The A’s release a statement on Coco Crisp’s DUI

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The Athletics just released a statement regarding Coco Crisp’s DUI:

“Coco Crisp was arrested and detained early this morning under the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.  He was released from the City of Scottsdale Jail this morning and arrived at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on time for team pre-game drills.  The A’s are aware of the situation and take such matters seriously.The team and Coco will have no further comment until further details are available.”

That’s a lot of nothing, but what do you expect? For what it’s worth, people here who cover the A’s regularly said that they aren’t pleased. Which is also kind of obvious, but the team is thought to take this sort of stuff more seriously than other teams.  I suppose we’ll see if that means anything in the coming days.

For what it’s worth, the A’s were at the vanguard of teams banning beer in the clubhouse — both their own and the visiting team’s — five years ago after Esteban Loaiza was busted for a DUI.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉