Jose Rijo: really underrated pitcher. Also: he’s had a hot mess of a post-playing career. The latest:
A prosecutor in the Dominican Republic says 1990 World Series MVP Jose Rijo has been charged with laundering money for a suspected drug trafficker.
Prosecutor Soraime Vargas says about 80 percent of the assets of fugitive drug suspect Avelino Castro were in Rijo’s name. Those assets allegedly include two hotels and a sports complex. Vargas announced money laundering charges against the former pitcher at a news conference Monday. Prosecutors asked a court to order Rijo to remain in the country but did not seek his arrest.
The drug suspect, by the way, is suspected of kidnapping and murdering people. And as the article says, he’s now a fugitive. Fugitives often need clean sources of money, so hey hey.
This has all been simmering since last September, by the way, when authorities first tried to question Rijo about it all but he kept refusing to show up. Then there was that bit a few years back when he was neck-deep in the international prospect shenanigans that brought down Jim Bowden in Washington.
He had nasty stuff back in the day. Now: more nastiness.
As you no doubt saw already, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had a bad day yesterday. After some testy exchanges with the media over his bullpen use, he blew up at Newsday reporter Tim Healey after Healey told Callaway that he’d see him tomorrow, which Callaway took as sarcastic. Then Jason Vargas unhelpfully piled on, walking toward Healey and threatening him with violence. Healy spoke to his Newsday colleague David Lennon and explained the whole thing here. He’s pretty even-handed about it.
Callaway was already thought to be on at least moderately thin ice as Mets manager given his team’s underachievement this year. Thin ice or not, it’s not unreasonable to say that his behavior yesterday is something that a lot of teams would think of as a fireable offense. At the very least leaders in other businesses would think that way if one of their public-facing employees treated a reporter who covered him in that manner. In addition to it simply being bad form, it raises questions about Callaway’s temperament and his ability to handle pressure and adversity.
The Mets, however, do not seem to consider the matter to raise to that level. While they offered apologies to Healey and vowed that that he will be welcome in the clubhouse — for which Healey was appreciative — Callaway will be back to work as usual today, with the Mets announcing this morning that he will hold his usual pre-game press conference at 4PM in advance of tonight’s game against the Phillies.
Tell me: if you’re the GM or owner of a team and your manager does that, do you keep him? What do you do?