The biggest question I have in all of this is, of all of the people you could impersonate, why would you impersonate Shane Spencer?
Anyway, someone pretended to be Spencer, called into an Albany, NY radio station and claimed to have “dabbled” in steroid use. The real Spencer heard about it and set the record straight. The radio station issued this statement:
“Yesterday we ran an interview we thought was with Shane Spencer. Unfortunately, after the interview was aired, we learned that the interview was with an impostor. During the interview, the Spencer impostor said that he used performance enhancing drugs and accused other players of doing the same while pretending to be Spencer. The real interview was scheduled to take place in advance and was set-up through the official Major League Baseball Players Association.
The real Shane Spencer agreed to come on the air and conduct an interview setting the record straight. We here at 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio thank Shane for coming on the air and clarifying this unfortunate situation. We, along with Shane, share the opinion that such criminal actions are not funny, have no sense of purpose, are bad for the individuals involved, and are bad for baseball as well as radio in general.”
Is it really “criminal” to call in to a radio station and pretend to be someone else? Unless you’re gaining something from it or trying to actually defraud someone I think it just falls under the category of “dumb prank.” But we live in a time where a lot of things that used to just be dumb pranks are now considered criminal so maybe I’m living in the past.
Anyway: if this is legal, I feel like Kevin Maas and Charlie Hayes should probably be extremely cautious over the next several weeks. Just to be safe.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.