A-Rod may be in hot water with the Yankees

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When the news hit last week that the feds wanted to talk to Alex Rodriguez about Anthony Galea, the Canadian doctor in the cross-hairs of an HGH investigation, A-Rod said “this was about someone else.”  The impression which was created, whether A-Rod intended to create it with those words or not, was that he never received treatment from Galea. For their part, the Yankees said that they knew nothing about A-Rod being treated by Galea and said that they never authorized such a thing.

Which makes this all rather problematic:

A sports doctor at the centre of drug
investigations in Canada and the United States said Monday he treated
Alex Rodriguez after the Yankees slugger had hip surgery last year and
prescribed anti-inflammatories but not human growth hormone . . . “He had a damaged hip. Inflamed. It was damaged,” Galea said in an
interview at his clinic. “He needed anti-inflammatories for his hip. I
was basically helping in the rehab.”

The Yankees are standing by their statement that they never approved such treatment. Which could be a big problem if the treatment is determined to have been necessary as opposed to elective, because a team is supposed to sign off on necessary treatments (see, Beltran, Carlos).

The New York media went bananas last week trying to turn this into a steroids story.  It’s really not, not even as it applies to A-Rod.  It is, however, starting to look like another one of those A-Rod-lives-to-create-PR-headache stories, and the New York media is really good at going bananas over those too. So it looks like a sleepy spring training in Tampa just woke the hell up.

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.