Craig Calcaterra

A.J. Preller

Padres fined for violating international signing workout rules

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Scott Miller of Bleacher Report has an exclusive report that Major League Baseball fined the San Diego Padres for holding an illegal international workout this summer prior to the signing period.

The violation: flying prospects from Venezuela to Aruba for a workout exclusively for the Padres, providing them airfare, paying for their hotels and providing meals to them and, in some cases their parents. This is a violation of MLB rules related to international signees. One presumes because, like with college athletics, it could be seen as some sort of inducement to sign with the Padres than with someone else.

No one from the Padres is commenting, but Miller reports that this is not the first time Preller has been involved with an international signing violation, having once been suspended while heading up the Rangers’ international operation.

Stephen Piscotty released from the hospital

St. Louis Cardinals' Stephen Piscotty runs up the first base line on his way to a two-run double during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 4-3. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Mike Matheny said today that Stephen Piscotty has been released from the hospital following last night’s collision with Peter Bourjos.

Last night all initial tests came back negative and he was held overnight for observation. That he’s being released now suggests that he was well-observed. Matheny said Piscotty suffered “a couple bruises, but overall everything checked out very clean.” No word yet on how long it will be until he’s playing again.

Picotty has been a revelation this year for the Cards, hitting .310/.365/.502 with 7 homers and 39 RBI in 62 games.

The last days of Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks
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This is not a fun read, but it’s probably a necessary one.

It’s about the final years of Ernie Banks, written by Chicago journalist and would-be Ernie Banks autobiography ghost writer, Ron Rapoport. The two of them got together often in Banks’ last years, attempting to write a book but not getting too far.

Rapoport writes about Banks’ loneliness. And a complexity that, it seems, any public person is allowed to have except for Ernie Banks. Banks was denied this, partially by a persona that seemed so happy and carefree that it didn’t fit enter into his fans’ consciousness. Partially — mostly? — because the man himself was OK with allowing that part of his personality to dominate due to loneliness and unhappiness in his personal life.

It’s certainly a sad read, but it doesn’t describe a life terribly foreign from that of a great many people as they age. We all likely know someone who fit this general profile in their final years. And, as I said above, it’s probably a necessary read, as it’s another reminder that athletes — even the most famous athletes who we consider to be avatars of positivity — are human too. For all of the good and the bad that entails.