This gem from Bob Klapisch is why we can’t have nice things:
Does it bother you that MLB played tough to get the evidence? It shouldn’t, not if you believe baseball needs to root out its cheaters.
This is the sort of logic that has prevented any sense of sanity to prevail in the conversation about performance enhancing drugs. Apparently if you’re bothered — merely bothered! — that MLB paid off a drug dealer, purchases stolen evidence and allows its investigators to sleep with witnesses and all manner of other things, you’re pro-cheater. You think PEDs should be totally legalized or something. If you’re not 100% for MLB, you’re against it.
I think it was the sixth grade when I was introduced into the ethical and moral subject of whether ends justify means. It may have been even earlier than that. Yet here is a big time newspaper columnist who thinks such considerations are silly. He should be embarrassed.
Or, if he wants to remain consistent with this argument, he can advocate summary executions of suspected PED users. That is, if he doesn’t want us to think he’s pro-cheater.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.