Great Moments in respect for Due Process

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I’m not singling Danny Knobler out here as he’s merely reflecting MLB’s thinking and, frankly, the thinking of most people I’ve talked to. But it is pretty telling about our collective sense of justice:

No sense that due process is actually something that’s pretty cool and ignoring it would be reckless and wrong for its own sake. Merely that it would be a tactical mistake. “Being seen” as following due process is important. Due process itself? Eh, whatever.

This sense developed over the weekend that Major League Baseball had backed down or that Alex Rodriguez gained some tactical advantage in this big waltz. I’m not really sure about that. A-Rod is still gonna get hammered. He’ll get to play a bit before then, but he’s still going to be hit hard. The only reason we have that sense, I think, is because baseball and/or its surrogates overplayed their rhetorical hand for so long, talking as if suspending A-Rod under the CBA rather than the drug rules and thereby denying him appeal rights was somehow reasonable when it never was at all.

Oh well. My long-ago observation still holds: no one really cares about due process until process is due to them.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.