Via Big League Stew, here’s a local news report from Atlanta — one of those I-Team investigation/sting teams things — which appears to catch former Braves center fielder Otis Nixon scamming families of prison inmates. Good times, especially the bit in the video when the reporter talks about “stealing, robbing and defying the law” on the baseball field being OK but not out in public.
The hamfisted flair of local news aside, the report tells a pretty damning tale about Nixon telling lies and making promises he couldn’t possibly keep to the families of prison inmates, taking their money in the process.
If there’s illegality here — and, yes, it looks like it — this won’t be the first time Nixon has broken the law. Just sad.
So, in the past few days we’ve had posts about Otis Nixon and Deion Sanders. Stay tuned for Albert Hall and Deion James updates.
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.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.