I’m about as likely to listen to Chipper Jones’ theories on the JFK assassination as I am to listen to Luke Scott’s theories about President Obama’s place of birth, but for those of you who demand more of your baseball players than mere athletic prowess, please know that Jones does, indeed, have a theory. At least a broad one, which he told to Dan Scholssberg of The Post Game:
“Having shot a hunting rifle all my life, I personally believe there was more than one shooter. The conspiracy behind it is what really intrigues me. I’m sure it went pretty high but I don’t know how high. Let’s just say somebody had to put it into motion—and it was somebody high-ranking in the U.S. government.”
Whatever you say, Chip. For my part I put more stock in James Ellroy’s theory as described in “American Tabloid.” It’s complicated, but let’s just say that you do not want to steal heroin from the mob as a way of taking revenge against them for failing to back you in your plan to assassinate Fidel Castro following your failure in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Because if you do, they’ll make you kill Jack the Haircut as payback, get me?
Or else it was Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampires. I could go either way with it.
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.
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.