While it’s been pretty clear that Bud Selig has the backing of all of the other owners in the Frank McCourt fight, yesterday Athletics owner Lew Wolff became the first to publicly call on Frank McCourt to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What set him off was Frank McCourt’s ridiculous statement in court filings in which he equated Bud Selig’s salary from Major League Baseball with his own looting of the Dodgers over the past several years. Wolff — correctly in my view — considered this an unwarranted personal attack on Selig, who happens to be Wolff’s college buddy. Worth noting is that Wolff has his own problems with Major League Baseball — that committee that has held up his move to San Jose for more than two years — yet he has declined to lash out at Selig or the league.
Sadly, shame and public pressure have so far seemed ineffective in spurring Frank McCourt into any action so Wolff’s call of him to sell will likely have no effect. But it’s so rare to hear one owner go after another in Major League Baseball, and that suggests the low esteem in which McCourt is currently regarded.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.