Dice-K's beatdown begins

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A day after Dice-K declared the Red Sox’ training methods as the reason for his injuries
(no word on whether he blamed them for his second chin and inability to
throw a pitch down the middle), the team is striking back. And, as is
the custom in Boston, they’re doing it through the media. First, Tony Massarotti hits him,
relaying that the team is “downright angry” at him, and that “the truth
is that the Red Sox were tired of Matsuzaka’s high-maintenance act a
long time ago, but they kept their mouths shut and put up with it
because Matsuzaka won games.”

Then Dan Shaughnessy,
who has long been a trusted messenger for the Sox, says “the Sox are
steamed. Matsuzaka talked out of turn, infuriated his bosses and his
teammates, and unwittingly took the focus away from Hall of Famer Jim
Rice on the night the slugger’s number was retired . . . It is
reasonable to wonder if Matsuzaka will pitch again for the Sox this
season. Or ever.”

One wonders if Dice-K fully understands the influence the Boston
media has on what happens on that team (and what influence team
management has on the media). It’s slow season in Beantown. The Bruins
and Celtics are on hiatus and Patriots’ camp is not yet at full speed.
Between that and the Sox struggling of late, there is no way in hell
that someone who talks out of turn the way Matsusaka did yesterday
isn’t going to be the subject of an epic beatdown.

Side note to all of this — offered by longtime reader MooseinOhio:
“I wonder if Scott Boras will continue comparing Stephen Strasburg’s
contract demands to Dice-K’s as the evidence that is being put forth,
and will continue to be put forth, on how Boston overpaid for his
services continues to mount.”

Good point.

Report: Three minor leaguers arrested on Sunday after a bar brawl

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10:  Dovydas Neverauskas of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the World Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Pirates minor leaguers Gift Ngoepe and Dovydas Neverauskas (pictured) were arrested on Sunday morning in Toledo, Ohio after a bar brawl, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, citing documents provided by the Toledo Municipal Court.

Ngoepe was charged with one count of simple assault and two counts of resisting arrest. Neverauskas was charged with two outs of resisting arrest and one count of misconduct. Tigers minor leaguer Warwick Saupold was involved as well and was arrested for simple assault.

Saupold allegedly punched Andrey Goncharuk (not a player for either teams’ affiliates) in the face outside of the Bronze Boar bar, which is across from the Toledo Mud Hens’ ballpark. Ngoepe allegedly wrapped his arms around the police officer who was attempting to arrest Saupold. Ngoepe allegedly twisted free from the officer and walked away. Neverauskas allegedly interfered with an officer and yelled, “What are you going to do, shoot me?” after being ordered to stand on the sidewalk.

Ngoepe, 26, is in his second season with Triple-A Indianapolis. The shortstop has put up a meager .644 OPS in 373 plate appearances.

Neverauskas, 23, was promoted to Indianapolis in mid-June. In 25 relief appearances, he posted a 3.60 ERA with a 24/11 K/BB ratio in 30 innings. The right-hander, who appeared in the 2016 Futures Game last month, is rated as the Pirates’ 25th-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

Saupold, 26, has appeared briefly in the majors for the Tigers this season, yielding eight runs on 17 hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings. He made five appearances from May 14 to 31 and one more on August 12 before returning to Triple-A Toledo.

Report: Yasiel Puig has been claimed on waivers

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 17:  Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been claimed on waivers by an as-yet unknown team. The Dodgers can now attempt to work out a trade with the claiming team, or simply give that team Puig. In that case, the claiming team would assume the responsibility for the remainder of Puig’s seven-year, $42 million contract, which has two years and $14 million left. The Dodgers can also pull him back from waivers if they can’t work out a deal, but that would mean Puig would be ineligible to be traded for the rest of the season.

August 31 is the deadline for teams to acquire players on waivers and still have them become eligible for the postseason roster.

Puig’s relationship with the Dodgers has hit the skids as of late. He’s had a letdown of a season both in terms of injuries and production. In 303 plate appearances, he has a .260/.320/.386 triple-slash line with seven home runs and 34 RBI.

The Dodgers demoted him to Triple-A Oklahoma City in early August. Shortly after arriving, Puig celebrated a win with his teammates that included some profane language and was broadcast on Snapchat. The Dodgers were not very happy about that. Since then, the Dodgers were reportedly “trying to give away Puig” but didn’t find a taker.