
statements and evidence at the scene, it was determined the Koches were
the primary aggressors while Camacho responded in self-defense, the
report shows. “My son was there and that really bothers me,” Camacho
said. “It’s bad enough I swung a bat and hit him [Koch] with a shovel.
It still just bothers me.”

Normally “it’s bad enough I swung a bat and hit him with a shovel”
would be the award-winning quote from just about any incident, but not
here. My favorite? “I’ve lived here two years,” Camacho said. “First
time I ever laid eyes on the man was as he was trying to crush my
skull.” Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Koch has the fifth-most saves in baseball history through the age of
27, last pitched at the age of 29, and is now making headlines for
skull-crushing at the age of 34. For anyone interested in studying
relief pitchers, his is a somewhat atypical career path.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.