Annie and Nuke break up

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It’s Christmas Eve, so there isn’t a lot of real baseball news happening, so forgive me for delving into quasi-quasi-quasi baseball news.  The news: Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, who met on the set of my most favoritist baseball movie of all time, have broken up after 22 years together as a couple. Such a shame. Among the reasons for their breakup:

1. She got wooly and he wouldn’t try a little tenderness;

2. Lollygagging;

3. Robbins had been living a lie; he never liked Walt Whitman;

4. If you’re young and in love and you let fungus grow on your shower shoes, your girlfriend thinks you’re colorful. After you’ve been together for 20 years, she’ll just think you’re a slob;

5. Sarandon got mad at Robbins “respecting the streak,” if you know what I mean;

6. Sarandon’s rejection of most Judeo-Christian ethics and her failure, within the framework of the realtionship, to be monogamous;

7. No real reason, actually: it was just a question of quantum physics, molecular attraction, and timing.

8. A relationship may be like a religion full of magic, cosmic truth, and the
fundamental ontological riddles of our time, but it’s also a job.

9. Robbins never learned that you shouldn’t listen to what a woman says when she’s in the throes of passion. They say the darndest things.

10. While they shared some values, Robbins, unlike Sarandon, believed in the top of a woman’s back, the cut fastball, cheese, cheap bourbon and really enjoyed the novels of Susan Sontag. He believed that the mob and the CIA killed Kennedy. While not a fan of Astroturf and the designated hitter, he’s really a staunch federalist and believed that those are matters best left to the states. He believed in hitting it off the end of the bat, hard-core pornography, opening his presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning and he believed
in short, pecky little kisses that were over with quickly and allowed you to get on with your next three days.

Oh well. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.

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.