Johan Santana was accused of sexual battery

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As you may have seen, earlier this afternoon TMZ reported that Johan Santana was accused of sexual battery last fall.

There’s always some degree of uncertainty when it comes to reports such as these. At the moment, however, the facts as we know them are that (a) there was a complaint filed; (b) there appears to have been some sexual activity between Santana and the accuser; (c) the
police who investigated found that
“the alleged victim’s statement
is not
consistent with other witnesses;” and (d) no charges were filed. There are multiple, conflicting possible explanations for
each of those things
.

Perhaps the woman told the truth and people simply didn’t believe her because of who she was or who the alleged assailant was.  Perhaps the woman made a false accusation. While, in my limited personal experience in defending criminal cases phrases like “the alleged victim’s statement is not consistent with other witnesses” is police code for “we believe the alleged victim is lying,” we simply don’t know nor can we know which of any of those things are true.

I offer all of that merely as a reminder because, given how these sorts of things go, the fact of the accusation and the salaciousness of the details contained in that accusation will get major play over the next couple of days as the story is portrayed as “breaking news.” Indeed, as ‘Duk notes over at Big League Stew, the heat on this story may get extra-crazy because the east coast tabloids will likely view this as a west coast outfit besting them on their own beat and thus they’ll likely try to cultivate their own angles.

But there appears to be nothing that sparked TMZ’s report — no civil suit
no new investigation no new evidence — beyond TMZ’s own happening upon the public
documents. 
Which is fine, of course — facts are facts and the public documents themselves are newsworthy —
but that makes the media narrative the news, not the sexual assault allegations, which appear to have no legal merit. The media would probably do well to keep that in mind.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.