Well, this certainly puts a new spin on the Dodgers-Dbacks rivalry, Swimming Pool-Gate and all of that. Anthony Jackson reports that maybe it was more than just fun and games going on at Chase Field on Thursday night:
. . . it has come to my attention that one of the Dodgers players who jumped in the pool — and I will do him the favor of leaving his name out of this for now — openly and loudly bragged after leaving the pool about having urinated in it … There also are indications that MULTIPLE Dodgers players urinated into the pool, but I can’t tell you that with any certainty. It’s just what I’ve heard.
This information has changed Jackson’s view of the little celebration from one in which it was fun and harmless to one in which it was sick and classless.
I can see that. I mean, I’m not all that interested in diving deep into the matter of whether or not someone peed in the pool, who it was, whether they are remorseful about it and all of the kind of handwringing that comes up about any weird, off-the-field matter of morals, ethics and taste, but I can see that.
For what it’s worth, I can muster some sharp thoughts about these matters for DUIs and PEDs and all manner of other things — I probably have a greater tolerance for it than most people — but I can’t go there for peeing in pools. I just can’t. At least not until we have a teary confession and an official statement from someone. Or maybe just some silly statements. If this spins silly, sure, I’ll be all over it, but I cant put on my serious/judgmental face for pee in a pool.
In other words: we’re gonna let this story mellow for a bit.
Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.
Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.
Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.
Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):
We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.