In February 2009, Roberto Alomar was sued by an ex-girlfriend, who accused him of (a) being HIV positive; and (b)
infecting her having sex with her without telling her of his status. The most notable thing about it at the time, I think, was the girlfriend’s salacious narrative in the complaint itself, in which she described Alomar as being extremely sick and possibly near death from late-stage AIDS. The suit settled quickly, and because Alomar made public appearances soon afterward looking like regular old Roberto, most people assumed the other parts of the suit were inaccurate too, and that it was settled simply to dispose of the nuisance.
Now another suit has been filed against Alomar alleging that he had sex with someone despite knowing that he was HIV positive and without telling her. This time it’s his soon-to-be ex-wife. Who, at the time of the last suit, was his girlfriend and vigorously defended Alomar against the old girlfriend’s accusations. Her name is Maria Del Pilar Rivera. She’s a former model and television personality in Puerto Rico. She also recently accused Alomar of domestic violence in Miami.
No one knows what goes down in a marriage except the people in it, so we have no idea if what Rivera is saying is true. It’s worth noting that this is the second sworn complaint filed against Alomar to this effect. It’s also worth noting that at the time of the last one, Rivera accused the plaintiff of being a liar. Given these facts, her suit could just as easily be righteous as it could be an exercise in opportunism in advance of a big divorce settlement. If we’ve learned anything recently, we’ve learned that crazy stuff can come out of divorce cases. Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes it’s not.
Hopefully this works out well for everyone involved and we can spend the winter talking about how the BBWAA had better not screw Alomar out of his rightful place in the Hall of Fame again as opposed to this depressing nonsense.
The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.
Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.
Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”
Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.
The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.