The Alfredo Simon case gets uglier and uglier

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Friend-of-HBT Nick Collias has been reading about the Alfredo Simon case in the Spanish language press and passes along a coupe of articles that show just how sordid this business is getting:

According to this report by Yoel Adames of ESPN Deportes, the mother of the victim, Michel Castillo, Alfredo Simon tried to bribe the family in order to get them to drop the charges:

“We’ve come so that justice will be done, because we understand that people are in support of him being released, and we want justice. He has offered money, but money doesn’t pay for the death of my son. My son’s death is non-negotiable.”

Castillo’s mother claims that, contrary to many of the reports we’ve seen, Simon and Castillo were not friends.  She also claims that Simon was indifferent to the fact that Castillo was shot, shrugged it all off and went on to a club after the shooting.  It’s about 18-levels of hearsay, but Castillo’s mother says she was told that Simon said “what do I care?” at the scene.

There are two sides to every story, however. According to this report, a cousin of Simon’s who was at the scene says that “More people were shooting in the air at the scene, but in the eye of the public it’s my cousin’s fault because he’s a ball player and they want him to be guilty.”  Another person at the scene says this:

“Alfredo Simon isn’t guilty, what’s happening is that [the victim’s family] wants to get involved because they envy [Simon] because he is young and is beginning to have money.”

Everyone’s emotions here are strong. There may also be agenda in play on both sides.  All I know is that every time we hear something new about this case it gets sadder and sadder.

(Thanks again to Nick Collias for bringing these reports to my attention and for translating them)

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.