Mariners manager Eric Wedge and Jack Wilson have apparently put their differences behind them.
Wedge didn’t hide his frustration after Wilson pulled himself from a game last Wednesday against the Rangers. He called Wilson’s decision “unspeakable,” among other things, and held him out of the lineup over the weekend.
However, following a conversation yesterday, Wedge has put Wilson back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
“We had another conversation yesterday and that’s it,” Wedge said. “That’s the end of it. I don’t hold grudges — never have, never will, don’t believe in them. The coaches are here for the players and it’s just one of those bumps in the road that you work through, handle as best as you can and you learn from it and you are a little bit wiser for the wear. He will be better for it, the team will be better for it and it’s time for him to get back in there playing.”
There’s a couple ways to interprete Wilson’s decision. Initially I wondered whether he was unhappy with his recent move to second base, but it’s also possible that he didn’t want his inexperience at the position to be a further liability for the team. For the Mariners’ sake, hopefully it’s the latter.
Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.
Now that lawsuit is over. DOJ has settled with AT&T last night.
The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” and AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.
When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.
As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.
An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.
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.