mlb_jeter

The “Jeter wants $150 million” walkback has begun

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That didn’t take long: Jim Baumbach of Newsday is walking back the notion that Jeter really asked for $150 million. He tweets:

Person familiar with Yankees-Jeter negotiations says Jeter camp is not asking for reported $150 million over six years. It’s less than that.

He didn’t say if it’s less money or fewer years or both.

While keeping in mind the notion that negotiations are fluid things and that people leaking things always have agendas and counter-agendas when it comes to this sort of thing, I am not really all that inclined to believe that Bill Madden’s report of the demand was wrong. Thew incentives for someone in the “Jeter/Close camp” to make that up are low. The incentives for them to deny that now — after a few hours of mockery over the reported demand — are super high.

My guess: Madden’s information related to a prior demand, since laughed out of the room by the Yankees, and now the Baumbach’s source is accurate, technically speaking. If that were the case it doesn’t change the insanity of the demand, and Baumbach’s report doesn’t constitute a denial.

But hey, thank goodness there’s a push on this winter to keep free agent negotiations out of the press!

Video: Undercover David Ortiz drives a Lyft in Boston

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David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.

Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.

In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.

Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”

MIAMI - MARCH 14:  Venezuela fans cheer with a country flag while taking on the Netherlands during round 2 of the World Baseball Classic at Dolphin Stadium on March 14, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
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Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.

The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:

“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”

As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.

It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.