Part of MLB’s deal with Anthony Bosch is that the league will dismiss the lawsuit it filed against him. It hasn’t done that yet. Which isn’t terribly surprising as MLB is still probably wanting to ensure continued cooperation from him and to ensure that they get something of value from him. The court likely won’t make the league do anything until various deadlines approach that require its attention.
But there are other defendants besides Bosch. One of them is his former colleague who is alleged by MLB to have also given players PEDs. His name is Carlos Acevedo and just this afternoon his latest request to have the lawsuit against him dismissed was denied, so he’s still in MLB’s crosshairs.
Acevedo is an interesting character here. I presume his defense — in addition to some statute of limitations grounds mentioned in the linked article — will be that he had nothing to do with Biogenesis. Which may be technically true. However, Acevedo and Bosch were partners in a predecessor anti-aging clinic before they had a falling out and went their separate ways. And it wasn’t too terribly long ago that this happened. The third partner in that clinic, a guy named Xavier Romero, left with Acevedo. He told the New York Times a couple of months ago that (a) he didn’t do anything with athletes; and (b) Bosch was a wreck and that he was surprised that he’d be able to lure baseball players as clients. The article also noted that Acevedo had a good reputation in the anti-aging community and worked with solid medical companies in the past.
Which makes me wonder about Major League Baseball’s interest in Acevedo. Do they think that he was a source of PEDs to players? If so, you’d think he’d be a better target for cooperation than Bosch, given his apparently more august standing in the world, his greater ability (in Romano’s view, one presumes) to lure high profile clients; and, by extension, his fewer credibility problems. On the other hand, if they don’t think he was involved, this lawsuit, with respect to Acevedo anyway, stinks to high heavens.
While I disagreed with Major League Baseball’s lawsuit when it was filed and still believe it’s the weakest legal sauce imaginable, I don’t think MLB is in the business of harassing truly innocent parties, which is what they’d be doing here if Acevedo didn’t have some sort of involvement in providing drugs to players. Which makes me think that maybe they’re trying to do with Acevedo what they did with Bosch: flip him and get him to talk about players’ drug use. Which suggests that either MLB doesn’t think that it yet has the goods or that it’s being extremely deliberate as it builds its case.
If they do have the goods on the players, though, you’d think they’d quit pursuing Acevedo, right?
Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic put on a tremendous show in Saturday night’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest up in Toronto, Canada. The stars were out to see it at the Air Canada Centre, and Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista had one of the very best views in the house. Check out this video he posted to Instagram of LaVine’s final dunk, a between-the-legs jam from just inside the free throw line …
That is Toronto’s very own Drake going wild in the pink jacket. Gordon probably had the best individual dunk of the night, though, if we’re being really real …
Back to your regularly scheduled baseball programming. Pitchers and catchers report Friday.
The 2016-18 All-Star Games are spoken for, but the Cubs could play host not long thereafter according to commissioner Rob Manfred, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports.
The Padres are hosting at Petco Park this year, the Marlins will host at Marlins Park next season, and the Nationals will host in 2018 at Nationals Park. That will make four consecutive National League hosts and five if the Cubs get it in 2019. In the past, the National and American Leagues have alternated hosting privileges. That is sort of important now since the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home field advantage in the World Series.
The Cubs last hosted the All-Star Game in 1990 and have hosted a total of three times (1962 and 1947 being the other years) since its inception in 1933.
Wrigley Field has been undergoing renovations which are expected to be completed by the 2019 season. Manfred said that the Cubs hosting the All-Star Game “will provide the Cubs and Ricketts family a chance to showcase the unbelievable renovation they are in the midst of doing for Wrigley field.”
Update: Here’s a table showing the last time each team hosted the All-Star Game.
||Olympic Stadium (Expos)
||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
||Jack Murphy Stadium
||Oriole Park at Camden Yards
||The Ballpark in Arlington
||U.S. Cellular Field
||Minute Maid Park
||Angels Stadium of Anaheim
||Great American Ball Park
Expect Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation this spring, writes Gordon Wittenmyer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Clayton Richard could serve as a fallback option as well.
Hendricks, 26, pitched well in his first full season in 2015. He finished with a 3.95 ERA and a 167/43 K/BB ratio over 180 innings. That was a solid follow-up to his rookie campaign in 2014, when he posted a 2.46 ERA over 13 starts.
The Cubs acquired Warren, 28, from the Yankees in the Starlin Castro trade. He contributed both out of the rotation and the bullpen in the Bronx this past season, pitching 131 1/3 innings with a 3.29 ERA and a 104/39 K/BB ratio.
One through four, the Cubs’ rotation is solid with defending National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jason Hammel.
Mets third baseman David Wright missed four months of the 2015 season due to spinal stenosis. In other words, Wright dealt with a narrowing of his spinal column. Going forward, the Mets plan to be cautious with Wright so as not to overuse him.
As ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports, Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to have the 33-year-old Wright play in no more than 130 games. Alderson said, “We’re gonna make sure that he’s not overworked. So it’s important for us to find somebody who can play 30 games or so at third base when he’s not in there. But I think we have to be realistic, and not expect that he’s gonna be an absolute everyday [player] out there playing 150 or 155 games. That’s not gonna happen.”
Wilmer Flores played 26 games at third base in his rookie season in 2013, so he could back up Wright as needed. But Alderson mentioned that because Wright would mostly sit against right-handed pitchers, the switch-hitting Neil Walker or Asdrubal Cabrera could get the call at the hot corner.
When he was on the field last season, Wright hit a productive .289/.379/.434 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 174 plate appearances.