Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Notes, quotes and comment

Josh Hamilton on Angels owner Arte Moreno:
 "He knew what the deal was when he signed me, hands down.
He knew what he was getting. He knew what the risks were.
 He knew all those things."
It's official: The Angels shipped Josh Hamilton to Texas for a player to be named or cash considerations. My assumption is that there will be no player, and the cash consideration is the Rangers' willingness to absorb a fraction of Hamilton's contract.

I've sounded off on the subject here and here, and see no need to repeat myself. But I will add this: Even through commissioner Rob Manfred has shown no interest in investigating the leak about Hamilton's relapse -- a leak that appears to have originated with the Angels -- the Angels are getting punished for it.

All they accomplished with the leak (and again, I assume it came from them, but that is not established) and their subsequent on-the-record statements denouncing Hamilton was destroy his potential trade value.

In the end, the Rangers get whatever Hamilton has left for a mere $6 million, and the Angels will have paid Hamilton $110 million for two seasons in Anaheim. Signing Hamilton wasn't bright; being surprised that he hasn't fully shaken his addictions is even less so. But saying good-bye to him didn't have to be that expensive.


Two winters ago the Twins were linked to free agent catchers A.J. Pierzynski and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They signed with Boston and Miami respectively, and the Twins settled for Kurt Suzuki.

The Red Sox released Pierzynski last summer. The Marlins on Monday designated Saltalamacchia for assignment; he hit .209 in one season plus a month.  The Fish have 10 days to trade or release him, and there probably won't be anybody eager to absorb almost two years of his contract.

Sometimes -- I dare say most of the time -- you're better off not signing the free agents you covet.


The Baltimore Orioles game (against the White Sox) Monday night was postponed because of the civic unrest over the death of a black man in police custody. There are many more significant ramifications than a baseball game or two from this crisis, but it does create an intersection between politics and sports.

In that light, this quasi-statement from John Angelos, the son of the Orioles owner and the team chief operating officer, is fascinating reading. It was assembled by USA Today Monday from a series of tweets Angelos issued in response to a tweet from a local radio host after fans were kept from leaving the stadium because of the unrest Sunday.

Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible. 
That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state. 
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

That is a manifesto one would not expect from somebody in Angelos' position.

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