From the Associated Press story about Melky Cabrera’s clearly well thought-out plan to create a phony website cum PED alibi:
It’s the first such case MLB has had and officials hope that uncovering the scheme will discourage similar attempts.
Something tells me that Melky is not the vanguard of a legion of ballplayers who would attempt such a thing. Indeed, this seems like a pretty singularly stupid caper. Melky is a lone gunman here.
Well, not totally alone. The AP story talks about a Juan Nunez who actually created the website:
The person said Juan Nunez, who works with Cabrera’s agents, purchased an existing website and attempted to alter it in a manner that would allow Cabrera to claim the positive test was caused by a substance obtained through the website. The News reported Nunez paid $10,000 for the website.
I was going to scoff at the price, but then I realized that the positive test likely cost Cabrera about $40 million bucks in a free agency deal this winter, so the risk, even if totally stupid to take and even more stupidly addressed, is understandable.
But it is notable that Nunez works for Melky’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES. They have said that they had nothing to do with it. Major League Baseball is apparently going to look into that. Fun times.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.