UPDATE: Ryan Madson and his wife clarify the “I hate the fans” thing

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UPDATE:  The Phillies have issued a statement on behalf of Ryan Madson and his wife, arising out of that business in which the Naked Philadelphian blog reported Sarah Madson to have said “I hate fans” and complain about women coming up to Ryan Madson in public:

Sarah did not consent to an interview, but rather was approached by Ms. Goldman who did not identify herself as a reporter.  She began to ask many personal questions about the life of a wife of a professional baseball player.  The comments reported by Ms. Goldman were taken completely out of context, and as a result, Sarah is extremely upset and feels violated by the situation.

Sarah says, “For every one fan that may upset us, there are 99 Phillies fans that we love. We have lived here for years, have many friends, neighbors and acquaintances — who also happen to be Phillies fans — for whom we have the utmost respect.”

The Madsons would like to dispel this misleading information which indicates that they have anything but admiration for the fans in Philadelphia.

Quotes being “taken out of context” is a difficult topic. Most of the time when it’s deployed in a public statement like this, it means “I said it, but I had no idea it would create such a stir.”  At the same time, if the blogger did just sidle up to Ms. Madson and start talking without identifying herself as a reporter of any kind, there is a contextual issue in terms of “I never would have said this to you if I knew it would get around.”

And that’s an interesting ethical matter that has never been made 100% clear. If you’re working in the media — whether it be paid or whether you simply style yourself as a reporter of things on your own — there is a sense that, yeah, you should identify yourself if you’re going to use what you hear. I think this Laura Goldman person fits that description, as she is a reporter of some kind or at least has been in the past.

If it’s just a person who happens to have a personal blog and isn’t on the make, but gets into an interesting conversation in a bar? Eh, maybe a different matter.  But that doesn’t seem to be the matter here.

10:00 AM: At least that’s what a Philly blogger is saying.  Laura Goldman of the Naked Philadelphian blog claims that Sarah Madson, wife of the Phillies’ reliever Ryan Madson, said the following:

Sarah Madson declared, “I hate the fans. It is bad enough that they bother us during the season, but they will not leave us alone in December when we go out to eat. We stayed here during the off season last year, but we will be going to California this year. There must be something particularly bad about Phillies fans because all the players leave in the off season.”

She had particular snappish words for the female fans of her husband. “Can you believe that they have the gall to give my husband their number in front of me?”

Some are questioning the overall integrity of the blogger here, but I have yet to see anyone deny that Ms. Madson made the statement.

I take a lot of crap from Philly fans, but that’s OK because I think it’s kind of fun.  I’m guessing, however, that unless someone clearly and loudly establishes that these quotes were fabricated, Ms. Madson is going to think the experience is way less fun.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.