Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star is one of baseball’s best beat reporters in part because he often passes along stories like this one, about the time Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez tricked then-Rangers teammates Joaquin Benoit and Vicente Padilla out of $600:
One day during spring training in 2005, Rangers officials informed him he needed to shave his dreadlocks to conform to their minor-league policy. Volquez sensed an opportunity.
Earlier in camp, veterans such as Vicente Padilla and Joaquin Benoit scolded him about his hair. So Volquez asked Padilla, who was unaware of the team’s edict, how much he would pay for Volquez’s haircut. Padilla offered $300. Volquez balked, only to see Benoit double the bid.
“I was like ‘$600? I can do it for $600!’ ” Volquez said Monday, a day before he would face his old club at this stadium, now christened Globe Life Park in Arlington. “And I did it. I took the money, and I got my hair cut.”
Did he pay them back? Volquez shook his head and cackled.
Ending a story with a cackle is always a great idea.
And since I looked this up: Their respective career earnings are $33 million for Volquez, $39 million for Benoit, and $51 million for Padilla.
The Royals announced this afternoon that right-hander Yordano Ventura dropped the appeal of his seven-game suspension from MLB. He’ll begin serving it tonight.
Ventura was suspended for his part in instigating last Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl against the White Sox. He got the stiffest penalty of any of the players involved. Edinson Volquez (five games), Lorenzo Cain (two games), and Kelvin Herrera (two games) were also suspended for Kansas City while Chris Sale (five games) and Jeff Samardizja (five games) were suspended for Chicago.
Ventura initially appealed the suspension, so he was able to start against the Indians last night. It didn’t go so well, as he took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. He’ll now miss one turn in the rotation and will be eligible to return for the start of a three-game series against the Tigers next Friday.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon made a terrific catch in the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the White Sox. With the Royals leading 3-0, Edinson Volquez began the sixth facing Micah Johnson. Johnson was late on a 93 MPH fastball, sending a fly ball down the left field line into the stands. Gordon could have let the ball drop, but instead he caught the ball with a leap and his momentum took him into the crowd. One fan in a White Sox jersey appeared to have taken the brunt of Gordon’s damage.
Gordon was also helpful on the offensive side of things, slugging a two-run home run in the fourth inning off of John Danks, but the Royals weren’t able to generate much offense otherwise. They lost 5-3 to the White Sox.
Six players have been suspended as a result of Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl between the White Sox and Royals. Here are the details from MLB:
From the Royals:
Yordano Ventura: Seven-game suspension
Edinson Volquez: Five-game suspension
Lorenzo Cain: Two-game suspension
Kelvin Herrera: Two-game suspension
From the White Sox:
Chris Sale: Five-game suspension
Jeff Samardzija: Five-game suspension
All of the players listed above also received an undisclosed fine, but a five-game suspension for a starting pitcher isn’t much of a punishment. While Tyler Flowers was not suspended, he was fine an undisclosed amount. Interestingly, no punishment for Adam Eaton. Assuming the suspensions aren’t appealed, they would begin Sunday.
UPDATE: White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com that Sale and Samardzija will appeal their suspensions.
Five players were ejected after Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl between the White Sox and Royals, but there was also some drama behind the scenes.
According to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com, White Sox left-hander Chris Sale tried to go into the Royals’ clubhouse after the fracas, apparently in an attempt to confront Yordano Ventura. Alex Rios, formerly of the White Sox, managed to play peacekeeper.
“All emotions are running high at that point,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I just found out about it. You got to have a conversation and you move on from there. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and nothing happened.”
Watch Sale discuss the situation prior to last night’s game:
As a result of the benches-clearing incident, Sale and Jeff Samardzija were ejected from the White Sox while Ventura, Lorenzo Cain, and Edinson Volquez were ejected from the Royals. We should see some suspensions come down soon.