David Price, Evan Longoria

Dirk Hayhurst implies “pillow-case-sized” bag of weed taken in 2011 Evan Longoria-David Price robbery

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Dirk Hayhurst’s latest piece for Sports on Earth doesn’t name any names, but it hardly needs to. In it, he indicates that the March 2011 incident in which a house shared by Rays players Evan Longoria, David Price and Reid Brignac was robbed also featured a “pillow-case-sized” bag of weed, something that never made it into the press.

Hayhurst never says Rays nor mentions the players, but it’s obvious who and what he was talking about:

While I was in spring training with the … You know what, I’m not going to tell you. Too many potheads still in action there. Let’s just say that while I was in spring training with a certain organization, a group of guys on the team got robbed. They were all staying in a house together, splitting the rent through the course of the spring, their luxury rides all parked out front in a row, leaving at the same time every day. It wasn’t hard for the local criminal element to figure out who they were and the schedule they kept. When these criminals decided to hit the house, they made off with all manner of high-end accessories, televisions, gaming systems and other tech toys.

Hayhurst’s final spring in professional baseball was with the Rays in 2011. He never pitched in the majors for the club, but he did pitch that spring and for Triple-A Durham for the season.

In March 2011, it made the news that a house shared by Longoria, Price and Brignac was robbed, with criminals taking a 60-inch television, three iPads, a laptop and several watches. A few hours later, it was reported that the criminals also stole an AK-47 that belonged to Longoria. Apparently, Hayhurst missed that part hitting the news.

What didn’t make the news was the other stuff that got taken. I may have been naive enough to believe the news reports, but then you start to hear things on the locker-to-locker information superhighway. First, one of the guys really liked his firearms and had a couple of automatic assault rifles, including some AK-47s. Next, a large collection of porno DVDs had gone missing. Finally, the pillow-case-sized bag of weed that had been sitting on the kitchen table, next to its accoutrements. All of it gone, none of it reported.

According to Hayhurst, the Rays coached the players on how to talk about the incident. Which rings true. Longoria deflected the conversation when asked about the AK-47:

It’s a personal item. Obviously they’re going to say things that are taken. I think everything within the house is personal and we’ll just leave it at that.

Longoria and Price, of course, are still with the Rays and might be among the “many potheads still in action there.” Brignac is serving as a utilityman in Philadelphia, though he’s currently on the DL with a sprained ankle.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.