OK, maybe not, but someone wants you to think he is.
According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, somebody circulated a fake press release promoting a book claimed to be written by Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. The title? “How to Finish Near Last Place with the Highest Payroll in the League.”
It gets better. Here are just a few of the chapter highlights:
– Why I signed Milton Bradley.
– Why I released Casey McGehee only to see him hit 20 home runs and drive in nearly 100 runs for a division rival.
– Why I signed players to long-term contracts with limited trade options.
Here’s the photo evidence. Sullivan called the fake release “tacky,” while Carrie Muskat of MLB.com described it as “tasteless.” Both reviews are sure to make it on the fake book flap.
According to Muskat, Brewers’ VP of Communications Tyler Barnes said the team is trying to determine who left the fake release in the press box.
“It’s an unfortunate incident and lousy attempt at a practical joke.”
Really? I thought it was pretty successful.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.