Hi, I’m Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort:
When I was pulled over, I told the police I had “about two beers.” But when took the breathalyzer I blew a 0.284, which is more than three times above the legal limit. Essentially, by blood had a higher proof than an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and a large glass of Zin, combined!
But the real lesson here is how wonderful my judgment is. I drank and then I drove, which could’ve literally killed people. Then I was so deluded about how drunk I was that it either caused me to think I only had a couple of beers or to think that I could’ve gotten away to lying to police about it. But man, considering I agreed to take that breath test, I probably literally did not know how many beers I had. That’s how drunk I was and how big of a problem I have. Heck, I’m probably smiling in my mugshot here because my brain was totally addled and I had no appreciation for the gravity of my situation!
Another problem I’m causing, even if it’s merely implicit: I’m making it awfully hard for the Colorado Rockies to be firm with players and employees when it comes to alcohol abuse. I mean, it’s bad enough when, mere months after our first baseman drove drunk that we feted him with awards and gifts. It’s bad enough that we play in a stadium literally named after a beer. But here I am, the co-owner of the team for crying out loud, behaving dangerously and irresponsibly and avoiding killing multiple people only by the grace of God, yet nothing really major is likely to happen to me.
Thank goodness I didn’t praise someone whose politics are unpopular. Or say racist things. Or take a drug with extra testosterone. If that were to happen I’d probably be in trouble. A suspension. A fine. Some sort of public reprimand from Major League Baseball. All I did is drink way, way too much and then pilot a couple thousand pounds of metal down a highway. Again.
I will likely end up getting fined a couple hundred dollars from the state and I will probably have to do some community service. I may check into a rehab facility if my family (and my lawyer) manage to talk sense into me. But after that I’ll go back to accepting large checks for watching my baseball team do things. And if they win stuff next year, I’ll be there, in a champagne-filled locker room at my beer stadium, happy to accept a trophy when the game is over.
And none of this will ever be mentioned again.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.
We heard earlier this week that Marlins television analyst Tommy Hutton was let go after 19 seasons on the job. By all accounts, he’s well-liked and respected, so it smelled a little fishy with a team that has owner Jeffrey Loria calling the shots. Well, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source close to the Marlins that Hutton was let go because he was “too negative.”
Jackson was also able to get in touch with Hutton, who provided some details about how things went down.
“I know there were times I was negative, but I thought those times were called for,” he said. “Ninety percent of what I said was positive. I tried not to be a homer, but you could tell I wanted the Marlins to do well.”
After being told that his salary wasn’t a factor in the decision, Hutton suspected that his candid, blunt analysis might be the impetus for his ouster.
So after learning his fate on Monday, he asked that question – whether they thought he was too negative — to both a Fox producer (at a meeting at Starbucks) and the Marlins’ vice president/communications (by phone).
He said the question was met with silence by both executives.
“I couldn’t get a yes or a no,” he said.
Hutton said there were three incident in recent years where he was told the Marlins were uncomfortable with something he said. He disclosed one example where he was exasperated at the ballpark’s dimensions after former catcher John Buck flew out to the warning track for the final out of a game. He was told by a Marlins vice president after the game that Loria prefer he not talk about the ballpark’s dimensions. Of course, the team is moving in the fences this winter.
To be clear, Hutton said he was told it was a “mutual decision” between the Marlins and FOX to let him go, but Jackson’s source hears that the concern about his “negativity” came from the team.
Hey, do you know the best way to prevent “negative” talk about your team? Fielding a winning baseball team without a dysfunctional ownership and front office. Crazy idea, I know, but it could be cool?