Anthony Bosch

Anthony Bosch asked A-Rod for money before agreeing to help out MLB

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Just another avenue for cross-examination of MLB’s star witness should they attempt to suspend players in the Biogenesis thing. From the Daily News:

The owner of the South Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of baseball’s latest doping scandal asked embattled Yankee star Alex Rodriguez for financial help after Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit that alleged he had sold performance-enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players.

When Rodriguez rebuffed Anthony Bosch’s request for money, believed to be in the hundreds of thousands, the self-styled “biochemist” turned to a strange bedfellow — MLB.

The Daily News spins this as MLB being “worried” and concerned about what Bosch might do and then reaching out to assist him. It’s worth asking, however, if Bosch was seeking cash in all of this before, what exactly is he getting from MLB now? It has been reported that MLB has agreed to drop the lawsuit it filed against him earlier this year, to pay his legal bills, to indemnify him for any civil liability that arises from his cooperation, to provide him with personal security and to intervene on his behalf if he gets into criminal trouble of his own. That stuff is all very valuable.

But if this report is accurate, he was seeking cash from A-Rod very recently. Is he now getting cash from MLB? Did he approach any other players in order to get cash before? All witnesses in Bosch’s situation are vulnerable to cross-examination about what they’re getting in exchange for their testimony. But if it’s cash on the barrelhead for non-expert testimony or if he has peddled his loyalty to both sides of the case and decided to go all-in with the one who gave him the best deal, his credibility is in even greater trouble than your typical hired-gun witness.

There have been reports of ex-Biogenesis employees trying to sell documents to the press, essentially holding an auction for information. Has Anthony Bosch done the same thing with his testimony? If we don’t find out before MLB takes any action in this matter, we will certainly find out when the players and the union’s lawyers attack Bosch with it in an arbitration later.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.

Raines to wear an Expos cap, Pudge to wear a Rangers cap on their Hall of Fame plaques

1990:  Outfielder Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos in action. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
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There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.

Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.

Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.

With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.

Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.