A fairly minor blurb appeared in the Denver Post this morning: David Dahl, the Rockies rookie outfielder, has been benched for a few days running. Why? Fatigue. Having been in the lower levels of the minors until this year, it’s his longest season ever. It’s understandable that he’d be gassed.
But there was something else gassing him too: he played 76 games for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats. A team without a home ballpark.
We talked about the Yard Goats’ situation before the season began. At the time there were disputes about the completion of their new publicly-funded ballpark which inspired the franchise to move from New Britain. The opening was delayed. The disputes have continued all year, however, construction stopped and the park still sits uncompleted. That led to the Yard Goats playing their entire 141 game schedule on the road.
The Yard Goats did alright all things considered, finishing 74-67. And certainly Dahl played well, slugging .500 and leading the team in homers despite playing in only a little over half of their games. Still, you have to wonder if being on the road for all of that time took some of the wind out of his sails. And the sails of other Rockies prospects, many of whom played the whole season riding busses.
All because of the politics of getting a city to pay for a new ballpark.
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: