Miguel Cabrera’s mugshot is … interesting

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Pop quiz, hotshot!  You pull your car over to the side of the road as the engine smokes.  You’re loaded and drinking from a bottle of scotch and you don’t bother to stop when the police officer shows up.  You know that you’re less than 12 hours from being the lead story on every sportscast in the country and your teammates and fans giving quotes about how much you let them down.  Oh, and the shirt you were wearing was either too gross or barfed on or whatever for the police to continue letting you wear it, so you have on jailhouse scrubs.

Question:  how happy are you?  Answer:

Wow! Pretty happy!  Or just blindingly drunk.

Another possibility, and this is actually serious:  There’s a trend out there among defense lawyers to tell their high profile clients to do their best to smile for mugshots for PR purposes. Really. Remember Tom DeLay?  It seems nuts, but lawyers know that the mugshot will be spread everywhere, and no one want their client to have their Nick Nolte or James Brown moment if it can be helped.

I bet Cabrera called his lawyer on the way in to the jail and was told to do his best to look presentable.  Sadly, the whole jailhouse scrubs thing kills the effect.

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.