Ex-employee of Kendry Morales' agents being investigated for theft

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Kendry Morales.jpgLast week Heyman suggested that Kendry Morales’ firing of the Hendricks Brothers was due to some financial funny business. We’re getting a clearer picture of that now:

A former employee of Hendricks Sports Management is being
investigated by both the Major League Baseball Players Association and
the Coral Springs (Fla.) Police Department about the disappearance of
more than $300,000 from the bank account of Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales.

Rodney
Fernandez, a former employee of Hendricks Sports Management LP who
recruited Cuban defectors Morales and Aroldis Chapman to the firm,
confirmed earlier this week that he was questioned by the MLBPA in the
past week regarding Morales, but denied having taken any money from the
player.

Fernandez isn’t having it, and he’s throwing the Hendricks Brothers under the bus:

“If I’m supposedly the person who took all that money, then how come
now I don’t have anything?” he said. “I don’t deserve what is
happening.”

Fernandez said he was told by members of the Hendricks agency to keep
quiet about rumors of financial indiscretions in December and January
so it would not adversely affect Chapman’s free-agent contract
negotiations with the Reds.

He said that he didn’t have access to Morales’ bank account and that the Hendricks firm should “pay Kendry back his money.”

I have no idea what really happened here, but between this business and the lawsuit filed by Aroldis Chapman’s original agent, if I were a player I wouldn’t touch the Hendricks Brothers with a ten foot pole.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.