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Red Sox: Bill James ‘not an employee nor does he speak for the club’

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The latest word — and I suspect final word — in the Bill James Twitter controversy was just had. It came from the Boston Red Sox, for whom James works.

To remind you, James last night called players overpaid and, when it was suggested that some were underpaid, he sarcastically said “my heart bleeds for them.” He went on to say “If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, the game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever . . . The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are.”

The players union issued a statement condemning James’ comments this morning. A few minutes ago the Red Sox followed suit:

That’s exactly what you would expect the Red Sox to say. Even if, as I suspect, James and the Red Sox are more aligned regarding their opinions about player value than their public positions would indicate. Like I mentioned earlier today, James’ transgression was not a case of a member of management holding a view of workers that is appalling, it’s that he said it out loud.

The players know the owners would, if they could, replace them with low-paid replacements. The owners know that, practically speaking, they cannot do that, because the product would stink and people would stop showing up. As such, they don’t say things like James says because to do so would only serve to antagonize people.

Anyway: back to a free agent market which hasn’t seen any major free agents sign yet.

Report: Felipe Vázquez arrested on child sex charges

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Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez has been arrested and charged with one count of computer pornography, the solicitation of a child, and one count of providing obscene material to minors.

The details, from a report from the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Department are ugly.

According to authorities, Vázquez has allegedly been engaging in sexual activity with a now-15-year-old girl from the time she as 13 years-old. As recently as this July Vázquez allegedly sent the victim videos of him engaging in an unspecified sex act. Vázquez also allegedly sent the victim texts saying that they would meet for sex after the baseball season was over.

The age of consent in the State of Florida is 18. While, like many states, Florida has “close-in-age” exceptions, they do not apply to the 28-year-old Vázquez and someone as young as his alleged victim. Non-legally speaking, the allegations amount to what can and should be called rape — sexual activity without consent due to the impossibility of consent in these allegations — separate and apart from the specific counts with which Vázquez has been charged. It is possible, of course, that authorities could amend and/or add to the charges he currently faces.

Vázquez has been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball while the case is pending against him.

We will, without question, be following this story as it develops.