David Ortiz

Ortiz’s bat flip inflames tabloids more than the Yankees

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As Matthew mentioned last night, David Ortiz flipped his bat in a somewhat flamboyant style after hitting his two-run homer off Hector Noesi in the top of the fifth (video here).  After the game, Joe Girardi said “I didn’t really care for it,” inasmuch as it was kind of showing up Noesi.

After that, however, he actually made a point to say that Ortiz plays hard and plays the game the right way and suggested that, no, there wouldn’t be any sort of retaliation about it. He and other Yankees quoted about the matter more or less said that’s Papi being Papi, that it’s nothing new and that while they wish he didn’t hit a homer against them, it was no big deal. A-Rod talked about the kind of respect Yankees players have for the Red Sox.

But despite all of these quotes, the headline stack this morning at the Daily News had links to stories titled “Ortiz’s show drives Yanks batty,” and “Yanks may need to retaliate.”  The latter one is a link to a John Harper column that repeats all of those “it’s no big deal” quotes yet somehow concludes that Girardi believes that retaliation is in order and predicts that some form of retaliation will come before the series is over.

Is the manager saying “I didn’t much care for it,” just a low-key rallying cry? I guess we’ll know after tonight and Thursdays games, but this reads more like an instance in which a tabloid is wishing and hoping for fireworks than rationally gauging their likelihood.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.