Happy Wednesday! It’s my turn to go MLB Bulleting. Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camps, workouts are happening, games begin soon... and yet, the Astros sign-stealing scandal is still making news.
- There are still more repercussions from that scandal, as Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich write. It looks like Carlos Beltran was even more heavily involved than had previously been reported. (The Athletic subscription required)
- If you don’t have a subscription to The Athletic (and really, you should, and they didn’t pay me to say that), you can read a summary of the above at this CBS Sports article by Mike Axisa.
- The sign-stealing by the Astros was a open secret in baseball for years, according to Barry Svrluga and Dave Sheinin in the Washington Post.
- Former Astro Marwin Gonzalez says he is “remorseful” about cheating while he was playing for Houston.
- Former MLB pitcher Mike Bolsinger is suing the Astros, per Nancy Armour at USA Today. He claims a bad outing in Houston, made worse by the Astros stealing his signs, was the cause of his career ending.
- While Bolsinger might have a point, Craig Calcaterra says that lawsuit isn’t likely going anywhere.
- And Craig explains why MLB might have gone easy on the Astros.
- Meanwhile, Jimmy O’Brien, better known as Jomboy, updates us on all the details of the scandal:
- Thomas Boswell says the Astros are just a symptom of a larger problem that baseball must solve.
- And Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal chimes in, reminding us that the Astros need to come clean.
- Do you think that new playoff idea that I reported on yesterday is dumb? The MLBPA agrees with you, per Evan Drellich at The Athletic. (The Athletic subscription required)
- Ben Clemens explains why the math doesn’t support the idea that the proposal would increase competition.
- Henry Bushnell, who mostly writes about the NBA, likes the new playoff idea.
- Turning to the Mookie Betts trade that finally got completed, Jayson Stark goes through the math of the deal and how it could save the Red Sox a lot of money. (The Athletic subscription required)
- Or does it? Craig Edwards has a deeper dive into the numbers of the Betts deal at Fangraphs.
- Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom of the Red Sox tried to justify the Betts deal with some platitudes about “being competitive.” Joon Lee has details.
- Ron Roenicke was named “interim” Red Sox manager, per Chris Smith. Aren’t all managers technically “interim”? On the other hand:
To be clear on the Roenicke interim label: It’s very possible, perhaps even likely, that the adjective drops by the wayside once MLB completes its investigation. But in the interests of avoiding a cart-before-horse scenario, Sox will name Roenicke interim for start of spring...— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 11, 2020
- Jeff Schultz says it’s time for the Braves to dump the tomahawk chop. (The Athletic subscription required)
- The Mets built a $57 million clubhouse at their spring training park in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Only they’re not going to let their Florida State League affiliate who uses that park use it, even though taxpayers paid $55 million of the $57 million.
- Hey, remember this guy? Angels manager Joe Maddon talked to Alden Gonzalez about why it was time for him to leave Chicago and how he’s getting set up with his new/old team in Anaheim.
- Sean Forman, who launched the now-indispensable baseball-reference.com 20 years ago, will be receiving a lifetime achievement award at the SABR Analytics conference in Phoenix next month.
- Jeff Passan wrote a great piece remembering John Altobelli, the junior college baseball coach who died (along with his wife and daughter) in the helicopter crash last month that killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several others.
- Today’s Best Shape of His Life award goes to Mets reliever Jeurys Familia, who said, “I was really overweight last year.”
- Chris Iannetta signed to play for the Yankees this year. He was pretty chagrined to find out he was flying to spring training with the Bronx Bombers on a plane emblazoned with the Red Sox logo.
- Weird Minor League Promotional Date: The Triple-A San Antonio Missions will transform into the “Puffy Tacos” (supposedly a staple of San Antonio cuisine) for three days in May. They’ll be playing the Iowa Cubs those days, so tune in if you can!
- Lastly, are you familiar with Boise State’s blue football field? They actually own the trademark for blue fields (really!), but gave permission for a Texas high school baseball team to play on a blue field of their own.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.