Remember Prime Minister Pete Nice? I do, because I’m old, but you should too because 3rd Bass was pretty awesome. Well, Nice’s real name is Pete Nash, and his gig these days is baseball memorabilia. I’ve read some stuff about him operating in this world and, like a lot of memorabilia dudes, he sounds pretty shady. He’s been in trouble for fraud and has lost lawsuits and all kinds of things. It’s an icky world and he sounds quite of it.
Murray Chass, a blogger, takes on Nash today. As far as the inspiration goes — Nash being crooked and Nash not being cool to other people in the industry — Chass has a pretty good point. Of course like anything else he does, Chass stretches the point in order to try to make some other, totally stupid point:
Known in his rapper days as Prime Minister Pete Nice, Peter Nash is known today as the epitome of what is primarily wrong with the Internet and blogs … They give Nash a free hand to do and say what he wants about whom he wants with no way of being stopped. Nash has a Web site, “Hauls of Shame,” which he uses to defame people. The Internet gives him that opportunity. Anybody can use the Internet for whatever purpose he wants. You don’t need a license. Just pay a few bucks a month, put a name on the site and you’re off and writing.
This from the guy who uses his blog to level unsubstantiated accusations of steroid use against ballplayers all the time.
Hey Murray: guess what? The law still applies to blogs. If Pete Nash defames someone, he’s just as liable for it as a newspaper writer might be. Really. I mean, I know you may think that’s not the case because you’ve never been sued for the nonsense you’ve blogged about, but that’s just because no one pays attention to you, not because the law doesn’t apply to you.
But that aside, let me know when your “people who write about things on the Internet should be forced to get a license” campaign goes.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.