Wladimir Balentien arrested on domestic violence charges

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According to the Associated Press, former major league outfielder Wladimir Balentien has been arrested on domestic violence charges in Florida.

Balentien, 29, is facing a felony false imprisonment charge and a misdemeanor battery charge following a confrontation at his wife’s house over the weekend. The couple is currently going through a divorce.

According to a police affidavit, Karla Balentien refused to answer the door or her phone when Wladimir Balentien arrived at the house Sunday. Wladimir Balentien then pulled out several window screens and climbed into the house through a dining room window.

Balentien grabbed his wife’s arm as she was running upstairs, police said, and then followed her into a bedroom and locked the door. The couple’s young daughter was also there.

A witness called police and Balentien was taken into custody, according to the affidavit.

Balentien is scheduled to have a bail hearing, but he was still in custody as of late this afternoon. A judge has ordered him to stay away from his wife.

Balentien, who previously played in the majors with the Mariners and Reds, joined the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Central League last season and set a new-single season record with 60 home runs.

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Bryce Harper
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Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.

No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.

Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:

Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.

Manfred didn’t stop there, however.

An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?