Before you say anything: yes, I know football ain’t my bailiwick. But if you think I’m posting about this just because football is big and popular and anything Deflategate-related is guaranteed to attract eyeballs and pageviews, well, um, that’s where you’re right.
I’m watching this stuff from way over here in baseball land I can’t help but think that this is nothing more than Michael Pineda and pine tar. Or Clay Buchholz and Bullfrog sunscreen. Or some knucklehead with a corked bat. Cheating? Sure. Probably something deserving of a suspension and a fine? Oh, totally. But not exactly the sort of thing that causes the world to stop.
Yet it is here, it seems. It’s sucking up all of the media oxygen and causing the usual members of the sanctimony brigade to talk about Tom Brady’s legacy and how it negates everything he ever did on a football field. This seems ridiculous to me. Hell, the whole idea of “legacy” the way it’s described in these cases seems ridiculous. All I know for sure is that if people like Bill Plaschke and Juliet Macur are clutching their pearls over something, there’s a good chance it’s an overblown b.s. of a controversy.
Anyway, someone — sincerely, because again, football ain’t my bailiwick — tell me why this isn’t a pine tar case? Is it because the Patriots are seen as serial cheaters? Is it because they have won a lot and Tom Brady is famous? Do we have this same level of outrage if it’s Joe Flacco or someone deflating balls? Inquiring, amused minds want to know.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: