I missed this in all of the McCourt crap last week — I really do only have so much brain space for legal/financial baseball news — but the case against the Wilpons and Saul Katz was moved from bankruptcy court into regular old court court, which was what Wilpon and Katz had wanted.
And better yet, the judge handling it all, The Hon. Jed Rakoff, said a number of things from the bench suggesting — and it’s only suggesting — that he may view the Wilpons’ duty to inquire into whether Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme to be far less encompassing than the bankruptcy trustee, Irving Picard, has suggested.
Today there is a profile on the new judge in the New York Times — a maverick of sorts — that may hold even more good news for the Mets:
“I can’t guarantee this, of course, but my tendency is to try to get quick decisions,” he said during a hearing last week in which he evinced, at least for the purposes of the legal argument before him, a fair amount of sympathy toward the team’s owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz … He suggested that in accusing the owners of being “willfully blind” to the possibility that Madoff was a fraud during their many years of investing with him, the trustee might be holding them to an unfair standard.
Quick and favorable? Boy howdy, would that change things for the Mets, wouldn’t it?
UPDATE, 12:07 p.m. EDT: The Royals have confirmed reports of Yordano Ventura’s death with an official statement. No further details pertaining to the accident have been divulged.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.