Earlier this week Deadspin reported that, over the weekend, Mitch Williams lost his temper and had a long and nasty argument with an umpire during a Cal Ripken League tournament in which he was coaching. Now there’s more: Deadspin reports that Williams called a ten-year-old kid on the other team a “pu**y” and ordered a beanball. There is video over at Deadspin of the incident, described thusly:
Multiple witnesses report that interaction consisted of Williams calling the SJ Titans pitcher “a pu**y.” Children on the team heard this, and one asked his parent on the ride home what it meant .
A second video shows a pitcher-catcher meeting of Williams’ players. Context:
SJ Titans coaches and players overheard this interaction, and report that Williams ordered his pitcher to intentionally hit the SJ Titans batter with the first pitch. One witness told us it was in an attempt to knock the SJ Titans pitcher out of the game.
This is absolutely vile. It obviously has no place in youth baseball and, if Williams doesn’t have a compelling explanation of how everyone Deadspin spoke to is lying or wrong, he has no business coaching kids.
I’ll take it one step further: if all of this is true, I’d fire Williams from his job at MLB Network if it was up to me. There are plenty of ex-ballplayers who can talk about the game who don’t happen to be awful human beings. It’s already hard enough to watch any show on which Williams appears due to his usually incoherent analysis, but knowing what kind of a guy he is makes me not want to watch a moment of him on TV at all.
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.
Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.
Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.
Tommy Stokke of RanRag Sports reports that the Braves and Rangers agreed to a trade. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Braves will receive pitcher Luke Jackson from the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.
Jackson, 25, is under team control through 2022. He has logged only 18 innings in the majors, yielding 14 runs on 22 hits and eight walks with three strikeouts. While Jackson has struggled with control, the Braves likely see upside because his fastball sits in the mid- to high-90’s.
Jenkins, 24, is also under team control through 2022. The right-hander made eight starts and six relief appearances in his first major league season in 2016, putting up a 5.88 ERA with a 26/33 K/BB ratio over 52 innings.
Feigl, 25, was an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Braves in 2013. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and briefly rehabbed in rookie ball this past season.