Lastings Milledge got into a “big fight” while playing winter ball

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In news that probably won’t help Lastings Milledge’s job search any, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the 25-year-old outfielder got into an on-field brawl yesterday while playing in the Venezuelan winter league.

Here are some details that Rubin tweeted:

Lastings Milledge involved in big team fight in winter ball. Venezuelan friend says: Heated game. After he doubled in 4th, he made like he was throwing grenade to his dugout. Other team didn’t like. Hit him in 7th. Then he took 2B. Other team went after him. BOOM-Big Fight.

And here’s video of the fight, in-progress:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS8ZbEYLNjc]

Fantastic.

Earlier this month Milledge was non-tendered by the Pirates, who weren’t interested in keeping the former top prospect around in 2011 despite the relatively modest price tag of about $1 million.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?