The Twins and their fans are understandably giddy over the Orlando Hudson signing, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post is throwing a bit of cold water on the O-Dog today:
No doubt Hudson is a better player than Castillo and, thus, would have
helped the Mets more. But Dodgers officials were actually disappointed
in Hudson’s overall game and, remember, Joe Torre benched Hudson in favor of Ronnie Belliard late in the year. They were quickly surprised that Hudson was not
faster with a few inside the organization derisively turning his
nickname from O-Dog to Slow-Dog.
Keith Law, who worked in the Blue Jays front office when Hudson was there, thinks that to the extent Hudson’s lack of speed surprised the Dodgers, it was a failure of their own scouting, not any falloff from Hudson:
I saw Hudson a lot when we
were both in Toronto, and he was never a plus runner . . . And from talking to
people with Arizona, I know they noticed the same phenomenon when
Hudson played there. Unfortunately, I think the cause here is that
Hudson looks the part of a speedy, low-power middle infielder, and
scouts and coaches are making assumptions that just don’t bear out in
reality. He’s not fast, he’s never been fast, and anyone who files a
report on him with a grade of 50 (average) or better for his running
speed has made a bad evaluation.
So there you have it anonymous, name-calling Dodgers officials: Orlando Hudson is rubber and you’re glue and what you say about the O-Dog bounces off him and sticks to you.
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. DOJ has 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,” and 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 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.
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.