Did A-Rod throw his cousin under the financial bus?

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Remember back in the spring how Alex Rodriguez said that it was his cousin, Yuri Sucart, who was the one that supplied him with his PEDs? Well, he’s had a worse go of it since then than A-Rod has:

Banks
began foreclosure proceedings on Yuri Sucart’s Miami home and three
South Florida rental properties in the months after Rodriguez’s Feb. 17
news conference . . . US Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings on
Sucart’s two-bedroom home on Aug. 12 . . . Deutsche Bank
began foreclosure proceedings on April 3 on a four-bedroom apartment
Sucart purchased in February of 2005. Wachovia Mortgage initiated
foreclosure proceedings against two other rental properties owned by
Sucart and his wife in July.

The Daily News article does
its best to paint A-Rod as responsible for all of this, essentially
saying that he treated Sucart like a drug mule and then cast him aside
when the drug revelations hit.  That whole narrative is broken,
however, by a quote buried sixteen paragraphs into the story: “A friend
of A-Rod’s who spoke on condition of anonymity says Sucart
still works for the Yankee superstar. ‘Alex takes care of his family,’
the friend says.”

It’s entirely possible that, like any other number of property owners
who are upside down on their mortgage in depressed markets like South
Florida, Sucart and/or Rodriguez made the judgment that it’s preferable to simply walk away and let the bank have property that is worth way less than its outstanding indebtedness rather than continue to throw good money after bad.
Such a strategy comes with its own set of moral and ethical issues, of course, but
it’s something that’s done all the time, and is even counseled by a lot
of legitimate financial advisers under such circumstances.

Moreover, such a strategy fits into the “Alex takes care of his family” narrative
in ways that the “A-Rod is a heartless man who threw his cousin under
the bus” does not. But since the Daily News has spent the past several
years demonizing every PED-connected player in baseball, there’s no way
that they’d ever take that angle.

Dusty Baker on struggling Jonathan Papelbon: “He doesn’t look very good.”

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24:  Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Washington Nationals looks on after coming out in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.  The Padres won 10-6.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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The Nationals lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, as the Indians overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Nationals 7-6. Closer Jonathan Papelbon faced five batters but was unable to record an out, yielding a leadoff walk, a double, a bunt that ended up very successful due to a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error, an intentional walk, and a single. Oliver Perez came in and eventually allowed one of his inherited runners to score, saddling Papelbon with the loss.

Papelbon also served up four runs in the outing before Tuesday’s, on Saturday against the Padres. The two clubs entered the top of the ninth tied 6-6, but a walk followed by three two-out singles and a bases-clearing double off of Papelbon allowed the Padres to take a 10-6 lead.

On the season, Papelbon is 19-for-22 in save chances with a 4.18 ERA and a 30/12 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings. If the season were to end today, the right-hander’s 21.4 percent strikeout rate would be the lowest mark of his career and his 8.6 percent walk rate would be his highest mark since 2010.

Manager Dusty Baker didn’t indicate that he’s going to make a change at closer, but he sounded dissatisfied with Papelbon’s performance thus far. Via Mark Zuckerberg of MASN, Baker said, “He doesn’t have his command, which is evident when you walk the leadoff hitter. But it’s like, what do you say? How does he look? Right now he doesn’t look like Pap. He doesn’t look very good. Usually he doesn’t walk people like that.”

The non-waiver trade deadline is on Monday, August 1. The Nationals, at 58-42, still have a four-game lead over the Marlins and a 4.5-game lead over the Mets. Tuesday’s loss has motivated the club to attempt to upgrade the bullpen, Jon Morosi reports. The Nationals were in the mix for Aroldis Chapman before the Yankees sent him to the Cubs. Perhaps Andrew Miller could be next on the Nats’ wish list.

Blue Jays trade Drew Storen to the Mariners for Joaquin Benoit

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29: Drew Storen #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the eleventh inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday night that the club traded reliever Drew Storen and some cash to the Mariners in exchange for reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Storen, 28, was designated for assignment by the Jays on Sunday after posting a 6.21 ERA with a 32/10 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him during the offseason from the Nationals in exchange for Ben Revere and a player to be named later.

Benoit, 38, struggled as well, putting up a 5.18 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings with the Mariners.