“Banned.” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means:
Rose regularly attends games each season in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, two of the places where he played during his 23-year career, and is often introduced to players. “Then they end up texting me all the time,” Rose said. “I have play-hard credentials. No b———t, no non-sense credentials and I think players respect that. That’s why young players like me today.”… Rose said it’s not a matter of proper coaching not being available for today’s players, but rather an issue with their self-esteem … “The better the player, the less confidence they seem to have.”
Included in his list of advisees is Alex Rodriguez, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. And my gratuitous use of the Inigo Montoya quote notwithstanding, sure, there’s nothing in Rose’s ban that keeps him from talking on the phone to people. Baseball can keep him out of the Hall of Fame and off a Major League payroll, but they can’t keep him from having friends who happen to be ballplayers.
Freakin’ Rose. He makes me so mad. I think he actually has a point when he says in the article that players sometimes get overcoached and confused and stuff. And while teams certainly want technically proficient coaches to help players do things the right way, I imagine there’s serious value to having a guy like Rose on every staff someplace who can just tell guys to go out there and hit the snot out of the ball and have the personal moxie and credibility to make that useful.
I just sometimes wonder what would have happened if Rose hadn’t been a complete train wreck and actually was allowed to have been around baseball all these years. And he did things such that we never got a chance. Drives me nuts.
Former Mets catcher Johnny Monell signed a contract with the KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a report by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 30-year-old originally struck a deal with the NC Dinos on Thursday, but the deal appeared to fall through at the last minute, according to Cotillo’s unnamed source.
Monell last surfaced for the Mets during their 2015 run, batting a dismal .167/.231/.208 with two extra bases in 52 PA before the club DFA’d him to clear space for Bartolo Colon. While he’s had difficulty sticking at the major league level, he’s found a higher degree of success in the minor league circuit and holds a career .271 average over a decade of minor league play. He played exclusively in Triple-A Las Vegas during the 2016 season, slashing .276/.336/.470 with 19 home runs and a career-high 75 RBI in 461 PA.
The veteran backstop appears to be the second MLB player to join the KT Wiz roster this offseason, as right-hander Donn Roach also signed with the club last month on a one-year, $850,000 deal.
Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.
Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.
Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.
Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):
We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.