Add “slum lord” to your latest Alex Rodriguez talking points

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Reader Kevin L. passes this along from the Washington Post. It’s a story about some rundown apartments in Prince Georges County, Maryland. It leads with a resident complaining about the poor conditions in which she lives:

“We are in America. We have rights,” said Silva, as she pointed to leaky faucets, broken pipes, rusting bathtubs and a window that had fallen on a resident who was taking a shower.

The complexes, which contain about 1,000 apartments, were sold last spring and turned over to a new management company, Newport Property Ventures, owned by New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.

Residents, who have filed hundreds of complaints with the county alleging serious problems with rodent infestations, mold, crumbling floors and ceilings, say the firm has not responded.

This isn’t the first time A-Rod’s apartment management company has been accused of this sort of thing. Back in 2007 Selena Roberts wrote a hatchet job on Rodriguez which included complaints from some residents in one of A-Rod’s company’s properties in Florida. In both cases the story is based mostly on quotes of a few residents and either no comment or “no comments” from the management company people. Maybe A-Rod’s company are crappy slum lords. Maybe they’re not. We’re not given enough information to make an informed judgment on that.

But I do feel like the chances of this finding its way into A-Rod Biogenesis stories are approximately 846%.

Must-read: A profile on former Rays prospect Brandon Martin, currently in jail for alleged murders of three men

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Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times has an outstanding profile of former Rays prospect Brandon Martin, who is currently in jail for allegedly murdering three men nearly two years ago.

Fenno describes Martin’s erratic personality as he became a highly-touted baseball prospect who then descends into drug use. Friends described Martin has having completely changed into an unrecognizable person. Martin had repeated conflicts with friends and family such that police reports became common and he was placed in a psychiatric facility. Sadly, the facility only held him for less than 48 hours. He would allegedly murder three people upon returning home: his father, his brother-in-law, and a home security system contractor. Martin fled from police, who eventually caught up to him and subdued him with the help of a police dog.

Fenno’s profile is really worth a read, so click here to check it out.

Martin, 23, was selected by the Rays in the first round (38th overall) of the 2011 draft. He spent three years in the Rays’ system, reaching as high as Single-A Bowling Green.

Pedro Martinez: “If I was pitching, I was going to drill Machado, as much as I love him.”

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On Sunday, Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes was ejected for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado‘s head. It was revenge for a slide of Machado’s which ended up injuring Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Barnes was suspended four games.

Hall of Famer and former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez said that if he were in Barnes’ shoes, he would have also thrown at Machado, although not necessarily at his head. Via ESPN’s Scott Lauber:

If I was pitching, I was going to drill Machado, as much as I love him. The only thing I would’ve done differently is probably bring the ball a little bit lower.

Martinez added that Machado “did not intend to hurt Pedroia. And I know that because I know Machado.” And he doesn’t think Barnes meant to throw at Machado’s head.

Martinez, of course, was certainly a pitcher who wasn’t afraid to pitch inside to batters and even hit a few of them when he felt he or his teammates had been wronged. This is an unfortunate part of baseball’s culture and the fact that it continues means that it will eventually result in someone being seriously hurt. It’s disappointing that Martinez isn’t willing to be a better role model now that his playing days are over. Martinez could have set an example for today’s pitchers by saying what Barnes did crossed a line. Getting a Hall of Famer’s seal of approval will only embolden players now when they feel they must defend their teammates’ honor.

The “tradition” of beaning batters to defend one’s teammates is anachronistic in today’s game, especially when Major League Baseball has made strides in so many other ways recently to protect players’ safety.