Durrett

There will be a benefit for Richard Durrett’s family in Dallas on Saturday

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ESPN Dallas writer Richard Durrett died suddenly last week. For as much of a loss that represents for those of us who loved his work, it’s utterly insignificant compared to the loss felt by his family. Richard was just 38, was married, had two small children and one on the way.

Thankfully, the Rangers have stepped up to help out the Durrett family in their time of need, but if you’re in or near the Dallas Metroplex, you can take part in an event that will help them out too.

There will be a fundraiser for the Durrett Family at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House in Dallas on Saturday from 3pm-7pm. There you can donate, commiserate and do some good for some folks who could use it. The centerpiece of it will be a silent auction and raffle with some pretty cool prizes and/or experiences, including:

  • A game day experience with Dallas Stars play-by-play man Ralph Strangis;
  • A game day experience with Dallas Mavericks play-by-play man Chuck Cooperstein;
  • An inning in the booth with Texas Rangers play-by-play man Eric Nadel;
  • An autographed bow tie from Fox’s Ken Rosenthal;
  • An in-studio experience with Norm Hitzges and Mike Sirois of 1310 The Ticket in Dallas;
  • An in-studio experience with Ben Rogers and Skin Wade of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas; and
  • Game-used, autographed bats from Mark MacLemore and Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers

Again: it’s at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, 1154 Peavy Road in Dallas, this Saturday from 3pm-7pm. Winners of the auctions and raffles will be announced at 6pm.

If you’re in the area, please try to make it down there to help some good people in baseball’s family who are having the toughest of times right now.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.