There was nothing improper about Scott Boras’ loan to Edward Salcedo

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An MLBPA source has told the Associated Press that Scott Boras did not violate any union rules when his company made loans to client Edward Salcedo. Of course we knew this back in November.

The only person who didn’t seem to know this was the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt, who continued to push this story even after multiple analysis of the situation made it quite clear that no rules had been violated. It was referred to as a “scandal.”  Many non-specific people were described as voicing non-specific “concern.” There was the obligatory “these allegations come at a time” sentence, which was used to cast the whole thing in a negative light despite there being no actual connection between the complained-of activity and the contemporaneous evil.

As I noted multiple times when the story first broke, the whole thing smelled like a hit job to me. It was helped along by quoted agents who would love nothing more than to see Boras taken down a peg and anonymous Major League Baseball sources who have a clear interest in painting amateur free agency in the Dominican Republic as an awful thing.  And now it’s over.  I eagerly await Schmidt’s report on the matter.

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: