The McCourt trial is on hold today as the parties meet in a mediation. Josh over at Dodger Divorce provides a brief rundown of what’s happening and what’s at stake (and if you care about this subject at all you should be reading him every day anyway).
I rarely had good results in mediation when I was practicing. Sometimes because I was a crappy negotiator. Sometimes because my clients were insane. Sometimes because the mediator himself just didn’t do a good job. Sometimes because the conciliatory nature and unfamiliar mechanics of it all are so hard to get into after you’ve been fighting tooth and nail for weeks. As a result I’m rather skeptical of mediation.
But I think the key thing here is that both sides bled some this week. Frank because his lawyer admitted to switching documents around, which is never a good thing and could conceivably be seen as evidence that he tried to muscle Jamie out of Dodgers ownership through less than kosher methods. Jamie because, well, let’s face it, her dumb act (“what’s a document?”) simply isn’t plausible, and if you doubt her when she says how ignorant she is about the agreement in question, you must necessarily give less weight to the whole document switching business.
Settlements don’t happen when people are at each others’ throats. They often do happen when people see their own case get beat up a bit in court, and realize the risks they face. I’m still not terrible optimistic given that it’s Frank and Jamie we’re talking about and each of them have shown wide, wide streaks of irrationality and greed throughout this saga. But there is hope.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after failing to meet the necessary criteria for insurance coverage. He missed 70 days on the disabled list with forearm tightness and a back strain in 2016.
According to Oakland GM David Forst, Major League Baseball tried to persuade the insurance carrier to waive the requirements for Gray to pitch for Team USA, but the request was ultimately refused. Without coverage, Gray will be unable to participate in the competition, though Forst adds that the 27-year-old is still in perfect health as Opening Day approaches and should benefit from a slower spring training schedule without the added commitment on his plate.
Injuries complicated a down year for Gray, who pitched to a career-worst 5.69 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 rate through 117 innings in 2016. His 1.4 HR/9 and 17.8% HR/FB rates suggested that he felt the effects of the home run spike more than most, capping a disappointing follow-up to his All-Star campaign during 2015.
While Gray works up to a healthy and productive start to the 2017 season, the Athletics will still see two players on WBC rosters next month: right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, who is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and fellow righty John Axford, for Team Canada.
Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled for another knee exam on Monday, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hamilton left camp last week after feeling some pain in his left knee and received a PRP injection to alleviate the symptoms. Wilson notes that both Dr. Walt Lowe and Rangers’ assistant general manager Mike Daly noticed little improvement in the days following the injection.
More drastic measures could be necessary if the 35-year-old intends to return to the field this year. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan adds that the Rangers are considering arthroscopic surgery for Hamilton, which would set him back at least 4-6 weeks and eliminate any real chance of his making the Opening Day roster in April. Until they see the results of the surgery, however, the Rangers won’t rule out Hamilton’s potential return to the big leagues in 2017.
Hamilton is looking at his third major procedure since the end of the 2015 season. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. Should he make a full recovery this season, he figures to see some time at first base/DH or the corner outfield.