Remember Gookie Dawkins? Formerly his claim to fame was taking over for Pokey Reese as the most ridiculously-named infielder on the Cincinnati Reds. In a serious lowering of standards, the title was assumed by Ray Olmedo upon Dawkins’ departure prior to the 2003 season.*
But Dawkins now has a new claim to fame: he’s been suspended for testing positive — for a second time — for a drug of abuse. Matthew suggested headlining this story “Doobie Dawkins,” but I thought wouldn’t be right. I mean, it could be meth!
Anyway, this is all pretty shocking. The drugs, yes, but also the fact that Gookie Dawkins was still being paid to play baseball somewhere.
*By the way, I kind of wish Reese had stayed on the Reds for another season, because if he had they could have had the an infield consisting of a Corky, a Pokey, and a Gookie that year. Why this wasn’t an organizational goal is beyond me. If they had done that they would have been a Mookie and a Dummy away from being the best-named team since the dead ball era.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.