grand drunk railroad3

Glen Perkins will buy you beer during a rain delay

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I wasn’t going to write about this, but since Phil Ervin of FOXSportsNorth.com just “reported” on it … why not?

The rain delay at Target Field on Saturday night lasted exactly two hours and four minutes. Plenty of time for the Twins’ closer to express his gratitude toward a group of fans for riding it out.

At some point during a respite that drove many fans away from an already-thin contingent–Minnesota trailed the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 after 3 ½ innings when the tarps first came out–Glen Perkins bought a round of drinks for some folks on a pub crawl.

I went on/co-organized an all-day light rail pub crawl Saturday in which 100 of us ended up at the Twins-Rays game at Target Field, except it rained for basically the entire night. I assessed the situation and chose not to go into the ballpark right away, staying a couple blocks away to continue bar-hopping, but about half of the pub crawl crew was already in Target Field and killed time at Kent Hrbek’s bar.

At some point during the delay Twins reliever Glen Perkins, who in addition to being one of the league’s best closers is also a native Minnesotan and very active on Twitter, sent his credit card over to Hrbek’s and bought a round of beers for everyone in the group. I finally made my way into Target Field a couple hours later and a bunch of us were going to thank him by yelling stuff at Perkins while he warmed up in the bullpen, but then everyone got creeped out by the whole “distracting someone while they’re technically working” vibe.

So, yeah: Thanks for beers, Glen.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.