Rangers prospects likely to be charged with sexual assault of a teammate in a hazing incident

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On Friday, Ken Rosenthal reported  that Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers were investigating an alleged sexual assault that involving multiple players at the Rangers’ academy in the Dominican Republic. There were hardly any other details apart from the report that the alleged incident happened many months ago and that the players were on leave while they were being investigated.

Today Yahoo’s Jeff Passan has some details, and they involve a different set of alleged circumstances than many likely assumed: a hazing incident. Specifically, Passan reports that the players allegedly sexually assaulted an underage teammate in a hazing ritual which targeted players new to the team’s Dominican complex:

While prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have yet to press charges for the alleged assault, they told the court they intend to charge at least four players who held down a teammate and masturbated him, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Among the players expected to be charged are Rougned Odor, the younger brother of Rangers major league star Rougned Odor (yes, they have the same name) and top catching prospect Yohel Pozo.

Passan’s story has specific details, including the description of a video involving the alleged incident. He also talks about the culture of hazing in Dominican Republic and Venezuelan baseball circles.

A pretty disturbing story which will likely have far-reaching repercussions.

 

 

 

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.