Thanks, HBT readers

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I’m back in my fortified compound on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio.  For the first time in a week I’m operating on a respectable night’s sleep. The Winter Meetings are fantastic, but they have to end sometime. Baseball writers aren’t exactly rock stars when it comes to this sort of thing, so if the meetings didn’t end everyone would simply die.

But we survived.  Frankly, I’m not sure how Gleeman, Pouliot, Silva and Short did. They posted about eleventeen hundred things since Monday while I was being a relative slacker. Can’t wait for the disability claims for the carpal tunnel (note: don’t tell those guys we’re going to deny the claims because of some waiver they didn’t know they signed).

And I’ll be damned if you guys didn’t read all of those posts. The last four days were, by far, the biggest four days in the history of HBT in terms of site traffic. You like us, you really like us, and we’re as grateful as we can be that you come back here to get your baseball fix.

Thanks, HBT readers.  You’re the best.

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

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Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.

Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.

Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.