Charlie Monfort

Charlie Monfort was more than three times above the legal limit

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Hi, I’m Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort:

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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.

Russell Martin is not a fan of the automatic intentional walk

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 15:  Russell Martin #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after being struck out in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game two of the American League Championship Series at Progressive Field on October 15, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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On Tuesday, it was announced that Major League Baseball instituted a new rule allowing for a dugout signal in order to issue an intentional walk rather than having the pitcher throw four pitches wide of the strike zone. It’s commissioner Rob Manfred’s attempt to help improve the game’s pace of play.

As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin is certainly not a fan of the change.

My thing is, if they really want to speed up the game, then when a guy hits a home run, to speed up the game should a guy, just like in softball, when he hits it, should he just walk to the dugout? It’d be quicker. I’m just wondering, at what point do we just keep the game, the game? Or, how about this calculation: take all the intentional walks that were made in the last couple years and calculate – or maybe just ask to see if they have that information, to see if they really did their homework. Is it really that important to speed up the game (with this rule)? Because how many games did we play last year where we didn’t have one intentional walk? That’s something I’d like to know.

Martin also expressed concern that eliminating the four-pitch intentional walk will hurt teams’ ability to buy time for their relievers to warm up.

It’s called getting your bullpen ready so the guy doesn’t blow out his arm on the mound. Speed up the game, speed up the game.’ How about we just give guys – the human being – time to warm up on the mound after maybe something’s happened in the game? I’m not a manager, but I’m just trying to put myself in the position of a manager. OK, we’re up by one run or two runs and our bullpen’s been taxed and we’re trying to save their arms, and then the other team walks, ball gets away, guy gets to second base. When the coach visits the mound to talk to his player, it’s not like the player necessarily needs somebody to talk to him.

It’s because the guy (in the bullpen) needs time to warm up, man. It’s the same thing when you throw over to first base, like, eight times in a row. It’s not like we’re trying to keep the guy close. The guy maybe has two stolen bases in 18 years. It’s because the guy needs time to warm up. At what point does that become a problem with guys warming up in the bullpen? Sometimes it’s just strategy to give guys a little bit of time to warm up.

The Jays’ backstop then said he’d prefer if Manfred were honest about the intent behind this rule change and others which have been proposed. Martin said, “Save it. I’m tired of hearing that same lame excuse all the time. Just be honest. If they’re honest about it, we’ll get over it. But don’t hide behind the fans.”

We should be hearing from a handful of players about the new intentional walk rule in the coming days. I can’t imagine the rule is very popular among the players.

Leonys Martin feared for his life from alleged human traffickers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Leonys Martin #12 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.

Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.

Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.

Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.