UPDATE: Now it’s official, with Shaikin and everyone else reporting that Major League Baseball has, in fact, rejected the Dodgers-Fox deal and that Frank McCourt has, in fact, been notified of it.
So now it’s go-time.
1:06 PM: Um, OK, Bill Shaikin reports that MLB has not notified McCourt of any decision on Fox deal. Shaikin is usually right, but then again, so is Tim Brown, so who the heck knows?
12:56 PM: All that’s left now is for the lawsuit to be filed.
Yahoo!’s Tim Brown reports that Major League Baseball has notified Frank McCourt that it will not approve the Dodgers’ 17-year television deal with Fox. This will (a) put the kibosh on the McCourt’s divorce settlement, which hinged on the deal’s approval; and (b) all but ensure that the Dodgers won’t make their end of the month payroll. When that happens, baseball will likely seize and sell the Dodgers.
The biggest question here: does Frank wait until that happens to sue, or does he sue now, claiming that Major League Baseball interfered with his ability to run his baseball team? My guess is on the latter. My guess is also that he’s had the papers to that effect drawn up for some time.
It’s about to get real in L.A., folks.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.
There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.
Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.
Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.
With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.
Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.