The ranking is by the Daily News which, given its priorities, I’m shocked A-Rod wasn’t in the top spot, but we’ll leave that go. Their list says Jeter’s only rivals in New York Sports power are James Dolan and Roger Goodell.
Jeter’s attributes of power: his wealth (they cite $265 million in baseball salary alone), his iconic status, his vanity publishing imprint and his popularity. There’s a bone thrown to him maybe being a team owner one day, but given his wealth (great, but not Titan-level) and the price of teams (insanely high), such an ownership would largely be a vanity project too.
So I’m gonna give his number three ranking a big “nope.” He may be the most popular figure in New York sports, but I’m not exactly sure what power he wields. He doesn’t make deals. The Yankees’ deals from here on out (and for some time) are based on his impending absence, not his presence. Maybe you call that power, but it’s pretty indirect. Meanwhile, behind him on the list are people who actually make decisions that directly matter: Bud Selig, Hal Steinbrenner, Phil Jackson, John Mara, Adam Silver Woody Johnson, the Wilpons and a host of other executives who actually make decisions.
Of course, it’s not shocking that the Daily News would mistake glitz and glamour for power.
Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.
Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.
Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.
Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):
We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.