a-rod reuters

Heyman: “MLB has receipts, checks, the whole nine yards”

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Some interesting tidbits on the Biogenesis investigation from Jon Heyman. Among the things (I think anyway) we haven’t heard before: sources telling him that Major League Baseball has “receipts, checks, the whole nine yards.” I mean, it’s been safe to assume that, of course, but this is the first time I recall seeing a source tell a reporter that.

There’s also some stuff in there about A-Rod and his people being realistic about his impending suspension and the fact that, given his recent injury, he’s not likely to “beat the suspension to the field,” as they put it. Also interesting are reports of the league and the union’s possible differing interpretations of what constitutes multiple offenses, how much discipline might be doled out to players and whether any of them are willing to take pleas.

All of that makes a lot of sense. But this part about Alex Rodriguez doesn’t:

If MLB can possibly prove drug ties before and after his MLB interviews denying involvement, it’s possible he could get 150 games. While it would seem to be difficult to imagine a lifetime ban within one ruling, 150 games away could effectively end the career of a player with two bad hips who turns 38 on July 27.

The hips were good enough to have him hitting homers in rehab games until late last week’s quad injury. As for 150 games: if A-Rod got that handed to him tomorrow, and if he decided to just accept the suspension, he’d be eligible to come back at roughly this time next year. There are a lot of players — particularly pitchers — who miss a year and a half and make it back. Even old ones.

But maybe the better example here is Manny Ramirez. He’s older than A-Rod, has just as much if not more of a PED-taint than does A-Rod, was less effective than A-Rod was at the time of their last pre-suspension action, was probably in worse shape at the time of the suspensions, then retired and sat out for an extended period.  He jut signed with his third team since becoming a pariah.

Maybe A-Rod would just up and quit, but I kinda doubt it. And if didn’t quit, you can’t tell me a team wouldn’t take a chance on him as their DH at the very least. That team most likely being the Yankees themselves.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.