So, about Alex Rodriguez’s friend who wanted Tony Bosch dead…

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Someone is going to put him in jail, right?

I mean, MLB’s chief operating officer Rob Manfred made it quite clear on 60 Minutes that the threat against Tony Bosch’s life, made by an associate of Alex Rodriguez, needed to be taken seriously, even if he couldn’t go into any details about it. It’s no secret that MLB had hired guards to protect Bosch after it was revealed that he’d cooperate with the investigation. He wouldn’t name the person behind the threat, other than to connect the person with Rodriguez.

It also seems Manfred wanted us to believe that this, along with the attempted bribing of Bosch, is part of why Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games, reduced now to 162, for his PED usage, when other players got only 50 games. Bug Selig, also interviewed, was so bothered by what Rodriguez did that he couldn’t seem to provide any detail at all. Perhaps it was unsuitable for a prime time network audience. But it was there and it was huge and it was worth an extra 161 games.

So, what about it?

Manfred said that it’s definite that Rodriguez is an associate of this individual, but he added that he couldn’t know if Rodriguez himself was aware of the threat.

Also unknown is whether MLB turned any evidence about said threat over to the proper authorities. Did Bosch want that? It doesn’t seem he ever went to the police himself about any threats. Of course, that probably would have presented some complications, given his various illegal activities.

Indeed, it seems MLB’s only real interest in the threat was as more leverage against Rodriguez. That was certainly how it was presented as tonight. Rather than talk about Bosch’s other clients or how easy MLB’s drug testing was to beat or maybe delve into how the league perhaps benefited from PEDs during the 1990s, we were treated to a segment on how a criminal no one in the audience cares about may have had to fear for his life because of undisclosed threats, even though since, obviously, he’s talking on TV right now, nothing ever came of them.

And that seems incredibly weak to me. There was no investigating on the part of 60 Minutes here: everything from tonight’s program was supplied by Bosch and documents owned by MLB. If the segment was going to spend time on this threat on Bosch’s life, it would have been nice had it dug up some facts on who actually made the threat. Bosch knows. Manfred knows. Selig knows. So, why don’t we?

Marcus Stroman named World Baseball Classic MVP

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United States starter Marcus Stroman was named Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Classic after helping lead the U.S. to its first ever WBC title on Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. Stroman flirted with a no-hitter through six innings, but gave up a double to lead off the seventh before being relieved by Sam Dyson.

Stroman also pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dominican Republic in Pool C play on March 11. He struggled in Pool F play against Puerto Rico last Friday, surrendering four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The WBC MVP award understandably goes to a player of the winning team. However, Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands deserves special mention. In 26 at-bats during the WBC, he hit a double and had a WBC-high four home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored while putting up a .615/.677/.1.115 batting line. That’s MVP-esque as far as this tournament is concerned.

U.S. blanks Puerto Rico 8-0 to win first World Baseball Classic title

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The United States handed Puerto Rico its first loss in the World Baseball Classic, winning 8-0 for its first title in the fourth iteration of the tournament.

Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo was matching Marcus Stroman zero-for-zero through the first two innings, but the U.S. broke out for a pair of runs when Ian Kinsler deposited a two-run home run just beyond the fence in left-center at Dodger Stadium. The U.S. tacked on two more in the fifth on RBI singles from Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen, pushing the lead to 4-0.

Meanwhile, Stroman was dealing. The right-hander, normally seen in a Blue Jays uniform, held Puerto Rico hitless through his first six innings, giving up just a lone walk. The U.S. put together a long rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on three hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Stroman came back out for the seventh but immediately served up a double down the left field line to Angel Pagan. U.S. manager Jim Leyland immediately lifted Stroman from the game, bringing in Sam Dyson who escaped the inning without any further damage.

Pat Neshek allowed a leadoff single to Yadier Molina to begin the eighth, but induced a double-play, then worked around a two-out walk by striking out Kenny Vargas to end the frame.

In the ninth, David Robertson took over. He induced an infield pop-up from Enrique Hernandez. After Pagan singled up the middle, Francisco Lindor sharply grounded out to Eric Hosmer at first base for the second out. Finally, Robertson closed it out, inducing Carlos Correa to ground out to third base, making the U.S. 8-0 victors over Puerto Rico to win the World Baseball Classic.

Puerto Rico had an admirable run, defeating Venezuela, Mexico, and Italy to get out of Pool D undefeated. Then, in Pool F, it beat Venezuela again as well as the U.S. and the Dominican Republic to move to the semifinals. It narrowly edged Netherlands 4-3 in the semifinals to get into the finals.

The U.S. lost to the D.R. but beat Canada and Colombia to get out of Pool C. In Pool F, the U.S. lost to Puerto Rico and defeated the D.R again as well as Venezuela. The U.S. took down Japan in the semifinals to advance to the finals to play Puerto Rico.

The U.S. joins Japan (twice, 2006 and ’09) and the Dominican Republic (2013) as countries to win the World Baseball Classic. The 2017 tournament was a rousing success, setting attendance records, drawing over one million fans to ballparks to take in the games. It will hopefully encourage commissioner Rob Manfred and others to make a concerted effort to make the 2021 tournament bigger and better.