Dirk Hayhurst implies “pillow-case-sized” bag of weed taken in 2011 Evan Longoria-David Price robbery

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Dirk Hayhurst’s latest piece for Sports on Earth doesn’t name any names, but it hardly needs to. In it, he indicates that the March 2011 incident in which a house shared by Rays players Evan Longoria, David Price and Reid Brignac was robbed also featured a “pillow-case-sized” bag of weed, something that never made it into the press.

Hayhurst never says Rays nor mentions the players, but it’s obvious who and what he was talking about:

While I was in spring training with the … You know what, I’m not going to tell you. Too many potheads still in action there. Let’s just say that while I was in spring training with a certain organization, a group of guys on the team got robbed. They were all staying in a house together, splitting the rent through the course of the spring, their luxury rides all parked out front in a row, leaving at the same time every day. It wasn’t hard for the local criminal element to figure out who they were and the schedule they kept. When these criminals decided to hit the house, they made off with all manner of high-end accessories, televisions, gaming systems and other tech toys.

Hayhurst’s final spring in professional baseball was with the Rays in 2011. He never pitched in the majors for the club, but he did pitch that spring and for Triple-A Durham for the season.

In March 2011, it made the news that a house shared by Longoria, Price and Brignac was robbed, with criminals taking a 60-inch television, three iPads, a laptop and several watches. A few hours later, it was reported that the criminals also stole an AK-47 that belonged to Longoria. Apparently, Hayhurst missed that part hitting the news.

What didn’t make the news was the other stuff that got taken. I may have been naive enough to believe the news reports, but then you start to hear things on the locker-to-locker information superhighway. First, one of the guys really liked his firearms and had a couple of automatic assault rifles, including some AK-47s. Next, a large collection of porno DVDs had gone missing. Finally, the pillow-case-sized bag of weed that had been sitting on the kitchen table, next to its accoutrements. All of it gone, none of it reported.

According to Hayhurst, the Rays coached the players on how to talk about the incident. Which rings true. Longoria deflected the conversation when asked about the AK-47:

It’s a personal item. Obviously they’re going to say things that are taken. I think everything within the house is personal and we’ll just leave it at that.

Longoria and Price, of course, are still with the Rays and might be among the “many potheads still in action there.” Brignac is serving as a utilityman in Philadelphia, though he’s currently on the DL with a sprained ankle.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.