How is baseball counting A-Rod’s violations, anyway?

98 Comments

If A-Rod gets major discipline, it’s going to be because he’s seen as being a multiple-time violator of the drug agreement. Bill Madden of the Daily News was on the Boomer and Carton show today and he was asked what those multiple violations might look like. Here’s Madden:

“We are talking here (about) non-analytical violations, i.e. in absence of a positive drug test,” he said. “OK? Now, let’s just say for example, they have proof — good proof, legitimate proof, records, whatever — that Alex Rodriguez sought to buy drugs. That’s a violation. Now they have proof that Alex Rodriguez actually bought drugs. That’s a violation. Now they have proof that Alex Rodriguez was administered drugs. That’s a third violation.”

Um. OK.

Of course if that were the case every single player who ever tested positive for PEDs would be subject to triple discipline. Because to do that you have to first “seek to buy drugs” then you have to buy drugs then you have to take drugs.  I mean, that’s 100% unavoidable, yes?

I realize Bill Madden is not in charge of the discipline process, but he certainly has sources in MLB who are informing him of the thought process involved with the Biogenesis case. And this is what is passing for logic and justice with respect to A-Rod. We are in a world gone mad. Although, if you think about it, we could use this logic to shorten games:

[Batter at plates, Ump looks in. Batter swings and misses.]

Umpire: “Strike one-two-three, you’re out!!”

Player: “What?!”

Ump: “You thought about swinging, you swung, you missed! You’re out!”

[everyone nods and smiles at how nice it is that umpires are getting tough on batters]

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
27 Comments

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.