We talked last winter about Donald Fitzpatrick, the now-deceased former Red Sox clubhouse manager who was accused of and admitted to multiple counts of sexual abuse of clubhouse attendants prior to his dismissal in 1991. Now, years after his death, new accusations continue to arise:
The toll of men who claim they were violated as youths by the team’s late clubhouse manager Donald J. Fitzpatrick has grown again, with a former Kansas City clubhouse attendant, Gerald Armstrong, alleging that Fitzpatrick repeatedly molested him in the late 1960s amid the worst sexual abuse scandal in Major League Baseball history.
With Armstrong’s allegations, there are now 20 men demanding a combined $100 million — $5 million each — from the Sox for misconduct they claim Fitzpatrick committed from the 1960s until he left the team in 1991.
Armstrong tells his story in the piece.
With the accused dead and the statute of limitations up for these claims, the Red Sox are not obligated to pay anyone over these claims. But pressure is being brought to bear by the accusers and their attorneys over the matter.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.