Tony Bosch (60 Minutes - CBS)

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

56 Comments

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?

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
12 Comments

In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
4 Comments

In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
13 Comments

MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
4 Comments

MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.