Boras sulking

Even after Boras was cleared, the New York Times continues to pound him

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Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times was fed a line by Major League Baseball sources over the Scott Boras loans to Edward Salcedo. He was told that they were scandalous and wrong and that they violated union rules and he reported the daylights out of it.

Yesterday, the union said, nope, no rules were violated.  You’d think, then, that it’s time for some walkback by Schmidt. Maybe time for a little reflection about what his sources are feeding him. You’d think wrong. Here’s Schmidt in this morning’s paper:

But while the union has now essentially cleared Boras, Commissioner Bud Selig remains unsatisfied, according to those same people.

“If the union feels that Boras giving money to young Dominican prospects does not violate its rules, then they should take a look at their own rules,” said one high-ranking baseball official.

I love the “essentially” added to that first sentence. In this context it’s clearly meant to mean “bogusly” or “regrettably.”  Note to the New York Times: when the very organization whose rules were alleged to have been violated says, no, the rules were not violated, there is no “essentially” about it. The union has cleared Boras. They have not “essentially” cleared Boras.

Following that passage is a bunch more water-carrying for anonymous MLB sources.  Can you imagine if Schmidt — who splits his time working the crime beat, by the way — wrote something like this:

But while the judge has now essentially cleared the defendant, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly remains unsatisfied, according to those same people. “If the government feels that the defendant doing what he did does not violate the law, then they should take a look at the law.”

He’d never write that. Probably because the Police Commissioner of New York would never say that, but mostly because the Times would require that the reporter give the system a little more credence than Schmidt is giving the MLBPA when it comes to the interpretation of its own rules.  Indeed, he spends several paragraphs talking about other ways in which the league can go after Boras for all of this now, and then fills in with more “boy, the Dominican Republic is filthy with agents” rebop.

This story is over, Mr. Schmidt. Your sources had a clear agenda in going after Boras and they steered you in the wrong direction. Their beef against him has not been borne out and it’s time to move on.  And even if they won’t, you should.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.