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.

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

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Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.