I do weekly a radio hit with Drew Forrester on Sports Talk 1570 WNST in Baltimore. A couple of weeks ago Drew asked me about that report that an unknown team was actually interested in Mark Prior following the announcement of his latest comeback attempt. I didn’t know who the team was, but Drew — who cannot be accused of misunderstanding just how miserable the last decade of Orioles baseball have been — had a gut feeling that it was the Orioles because “it just sounds like something they’d do.”
The Orioles do have some interest in Mark Prior after scout Mark Ralston
watched him throw at USC on June 30, but they believe that he prefers
to remain on the West Coast. Not that Prior can be particularly choosy,
considering that he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006. The Orioles
will keep an eye on him.
Look, I’m not going to say that Mark Prior won’t make a successful comeback someday. I’m just sayin’ that if the Orioles are the only ones who think he’s got something left, don’t count on it.
Former Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez is reportedly being “eyed” in an ongoing federal and state investigation, per Michele McPhee of ABC News. McPhee did not elaborate on the exact nature of the investigation itself, but provided a few more details during an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday:
“Obviously, I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime,” McPhee said. “And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
McPhee further clarified that she thinks the suspect — who was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine — was tied to “a sweeping federal case involving a substantial ring that’s being operated out of Lawrence, Massachusetts.”
Ramirez, the Red Sox, and Major League Baseball have all denied knowledge of any current investigation. According to the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Red Sox VP of media relations Kevin Gregg insisted that Ramirez had been dropped from the team for baseball reasons alone and had not been made aware of an investigation at the time of his release.
“Hanley has no knowledge of any of the allegations contained in this media report and he is not aware of any investigation,” the infielder’s agent, Adam Katz, added Friday.
The 34-year-old Ramirez was designated for assignment on May 25 and became a free agent on June 1. Prior to his release, he batted .254/.313/.395 over 195 plate appearances, 302 shy of the 497-PA threshold he would have needed to cross in order to activate his vesting option for 2019. He’s still owed the remainder of his $22 million salary for 2018.