With the baseball world still reeling from the news of Ryan Braun’s suspension for his connection to Biogenesis, many are naturally wondering what is in store for Alex Rodriguez. Well, if what ESPN’s T.J. Quinn is hearing is accurate, it doesn’t bode well for him.
Quinn also writes that “MLB confronted Braun with volumes of evidence provided by Tony Bosch, including texts.” What evidence MLB has against Rodriguez isn’t exactly clear, but that there was enough there for Braun to make a deal is not promising. It also could hurt the possibility of a successful appeal, as Braun’s actions today give Bosch credibility, which is something that has been in question since the Biogenesis investigation began. For what it’s worth, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported earlier today that MLB received “receipts, checks, the whole nine yards” during their investigation, though it’s not known whether any of those apply to Rodriguez.
Interestingly, Quinn writes that the case against Rodriguez includes the possibility that he interfered with the investigation, so MLB is expected to go after him harder than they did Braun. Bill Madden and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News reported last weekend that lawyers for Rodriguez were internally discussing the possibility of a plea agreement with MLB — possibly settling on a 150-game suspension — though he and his representatives have denied the story.
All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.
The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.
It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.
It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.
Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉