Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
Thing I learned while, for some reason, listening to Curt Schilling call in to the Dan Patrick Show today: he was paid $2.5 million a year to work for ESPN. $2.5 million.
I will refrain from saying whether or not I’d personally pay Curt Schilling $2.5 million to opine about baseball on my sports network, but I will say this: if someone paid me $2.5 million a year and said “Craig, you can keep this job as long as you don’t post offensive memes on your Facebook page more than, like, 5-6 times,” I think I’d still have that job. I realize Schilling doesn’t roll that way and, hey, you do you, Curt, but it’s not like it’d be hard for him to still be making $2.5 million a year right now if he really wanted to.
Again: Curt Schilling. $2.5 million. Yup.
Last month domestic abuse charges against Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes were dismissed by a judge in Hawaii after his wife refused to cooperate with prosecutors. The charges could be re-filed within the next two years if she changes her mind, but for now Reyes is in the legal clear.
He is not in the baseball clear, however, given that Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy does not require a criminal conviction in order for punishment to be leveled. We saw this already with Aroldis Chapman, who comes back from his 30-game suspension today. We will soon see it with Reyes, but in a far more severe fashion. Here’s Jon Heyman, writing on his Facebook page:
Jose Reyes should hear his penalty from MLB for domestic abuse soon, and word is that it’ll be at least 60 games and perhaps significantly longer than that.
Eighty games, or about a half a season, may be a fair ballpark estimate, according to some.
Heyman reminds us that, despite the charges being dropped, a serious act of violence occurred. Specifically, Reyes’ wife suffered injuries to her neck, wrist and thigh as a result of the October 31, 2015 incident, as corroborated by employees at the hotel where the incident occurred.
While some may take issue with the league imposing discipline in a case where the player was not prosecuted, it’s important to remember that the policy specifically states prosecution is not required. And it’s important to remember the it does so because a huge number of domestic violence cases fail due to victims of violence being either reluctant or afraid (or both) to cooperate with authorities. Put differently: MLB acting in instances where prosecutions fail is a feature of the policy, not a bug.
Here’s hoping that MLB’s discipline is harsh in this case and that it starts changing the behavior of the men over which it has authority as a result.
Dr. Paul Sax has been reading my baseball stuff forever. Like, from way, way, way back. That doesn’t say a lot for him — even I can’t stand my baseball stuff for extended periods an I wonder how he gets the stamina — but the fact that he’s the director of an infectious disease program and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School makes up for that. Those are OK credentials. I guess.
His baseball fandom and his professional expertise come in super handy today, as he writes about Major League Baseball’s decision to cancel the Pirates-Marlins series in Puerto Rico due to Zika concerns. The biggest takeaway, other than the content itself, is that if the director of an infectious disease program and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School says that he can see both sides of the cancellation — and that’s the upshot — anyone who claims that MLB either made the absolutely correct decision or engaged in an act of “touristic terrorism” is out to lunch. There’s just too much that is unknown.
Erring on the side of caution is probably sensible. Erring on the other side of it would’ve had some admirable things going for it too. But it doesn’t change the fact that either position was some sort of erring or another.