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Report: Dodgers minor leaguer sexually assaulted hotel maid in 2015

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The Daily Beast reports this morning that, in 2015, a Dodgers minor leaguer who was assigned to the Arizona Instructional League sexually assaulted a hotel maid. The article raises questions as to how the Dodgers subsequently handled the matter given that the player was soon signed by another team.

According to the report, the player had been harassing the maid, making inappropriate comments to her and asking her out on a date despite her clearly signaling that she was not interested. This went on for some time until, eventually, he grabbed the maid from behind, she pushed him off and he grabbed her again. He eventually relented and the maid reported the incident to hotel staff.

According to internal emails, the Dodgers investigated the incident and, by all indications, believed the maid’s account. High-ranking officials were in the loop, including then-head of player development Gabe Kapler who said in an email that he was “embarrassed for our organization.” Another Dodgers official said that the player was lucky not to be in jail. The police were not called, it seems, as the maid did not wish to alert authorities.

There was not, however, any suggestion that the Dodgers notified Major League Baseball about the incident. Rather, they handled the matter internally, taking the player out of Arizona and assigning him to the Dominican Republic developmental league. A couple of months later the Dodgers released him, but he was soon signed by another organization, presumably one with no knowledge of his history. The player’s identity was not reported by the Daily Beast as he was not charged with a crime.

As the Daily Beast notes, the fact that the alleged perpetrator was punished by one team but allowed to play for another soon after without either the other team or the league knowing about it reveals a gap in how MLB handles allegations of sexual assault across the league. For its part, MLB said it “considers the matter closed.”

One would think that, in light of this report, MLB would do better than that and would, instead, explain why a team was allowed to keep such a serious matter quiet and why teams are not required to alert the league of such incidents.

 

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.