It’s not under oath — the hearing doesn’t resume until next week — but per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Major League Baseball has a right to question Alex Rodriguez and they’re doing it tomorrow, reports Newsday:
Rodriguez will not be required to give sworn testimony, sources said his answers could bolster MLB’s case against him if it is determined he is not being truthful. Rodriguez previously has been interviewed by MLB in connection with the Biogenesis probe but did not answer questions, sources said.
When I was a lawyer I always liked to start depositions with something kinda off the wall instead of the usual hour’s worth of name/background/education questions. First question — “So, what do YOU think caused the crash?” They’re never ready for that. They haven’t even sipped their coffee yet. They expect a build-up. Bah. Just ask something like that and they’re off balance and you might get something close to the actual truth rather than the prepared answer they’ve practiced over and over. Doesn’t work all the time. Probably not even most of the time. But once in a while it does and it’s fun.
So, if I was questioning A-Rod? I ask him about the toilet sex. Absolutely the first thing I ask him about is the toilet sex.
Oh, you didn’t hear about that? And you say you didn’t think your opinion of either Alex Rodriguez or the New York tabloids could get any lower? Well, you’re welcome then!
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.