Bernie Madoff says Wilpons “knew nothing” about Ponzi scheme

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In a lengthy jailhouse interview with the New York Times, Bernie Madoff claims Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz knew nothing about his Ponzi scheme.

“They knew nothing. They knew nothing.”

And this matters because?

Madoff isn’t exactly the most trustworthy fellow — that’s why he’s in the slammer in the first place — and Irving Picard isn’t simply arguing that the Wilpons and Katz actually knew about the Ponzi scheme. He’s also saying that they should have known. I’m speculating here, but the likely reality is that the Wilpons and Katz just looked the other way as the money just poured in. They probably weren’t alone in that regard.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.