Take this Daily News story for what it’s worth: old news which has been mooted by months of more recent events. But if you’re into the sordid backstory of A-Rod’s fight with Major League Baseball, the award-winning Daily News I-Team would like you to know that A-Rod was going to quit last summer — retire from baseball and not fight MLB’s discipline — but he was convinced not to by Desiree Perez, a woman with a hefty criminal record that, somehow, has close ties to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
For what it’s worth, a source with knowledge of the Biogenesis investigation suggested to me last year that, at some point, Perez did have A-Rod’s ear and was somewhat troublingly influential in A-Rod’s decision making process, so there is probably not a ton of reason to doubt the veracity of this report. It goes along with a long line of stories over the years where Rodriguez responded positively to someone telling him he should act aggressively in some way, shape or form, be it legally or with business matters or what have you. He’s not exactly a mastermind. He’s easily influenced, it would appear. Not shocking.
That notwithstanding, the Daily News coming out with this today is rather hilarious given that (a) A-Rod’s decision making from last year has long been mooted given his decision to drop his legal case against MLB, accept his suspension and move on. Indeed, just this past week we heard that A-Rod is living a relatively quiet life of paying attention to his business and keeping in shape in an effort to come back next year. Even his ex-wife had wonderful things to say regarding the way in which A-Rod was going about his business as of late. We don’t hear much from the Daily News about that.
We also haven’t heard a peep from the Daily News about the story which emerged a week ago in which Major League Baseball was said by the Boca Raton police department to have knowingly purchased stolen documents during its investigation. I guess bad stuff that MLB did last year in an effort to get A-Rod is old, irrelevant news. Bad advice A-Rod took last year in an effort to fight MLB, however, deserves this sensationalist treatment.
Great job, I-Team! Way to stay on top of everything in a comprehensive and totally non-selective fashion!
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.
There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.
Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.
Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.
With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.
Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.