Why McGwire couldn't win

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There isn’t much that can depress you more about the human condition than a group of P.R. professionals getting together and talking about their craft. For evidence of that I give you today’s Sports Business Daily feature on the McGwire p.r. strategy. Key points:

  • It’s bad to release big news via what is perceived to be a friendly, softball outfit, but it was good that McGwire’s P.R. people and agent already work with MLB Network and Costas;
  • It’s obvious McGwire believed what he was saying and it’s obvious that you shouldn’t say what you don’t believe because that’s just spin, but McGwire really screwed up in not telling people what they wanted to hear;
  • McGwire’s hour-long, one-on-one interview with Costas was a good idea so he could take all the time he needed to tell his story in his own words, but it was a bad idea because it was too short and didn’t give reporters the chance to ask the questions they wanted to hear McGwire answer.

If I’m ever involved in a scandal I’m going to tweet all of my statements. Can’t go wrong then.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.