Hank Aaron proves that even awesome people can be wrong sometimes

Leave a comment

I’m a big fan of Hank Aaron, and I’m sure his heart is in the right place with this, but he’s way wrong here:

 The former home run king favors releasing the full list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 . . . “I wish for once and forever that we could come out and say we have 100 and some names, name them all and get it over and let baseball go on,” Aaron said. “I don’t know how they keep leaking out. I just wish that they would name them all and get it over with.”

As I wrote last week, the fact that these names still exist on a list is attributable to a serial violation of the players’ rights, and the act of releasing the names — be it via a leak or by some misguided attempt at attaining closure — is a far worse offense than their taking of PEDs in the first place.

My biggest concern in all of this is that as more and more people ignorantly speak out in favor of releasing the names, those who are breaking the law by leaking will feel more and more comfortable engaging in their illegalities and feel justified in leaking even more (“Hey, Hank Aaron says it’s OK . . .”).

I’m just some dumb lawyer/blogger and no one is going to listen to me, but someone — anyone — in a position of moral authority in baseball needs to educate folks about what “releasing the names” really means, and how the issues it invokes are much bigger than baseball.

Daniel Szew: “Landa was a leader, happy-go-lucky guy”

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 1:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a photo during the Twins' photo day on March 1, 2016 at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.

Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”

Per Berardino:

He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.

If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.

“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”

Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.