A-Rod gets sucked into the Dr. Galea investigation

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Alex Rodriguez is being pulled into the Tony Galea-HGH mini-scandal that ensnared Jose Reyes last week. Rodriguez acknowledged a few minutes ago that the feds want to talk to him and that he intends to cooperate with their investigation. While this suggests that A-Rod went up to Canada to have his blood spun Reyes-style last year, Rodriguez is saying that “this is about someone else.”

For his sake it better involve someone else, because if it doesn’t he kept the Yankees totally in the dark about it. The team’s statement:

“The Yankees never authorized Dr. Tony Galea to treat Alex
Rodriguez, nor do we have knowledge of any such treatment.”

Why A-Rod is being questioned about a doctor he suggests never treated him is something of a mystery, and we probably won’t know why, exactly, he’s being questioned until he tells us more. 

Not that I imagine this will stop the Daily News and the Post from transforming A-Rod from the redeemed postseason hero figure they’ve taken to recently back into the A-Roid figure they so eagerly created this time last year. Indeed, no matter how tangential or benign A-Rod’s involvement with Dr. Galea was, I have faith that by the time the tabloids hit the streets tomorrow morning, A-Rod will be back in his familiar role as public enemy number one.

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.