Tag:C. Trent Rosecrans
Posted on: February 25, 2012 5:45 pm

Mike Aviles has not been traded

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Twitter is an amazing tool that can deliver news quickly and efficiently. But sometimes things aren't as they seem on Twitter.

Saturday afternoon, a Twitter account that claimed to be from Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles said he'd been traded to the Rays. It was assumed, by many, to be real and retweeted. Really, what could be better word than from the horse's mouth?

Mike Aviles

Except, it's not the right horse.

According to several reporters, including Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, confirmed with Aviles that the account doesn't belong to him. Aviles is not on Twitter, he told reporters.

With Twitter, as in everything else, let the buyer beware.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:16 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 4:53 pm

Red Sox ban alcohol in the clubhouse

Bobby Valentine

By C. Trent Rosecrans

There'll be no beer in the Red Sox clubhouse this season, but fried chicken is presumably safe.

New manager Bobby Valentine told reporters on Saturday that he told the team alcohol would not be permitted in the clubhouse.

"The rules are not to embarrass themselves or the team, the community, their teammates," Valentine said (via WEEI.com). "I don't think that's a new rule. That's a longstanding rule of life. There's no beer in the clubhouse or on the last leg of road trips."

Valentine said he didn't allow alcohol in the clubhouse when he managed the Mets.

Boston's September collapse was symbolized by starting pitchers drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz said he supported Valentine's new policy.

"We're not here to drink. We're here to play baseball," David Ortiz said (via the Boston Herald). "It ain't no bar."

Valentine noted 19 other teams don't allow alcohol in the clubhouse, including the Mets, Yankees and Cardinals. St. Louis banned alcohol in the clubhouse after the 2007 death of pitcher Josh Hancock.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 2:39 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 4:21 pm

Nats, Zimmerman extend extension talks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The beauty of a self-imposed deadline is that it's pretty easy to ignore it if you want to do so.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said his representatives and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo continued their contract extension past the 10 a.m. deadline Zimmerman had set, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Zimmerman said the two sides had "a couple of little hurdles" remaining, and the main sticking point is still Zimmerman's request for a no-trade clause. "Something creative to ensure me I'll be here," Zimmerman said.

The sides have agreed on money, which CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reported is roughly $18 million per year, but Zimmerman said he only wanted to take the deal if it was guaranteed he'd be staying in Washington. Heyman said Zimmerman's side offered a "creative" solution to the impasse. Zimmerman, 27, is signed through 2013.

The new deadline, is the end of the day, Zimmerman said -- unless it's not.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 4:38 pm

Joel Zumaya hurt again

Joel Zumaya

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If Friday was a Grady Sizemore injury, Saturday must mean it was time for Joel Zumaya to get hurt, isn't it.

Unfortunately, that was the case. Zumaya, now a Twin, cut short a throwing session on Saturday after about 15 pitches. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday, manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters (via MLB.com).

General manager Terry Ryan said the MRI would be on the inside of Zumaya's right elbow.

"Obviously he felt something that was discomforting so he came off, which was right," Ryan said, according to the Star Tribune. "We've had this happen down here  before. We've had people walk off the mound because they were hurt. I'm glad he came off there, we'll get it addressed tomorrow and see what the results of that MRI are. It would be a little less concerning if we didn't have the history with him, which he's experienced in his career.

"There's not a lot I give you until we get the results. They'll be out fairly soon. We'll get him in tomorrow morning, which is a good thing, Sunday morning."

Zumaya declined to speak to reporters.

CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports Zumaya said he felt "something" and wasn't happy as he left the field.

The right-hander missed all of 2011 after undergoing elbow surgery last spring training and hasn't played in a game since June 28, 2010, when he fractured his elbow while pitching for the Tigers against the Twins.

A rookie sensation in 2006, Zumaya appeared in 62 games, striking out 97 batters in 83 1/3 innings and lighting up radar guns, while putting up a 1.94 ERA for the Tigers. Since then, he's appeared in just 109 games over four seasons and no more than 31 in any season. His strikeout rate has been around one per inning since his rookie season, but hasn't exceeded it.

In 2007 he had a finger injury and a shoulder injury limited him in 2009 and 2009 before undergoing season-ending surgery.

The Twins signed the 27-year-old to a one-year contract in the offseason.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:21 pm

MLB's Braun response gets Star Wars treatment

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball's response to the Ryan Braun decision sounded to many as a bit, shall we say, harsh?

One Twitter user, @FauxFrankWren, seemed to think the statement released by reminded him of the strong-armed tactics of a dictatorship from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Shyam Das does sound like a name only George Lucas could invent -- I wonder if he'll get his own action figure anytime soon.

Speaking of action figures, I'm not sure why Lucas didn't say anything in the late 90s when Luke Skywalker wasn't looking exactly natural.

Hat-tip: Big League Stew

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 10:39 am

Photo: Lance Berkman's new look

Lance Berkman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Repeating as the World Series champions is a serious business -- and Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman is obviously feeling the pressure.

In the team's first full workout on Friday, Berkman wore a fake mustache for "about two thirds" of the workout, according to the Associated Press cutline.

It's a good look.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:35 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 5:26 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun came out swinging against the Major League Baseball drug testing process, the sample collector and the media in his first public statements since his positive drug test on October.

"I can only answer for myself," Braun said. "The program, as it applied to me, was fatally flawed. I've certainly been frustrated by the process. I've felt it's been unfair.

"Are there changes that should be made? I believe yes."

Major League Baseball executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred issued a statement disputing Braun's assertion.

“Our program is not ‘fatally flawed,’" Manfred said. "Changes will be made promptly to clarify the instructions provided to collectors regarding when samples should be delivered to FedEx based on the arbitrator’s decision. Neither Mr. Braun nor the MLBPA contended in the grievance that his sample had been tampered with or produced any evidence of tampering.”

Braun wins appeal
Braun did detail, however, not only when he was tested, but also casted doubt on the sample collector, noting there were 18 Federal Express offices were open until 9 p.m. in Milwaukee and even one 24-hour FedEx office. He said he was tested after a 1 p.m. game that ended at 4:15. Braun laid out his defense like a lawyer making his closing statement.

"At the end of the day the truth prevailed," he said. "I'm a victim of a process that completely broke down and failed in the way that it was applied to me in the case. As players, we're held to a standard of 100 percent perfection regarding the program, and everybody else associated with that program should be held to the same standard. We're a part of a process where you're 100 percent guilty until proven innocent. It's the opposite of the American judicial system.

In fact, Braun said he's considering legal action, citing possible legal action as a reason for not naming the sample collector.

He also shot down a rumor that he'd been treated for sexually transmitted disease, noting he'd never had an STD.

Braun came out swinging, said his performance had been measured -- that he didn't add a pound, he didn't become any faster. He also noted he already has a nine-year, guaranteed contract.

"I'd bet my life that this substance never entered my body," Braun said.

He also said he was unhappy that the test became public and that he has an idea how the news of his positive test leaked. ESPN reported his positive test -- which was supposed to remain confidential until the appeal was heard -- in December.

"I tried to handle the entire situation with honor, with integrity, with class, with dignity and with professionalism because that's who I am and that's how I've always lived my life," he said. "If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I'd be the first one to step up and I say I did it. By no means am I perfect, but if I've ever made any mistakes in my life, I've taken responsibility for my actions. I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that the substance never entered my body at any point."

MLB contends the leak didn't come from their end.

“With regards to the breach of confidentiality regarding this case, both the Commissioner’s Office and the MLBPA have investigated the original leak of Ryan Braun’s test, and we are convinced that the leak did not come from the Commissioner’s Office," Manfred said in a statement.

The MLB Players Association agrees.

“Our Joint Drug Program stands as strong, as accurate and as reliable as any in sport, both before and after the Braun decision," said MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner in a statement. "The breach of confidentiality associated with this matter is unfortunate but, after investigation, we are confident that it was not caused by the Commissioner’s Office, the MLBPA or anyone associated in any way with the Program. In all other respects, the appeals process worked as designed; the matter was vigorously contested and the independent and neutral arbitrator issued a decision deserving of respect by both bargaining parties."

Braun was asked about how his reputation would suffer, even after his successful appeal.

"I'm not dumb enough to pretend this is going to go away," Braun said. "I'm going to deal with this for a while. It's going to be a challenge."

"My name has been dragged through the mud as everything I've ever worked for in my life has been called into question."

Braun, who won the NL MVP after hitting .332/.397/.597 with 33 homers, 109 runs and 111 RBIs last year, is the first Major League Baseball player to have his suspension lifted by an arbitrator for a drug-related penalty. Arbitrator Shyam Das threw out Braun's ban on Thursday. Das, who has been baseball's independent arbitrator since 2000, informed the sides of his decision but did not give them a written opinion. He has 30 days to do so.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:35 pm

Hamilton says he doesn't 'owe the Rangers'

Josh Hamilton

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After his most recent relapse, the Rangers put their extension talks with Josh Hamilton on hold. Despite the way the Rangers have supported Hamilton through two public relapses, the former MVP said he doesn't feel like he owes the team and doesn't expect an extension before the end of the season, when he can become a free agent.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Hamilton had this to say (via the Fort Worth Star-Tribune):
"The Rangers have done a lot for me, but I've got a question for ya'll: Have I done a lot for the Rangers?" Hamilton said. "I think I've given them everything I've had, and I don't think anybody can say I haven't. When it comes down to it, what people don't understand, is this is a business.

"I love Texas, I love my fans, I love the fans of the Rangers, I love the organization, I love my teammates, I love everything about it. But I'm not going to sit here and say I owe the Rangers, because I don't feel like I owe the Rangers."
I have a good friend who is a Rangers fan and she's not happy with the comments, and I can see how Rangers fans would feel that way. On the other hand, he's been paid to do a job and he's done it. If the Rangers weren't happy with him or his ability to do it, they don't have to offer Hamilton a contract after the season -- I'm pretty sure someone else will. That's the beauty of the free market.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com