I doubt A-Rod would take this advice. He’s gone in with a full denial and likely will keep that up until he either skates clear or gets suspended by Major League Baseball. But if A-Rod really and truly wanted to try something novel and fun he’d ignore all those people who are suggesting he try to commit insurance fraud and simply own up to taking PEDs. Not out of a sense of responsibility, but out of a sense of pure unadulterated mischief.
He should walk into Bud Selig’s office tomorrow morning, put his good leg up on the desk and say “Bud, gotta tell ya. I took PEDs last year. I was rotten with the stuff. I’ll sign an affidavit to that effect right now and agree to waive any appeal of discipline. Give me my 50 game suspension, please.”
His suspension would then begin on Opening Day and last until Monday, May 27. All the while A-Rod was on the disabled list rehabbing from his hip surgery. He’d be out money, but he’d not miss a single game that he’d otherwise play in. The Joint Drug Agreement allows it. Edinson Volquez and Freddy Galvis each served their own PED suspensions while on the DL. There’s no way around it.
And when it happened, the media’s collective heads would explode. The outrage would be so great it would create shortages. The government would only allow you to have outrage, like, every other day depending on whether your license plate ends in an odd or even number. We’d be on an outrage war footing, really.
He won’t do it. But man, if he did, it’d be glorious.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.