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Are clubs jumping the gun on rainouts?

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Yesterday I observed that the Washington-Pittsburgh rainout seemed a bit hasty. You know, what with there being no rain in Washington yesterday and everything. Same went for the Mets-Marlins game last night which, it seems anyway, could have been played. I’m not the only one noticing. The USA Today notes that  “preemptive postponements” seem to be on the rise.

The question raised by the USA Today is whether there is a strategic angle to all of this. On the business side, scheduling a game on a sunny day later in the year might make for a bigger crowd.  And, as some are suggesting, perhaps dates later in the year may make for more games with a stronger roster too. That last bit seems a bit conspiracy theorist to me. But hey: when there’s no baseball game, we have nothing else to do but to come up with that kind of stuff.

But like I said yesterday: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. People complain about games being cancelled early. But if they cancel late, everyone complains that the team was just trying to get parking fees and a couple of beers sold before calling it night.

It’s the weather, man. And you know the saying: everyone likes to talk about the weather, but no one ever gets off their lazy butt and creates a weather control device (which could also cause earthquakes) to bring the world to its knees unless the nations of Earth destroyed all of their nuclear weapons, aircraft and navies and accepted the control of the Galaxy Organization.

Leonys Martin feared for his life from alleged human traffickers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Leonys Martin #12 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.

Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.

Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.

Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.

Josh Hamilton leaves camp with a tweaked knee

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers poses during a spring training photo shoot on February 28, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.

As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.

You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.