A spokesperson for Tony Bosch’s attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Sunday that Alex Rodriguez paid her a $25,000 retainer in February in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal and later transferred an additional $50,000 that was immediately returned to Rodriguez.
Outside the Lines reviewed the documents for the second transfer. Ribero-Ayala said through her spokesperson that the money was “unsolicited and unwarranted” and was returned. A lawyer for Rodriguez’s former law firm, said that the $50,000 had been sent in an error and asked for it to be returned.
Of course, all of this suggests that Rodriguez was trying to enlist Bosch’s aid in the Biogenesis investigation before MLB earned Bosch’s cooperation. And it’s that involvement in trying to muck up the investigation that MLB has and will use to justify its 211-game suspension of Rodriguez.
Which all seems pretty specious. Of course Rodriguez deserves a steroids suspension, just like everyone else nailed by MLB. But the idea that him attempting to cover up his cheating being worse than the cheating itself is ludicrous, and it’s going to be a tough argument for MLB to make given that Melky Cabrera drew no extra punishment for his attempted coverup in 2012.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.
There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.
Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.
Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.
With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.
Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.