As Matthew noted last night, the BBWAA issued a statement in the wake of the Bill Conlin ugliness. It was strange to see it and, in my mind, pretty ill-advised.
Why say anything now? Given the gravity of the allegations, who gives a damn about what it all means for the Spink Award? While I appreciate the need not to pile on someone the second allegations surface, if the Penn State and Syracuse scandals showed us anything, it showed us that you don’t just jump out front and defend someone accused of this stuff as a matter of reflex either. And what the BBWAA statement did was to defend Conlin, at least in a small way.
Obviously the BBWAA did not convene a conclave of its members in the space of a couple hours last night to get their input on the statement. And, not surprisingly, some members are making a point today to say that the statement does not speak for them. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News even wrote an article about it:
Philadelphia Daily News editor Larry Platt, who accepted Conlin’s retirement Tuesday, told the Inquirer: “I can’t even begin to express the shock, sadness, and outrage I feel by what Bill Conlin is alleged to have done.”
That statement was clear about both the troubling nature of the allegations, and the fact they remain just that — allegations. I wish that my organization. the BBWAA, had achieved a similar balance.
I know this is a horrible and difficult situation for anyone to manage, but I agree with Martino: the BBWAA didn’t manage it well.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.