Jacque Jones will be looking for a job next week

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After attending my first winter meetings three years ago I concluded that there seemed to be an inverse relationship between how important a person is and how well they dress for the event.
For instance, Peter Gammons looked perfectly at home holding court in the hotel lobby while wearing an old t-shirt, gym shorts, and a pair of running shoes, whereas the venue was littered with college-aged guys who put on suits, slicked back their hair, and walked around clutching resumes in search of an MLB job.
I bring all this up because MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports that Jacque Jones will be attending next week’s winter meetings in Indianapolis in search of a team willing to give him a comeback chance and … well, my suggestion is that he buy a new suit and maybe some new shoes too. Harding writes that “Jones believes he can still play,” but at this point he’s likely alone.
He’ll be 35 years old soon, was last seen hitting .147 in 2008, and spent last season with the independent league Newark Bears after getting released by the Reds in spring training. At his best Jones was a good defensive outfielder who was helpless against left-handed pitching and posted an OPS in the .750-.800 range with poor on-base skills and solid slugging. However, at 35 years old and with his last decent season in 2006 he’ll be lucky to secure a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.

DOJ settles antirust lawsuit against cable companies who don’t carry Dodgers games

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Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.

Now that lawsuit is over. The DOJ settled with AT&T last night.

The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” an AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.

When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.

As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.

An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not to file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.