John Steigerwald — the guy who blamed Bryan Stow for his own beating in a recent column — took to his blog today to say that he did not blame Bryan Stow for his own beating. The blog has been flooded with traffic so it’s been down much of the afternoon, but here’s a Google Cache version of it:
I don’t apologize for the column but I do apologize to the Stow family if this nonsense has reached them and in any way added to their pain. I don’t, for one second, blame Brian Stow for the beating he took. I do blame the ever increasing out of control, out of perspective behavior by fans, too many of whom are no longer satisfied with going to their stadiums and cheering for their teams. And I sure as hell don’t think –as some hysterical posters have claimed –that Brian “had it coming.”
Steigerwald also says “Nowhere did I imply that Stow deserved what happened to him. I thought that the difference between DESERVING a consequence and unwittingly contributing to one was implicit.”
I and tons of other people linked his first column and said our piece, so now we link his explanation and let him say his. I’ll leave it to you to decide if he sufficiently acquits himself. In the meantime, I’d suggest that Steigerwald look up the definition of the word “imply.”
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.