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Carlos Beltran wins the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award

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ST. LOUIS — Carlos Beltran was chosen as the Roberto Clemente Award recipient before Game 3 of the World Series Saturday night.

The Clemente Award goes to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement. Beltran was selected from a list of 30 Club nominees by a panel of dignitaries that included Commissioner Bud Selig, past award winners and the Clemente family. Additionally, fans were able to cast a vote for the award.

 “Major League Baseball is thrilled to present our most prestigious off-field honor, the Roberto Clemente Award, to a fellow, gifted Puerto Rican standout, Carlos Beltran,” Commissioner Selig said. “It is an honor to recognize one of our game’s most accomplished players and his wife, Jessica, for their extraordinary work through the Carlos Beltran Foundation and the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy.  Their family’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people in St. Louis and their home of Puerto Rico is a powerful example for others and a testament to the philanthropic spirit of Roberto Clemente.”

Beltran’s baseball bona fides are without question. His community involvement may be less known, but is no less impressive. He opened the Carlos Beltran Academy in Puerto Rico in August 2011. The Academy allows young athletes education opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. He established the school with an initial $3 million personal contribution, and maintains it through annual fundraising events. This past June, the school had its first graduation ceremony where 44 boys  received their high school diploma.

There is a special resonance here as well, as both Beltran and Clemente are products of Puerto Rico. Beltran’s comments accepting the award a few moments ago made special notice of the example Clemente set for him, both in baseball and philanthropic terms.

“I’ve said many times throughout my career, the impact Roberto Clemente has had on me, not only as a baseball player, but also as a humanitarian and Puerto Rican,” said Beltran. “I am so humbled and blessed that God has given me the opportunity to help others and make an impact on the lives of children, just as Roberto did for many years. I have had many people support me throughout my career and I am just proud to share this honor with them.”

Congratulations, Carlos Beltran.

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.