Ambiorix Burgos accused of poisoning ex-wife

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OK, our first thought was that Ambiorix Burgos being in “more legal trouble,” as the ESPN headline kindly puts it, probably wouldn’t be worthy of our readers’ time on such a newsy day.
But then again, we didn’t know yet that he had allegedly turned to rat poison to deal with his ex-wife.
Burgos, who saved 18 games for the Royals in 2006 and was last seen in the majors with the Mets in 2007, was previously accused in a hit-and-run accident that killed two women in the Dominican Republic in 2008. He was acquitted of the charges, however.
At last check, he was being jailed in New York for beating his girlfriend in a hotel near Shea Stadium in Sept. 2008. The 26-year-old spent six months in prison, and he was deported to the Dominican Republic after serving his time.
As for the latest incident, well, we’ll let Adam Rubin handle it:

Authorities say Burgos drugged his ex-wife with rat poison. She was found semi-conscious and dizzy and later hospitalized. Burgos was reportedly caught en route to Santo Domingo in his white Hummer with his ex-wife in the car. The ex-wife had been hiding in the district attorney’s home in Nagua, D.R., because of alleged threats on her life.

Here’s the Listin Diario report for our spanish-speaking readers.
Burgos is facing charges of kidnapping and attempted murder. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Red Sox owner: “spending money helps”

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The other day Rob Manfred said, as he and other owners have said often in the past, that there is no correlation between payroll and winning. He said that defensively, in response to criticism of the slow free agent market of the past two offseasons.

As we have noted in the past, Manfred is not being honest about that. While, yes, in any given year there can be wild variation between payroll and win total — the Giants stunk last year, the A’s won 97 games — common sense dictates otherwise. What’s more, a recent study has shown that there is a pretty strong correlation between winning and payroll over time. Yes, you can fluke into a big season with a low payroll — Deadspin compared it to a cold snap occurring during a time of climate change — but if you want that “sustained success” teams claim they want, the best way to ensure it is to spend more money over time.

If you know anything about baseball labor history, though, you know well that the Commissioner and the owners will continue to mischaracterize the dynamics of the business as it suits them. Mostly because — present lefty sportswriters notwithstanding — very few people push back on their narratives. Fans tend to parrot ownership’s line on this stuff and, more often than not, baseball media acts as stenographer for ownership as opposed to critic. That gives owners a far greater ability to shape the narrative about all of this than most institutions.

Which makes this all the more awkward. From David Schoenfield of ESPN:

In apparent contradiction to his own commissioner, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry said Monday that, while there is not a perfect correlation between a bigger payroll and winning, “spending more money helps.”

Which is right. The correlation is not perfect — teams can spend a lot of money on a bad team if given the chance and a low payroll team like the Rays can bullpen their way to 90 wins — but you’re way more likely to win year-in, year-out if you’re spending than if you go cheap all the time and hope for a miracle season.

Which is not to say that Henry is some labor activist owner. He and his fellow front office officials have a long history of backing the league office on just about everything that matters and will no doubt do so with labor matters in the runup to the next CBA negotiation. The owners tend not to have a solidarity problem.

But Henry does seem to draw the line at peddling baloney, which is a shockingly necessary thing when the league and the union’s relationship turns acrimonious.