Carlos Beltran and the Mets: no hard feelings

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One of the Mets’ offseason dramas involved Carlos Beltran, the front office and a disputed surgery clearance.  Beltran, who was angry with the Mets’ front office at the time, is willing to let bygones be bygones:

“You know, it took me a while because I’m a human being, of course, and
I’m a person who has feelings. It took me like a
week for me to forget everything and focus on what is important for me.
What is important for me right now is just to be with the team, be
ready, and being able to play.”

Spring training tends to heal these kinds of emotional wounds.  As for the physical wound, Beltran says he’s progressing nicely. Reporters on the scene today said that there was no limp in his walk and all appeared hunky dory.

Less than hunky dory was Beltran’s fashion sense, as evidenced by these pictures by Howard Simmons of the Daily News.  Note the ugly shirt tucked into jeans! Behold the two-hole-deep white belt which was EXACTLY like one your old man had back in the 70s!  Note also that Beltran, not content to rock a mere trucker’s hat, rocks what appears to be a very expensive takeoff on a trucker’s hat.

But perhaps the worst atrocity in that photo array is the last picture, in which Sandy Koufax — in Mets camp because apparently the Wilpons have taken an option on all Dodgers history prior to the 1970s — checks out Oliver Perez’s skills.  The look on his face says “Scott Boras compared this guy to me last year?”  Koufax is about as awesome as it comes, so he no doubt has ninjas or pirates or something on the payroll who will no doubt be paying Boras a visit after nightfall.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.