Ronald Belisario tested positive for cocaine, said he used it only once

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Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario already faces a drug suspension at the beginning of the year, but it appears that his drug problems extend beyond whatever it was that sent him to rehab last year: he told reporters this morning that he tested positive for cocaine.

It’s unclear when he tested positive, but Belisario says that wasn’t the drug that led to his suspension.  He also used the Ron Washington defense and said that he used cocaine only once. Which led to this G-chat conversation between Gleeman and me a few minutes ago:

Aaron:  I’ll leave the Belisario coke post to you.

Aaron:  Amazing how many guys get caught on their one and only lifetime usage! Such bad luck!

me:  I was just thinking that! Damn the luck!

Aaron:  Especially when that one usage comes at like age 30 or age 60.

Me:  Prime ages for experimentation, don’t you know.

Aaron:  It’s so weird. What could drive an adult non-user to use that once!

We then moved on to talk about how Aaron’s mom bought a new car last night and paid for it in cash. I asked Aaron if his mom was a drug dealer. He said, yes, she’s Ronald Belisario’s drug dealer. Which presents the possibility that Belisario is telling the truth, that he used only once, but that he bought $20K worth of blow from Aaron’s mom.

I suppose we could try to report on this a bit more to get the real facts, but I don’t think we’ll find a better explanation than the Aaron’s-mom-sold-cocaine-to-Ronald-Belisario explanation. It just fits.

DOJ settles antirust lawsuit against cable companies who don’t carry Dodgers games

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Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.

Now that lawsuit is over. DOJ has settled with AT&T last night.

The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” and AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.

When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.

As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.

An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.