Author: Craig Calcaterra

Pablo Sandoval AP

Report: “There is a 90 percent chance that Pablo Sandoval will sign with the Red Sox”


That comes from Dennis O’Donnell of KPIX in San Francisco. He reports: that Pablo Sandoval is not coming back to San Francisco. Rather, “there is a 90 percent chance that he will sign with the Red Sox.  The other 10 percent goes to the Toronto Blue Jays.”

O’Donnell says that the Giants’ offer was the Hunter Pence deal: five years, $90 million. A deal the likes of which Sandoval wanted last spring, but the Giants would not give him, instead taking a wait and see approach on his conditioning. Now Sandoval wants seven years. One presumes that is either (a) what the Red Sox are offering; or (b) Sandoval wants a longer deal from San Francisco than he might get elsewhere as a result of feeling slighted by the Giants last spring.

That could explain the “respect” stuff his brother was talking about the other day. And it could very well mean the end Sandoval as the San Francisco Giants’ third baseman.

Roger Clemens faces contempt of court sanctions. Again.

Roger Clemens

Back in April, Roger Clemens and his lawyers were called onto the carpet by the judge presiding over Brian McNamee’s defamation lawsuit. The issue: Clemens was not turning over documents he was supposed to turn over in discovery.

The specific documents: hundreds of emails between Clemens and his advisors in the days following the release of the Mitchell Report. Emails generated at the time Team Clemens was coming up with a coordinated P.R. campaign in which Clemens denied drug use, trashed McNamee as a liar and a criminal and portrayed himself as the best pitcher and biggest victim in baseball history.

As I wrote at the time, it was a dumb strategy then. It’s continuing to haunt Clemens because, for whatever reason, he’s still not turning over the documents he’s supposed to turn over. And now he faces contempt of court sanctions:

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak ordered the former Yankee star to turn over the documents to Brian McNamee’s attorneys by Nov. 26. Pollak also told Clemens and his lawyers to explain by Dec. 19 why he should not be held in contempt and sanctioned for failing to produce the correspondence involving his agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, and public relations guru Joe Householder.

“Defendant’s decision not to produce all responsive documents in violation of the Court’s Order was deliberate and intentional, and therefore subject to sanctions,” Pollak wrote in her order.

Clemens, in all likelihood, is not turning over the documents because they, in all likelihood, make him look awful. Or show that he lied. Or will serve as evidence against him for MacNamee’s claims that defamatory statements made by Clemens and his representatives were such that they entitle him to punitive damages. Clemens claimed for a year that these documents were subject to the attorney-client privilege, but the judge rejected that claim.

Over the weekend, I was critical of the way Andy Pettitte behaved after his name was revealed in the Mitchell Report. But that criticism is limited to what it means in terms of image and absolute honesty. From a legal perspective, Pettitte played it right. If Clemens had said “aw shucks” and not thrown other people under the bus and had not so loudly proclaimed his victimhood, none of this would be happening.

But it’s happening. Nearly seven years after it all started. And for him, there is no end in sight.


The Mets will manage Matt Harvey’s innings next year to avoid a Strasburgian shutdown

Matt Harvey AP

In 2012 the Washington Nationals unwittingly created a gigantic headache for themselves when they publicly declared the existence of and then followed through on a hard shutdown date for their young, post-Tommy John surgery star. Or, rather, a shutdown innings limit, which kept him from pitching in the playoffs and, to this day, has led to criticism of Mike Rizzo and the Nats’ front office.

The Mets, Marc Carig of Newsday reports, are trying to avoid that situation with their young ace, Matt Harvey. Rather, they are going to have a “soft” number of innings they’d like to see him throw in the regular season and manage that workload with days off and skipped starts that, should the Mets make the playoffs, will allow Harvey to pitch.

As Carig notes, that shouldn’t be as hard for the Mets as it may be for some other teams given what, at the moment anyway, appears to be a surplus of starting pitching, including some young pitching which could go back and forth from Triple-A to New York.

The good news: at the moment, Sandy Alderson says the club and Harvey are in agreement with this approach. Though you can bet that some New York reporters will spend a lot of time this year trying to get Harvey to go on record with his own, potentially unique view of the arrangement.

Giancarlo Stanton: “A Fish For Life”

Giancarlo Stanton nude

It’s the day Giancarlo Stanton signs his massive deal and holds his press conference. Here’s the official tweet from the Marlins showing him putting his name down on the dotted line.

Is it just me, or does that hashtag — and really, this whole milieu — seem rather threatening?

Hero: I’ll never talk!

Villain: Have it your way, pal. And enjoy being . . . a fish for life!

In other news, today is the 35th anniversary of another guy who, at the time, became the highest paid player in baseball history. His name was Nolan Ryan and he signed a four-year, $4.5 million deal with the Houston Astros.

Ryan Howard has gone through a legal and financial drama with his family

Ryan Howard

If you think that dealing with injury and expectations and losing has been hard for Ryan Howard, imagine what it’s been like for him to be in a legal and financial fight with his very own family.

That fight, now settled, but likely still a major cause of angst for anyone in Howard’s position, is detailed by David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News:

Court documents filed in Howard’s home state of Missouri paint a picture of a family in turmoil. Howard’s brother Corey alleged that he had unjustly terminated a consulting agreement between the two, and Ryan in turn alleging that his father, mother and brothers were enriching themselves at his expense.

It’s not totally unlike that which we have seen with other athletes or celebrities in the past — his focus is on baseball, everyone else’s focus is on . . . other things — but it’s notable given the sheer size of Howard’s contract and how, earlier in his career, his family was such a big part of his personal story. Back when he first came up we heard so much about his parents and his twin brother and the general idea of what a great foundation Howard’s career was built on. And maybe it was. But, sadly, it spiraled in unfortunate directions.

Here’s hoping Howard is able to put this stuff behind him as he enters the next phase of his career. One that could find him on another club next season.