Blue Jays grant outfielder Scott Podsednik his release

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Shi Davidi of Canada’s Sportsnet passes along word that veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik has been granted his request for an unconditional release from the Blue Jays organization.

Podsednik signed a minor league contract with the Jays over the winter that carried a potential $1 million in total value, but an old case of plantar fasciitis caught up with him during spring training and he was forced to open the regular season on the sidelines.

His foot condition progressively got better as he moved through extended spring training, but he fell flat offensively once he was shipped off to Triple-A Las Vegas in mid-April. The speedy 35-year-old posted a .254/.366/.356 batting line across 71 plate appearances for the 51s before finally throwing in the towel on Wednesday afternoon. He tallied three stolen bases in three chances.

Podsednik will presumably seek another opportunity. He didn’t draw much attention on the free agent market this offseason, but it’s possible that a club will get desperate enough for outfield depth and take a chance.

Report: Astros may have been cheating throughout the postseason

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Danny Picard of Boston Metro reports that, during Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday, a man claiming to be an Astros employee was removed by security. The man was in the media-credentialed area next to the Red Sox dugout but he did not have media credentials. He was, however, using a small camera and texting frequently. When the man was taken away from the area, an Astros staffer tried to intervene, saying he was authorized to be in the area. Security did not buy the story, so the man was not allowed to return to that area but was allowed to remain in the ballpark.

This wasn’t the first time security had been made aware of the man. Apparently the same man had been up to some shady business during the ALDS against the Indians as well, which means the Astros may have been cheating throughout the postseason.

Representatives from all three teams have thus far opted not to comment on the matter. MLB chief communciations officer Pat Courtney said in an email on Tuesday, “We are aware of the matter and it will be handled internally.”

Teams, especially nowadays, are paranoid in the postseason about sign-stealing, so they’re always doing their due diligence to make sure their signs are secure. Sign-stealing is part of the gamesmanship of baseball. Players and coaches are, obviously, allowed to use their eyes, ears, and mouths to communicate about opposing teams’ signs. They’re not allowed to use any kind of technology, including cameras and cell phones. The Astros thought they could get away with this and they were wrong. Even if MLB’s look into the matter doesn’t result in anything, the Astros’ recent and upcoming accomplishments may be looked at with a raised eyebrow.