UPDATE II: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the person who suggested that Schilling take PEDs was investigated by MLB and cleared. It seems that the individual was eventually fired by the Red Sox, but not for that specific incident.
UPDATE: Pete Abraham has more. And, yes, apparently there was an investigation back in 2008. Which, OK, we’ll take baseball’s word for that. Funny, though, that a few short hours ago baseball, when asked, said that it would look into Schilling’s comments and made no mention of an investigation occurring back in 2008.
5:30 PM: Micheal S. Schmidt is hearing so:
Schilling did say that the person was no longer employed by the Red Sox, so that would match. At the same time, given that Schilling was talking about this person in the context of PEDs in baseball and the league’s response to it, you’d think Schilling would mention that as a means of noting MLB being proactive about such things.
And when he said on Twitter earlier today that he wouldn’t name the person, you’d think that a logical response would be to say “there’s no point in doing so; the person was already fired for it.” Instead Schilling made it sound like it should all remain hush-hush.
Still, this should be easy to check. Someone with the Red Sox or Major League Baseball should be able to say — and should be willing to say — what Schmidt is saying here. Indeed, since “#thesystemworked” you’d think they’d be proud to say so.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is looking for outside outfield help in the wake of Starling Marte‘s 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. With Marte out of the picture, the club moved Andrew McCutchen back to center field and have played Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna in right field. But, as Brink points out, Osuna and Jaso — neither an outfielder by trade — misplayed balls over the weekend against the Yankees.
Among available free agents, the pickings are slim. There’s Coco Crisp, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Gillespie, Kelly Johnson, and Nolan Reimold (who is currently in independent baseball). The Pirates may have to find themselves a trade partner. They could also try to talk Angel Pagan back into action, as the veteran outfielder recently said he’s taking the year off. The Pirates could also look at Leonys Martin, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners.
On Friday, tension between the Orioles and Red Sox rose when Manny Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia sliding into second base. Although the umpires found no fault with Machado’s slide, third base coach Brian Butterfield was later ejected, still feeling like Machado wronged the Red Sox. Pedroia exited the game and was not in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday. He’ll undergo an MRI for his left knee and ankle in Boston on Monday.
For what it’s worth, Pedroia didn’t seem to feel any bitterness towards Machado for his slide. As MLB.com’s Jeff Seidel reported, Pedroia said, “I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the Major Leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a … rule. The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork.”
Tempers flared between the Red Sox and Orioles again on Sunday. In the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner on first base and one out with the Red Sox leading 6-0, reliever Matt Barnes threw a first-pitch fastball up-and-in to Machado. The ball actually hit Machado’s bat, so it counted as a foul ball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher ejected Barnes and the Red Sox brought in Joe Kelly. Machado doubled on the first pitch Kelly threw to put the Orioles on the board, but the Orioles ultimately lost 6-2.
MASN’s broadcast later showed Pedroia talking to Machado, seemingly clarifying that Barnes acted of his own volition without encouragement from Pedroia. “You know that,” Pedroia appeared to say. “It wasn’t me. It’s them.”
Update: Pedroia even apologized to Machado and the Orioles, per Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
Commissioner Rob Manfred will likely look into Sunday’s incident. He could fine and/or suspend Barnes.
The Orioles and Red Sox meet again in Boston for a four-game series May 1-4. It will be interesting to see if the tension still remains then.