Potent quotables: Fernando Rodney is 'emotional'

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“I was throwing the ball to the fans. [I was] emotional. It’s nothing
bad. I know I’m not supposed to throw the ball, but I’m feeling in the
moment. … I don’t throw it to hit nobody. I think if I throw it in
the right spot, I don’t hit nobody.”

– Tigers closer Fernando Rodney, after chucking the ball into the press box in jubilation following a 4-3 win over the Rays on Friday night. Call me crazy, but considering he has walked 30 batters in 60 2/3 innings this season, I don’t have much faith in his command.

“I always like the
pressure, to tell the truth. I’ve always been a kid against the
current, always uphill. I’ve battled my butt off to get where I am. I’m
not afraid of that. I take the challenge.”

– Bengie Molina, after yet another dose of late-inning heroics. Still hobbled by a strained right quadriceps muscle, Molina connected for a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning of a 3-2 win over the Brewers on Friday night.

“I wasn’t throwing the ball. It’s grenade launching.”

More accurate words have never been said,
as Nationals starter Garrett Mock was pounded for six runs on seven hits, including two home
runs, over three innings in a 9-6 loss to the Marlins on Friday night.

”Anything’s better than that other place.”

– Cubs broadcaster Ron Santo, when asked about his first visit to Citi Field.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.