The good news from Boston Wednesday: Manny Machado got to play a game against the Red Sox without one pitch sailing anywhere near him other than around the plate. The bad news: Orioles starter Kevin Gausman couldn’t resist opening the second inning by throwing the first pitch at Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts’s hind quarters.
It’s not nice to fool either Mother Nature or your trading partner. The Padres are learning that the hard way. General manager A.J. Preller has been suspended for thirty days without pay for trying to fool the Red Sox at minimum. It may not stop there.
Allowing that docking a GM with a fortnight left in the regular season amounts almost to a slap on the wrist, baseball government has sent a message: Deal straight, or we’ll straighten you out. This after a considerable probe into whether Preller and the Padres played entirely straight when it came to medical information involving players it sought to trade.
Baseball’s offseason is many things, and dull is rarely one of them, but this offseason’s winter meetings among the major league organisations could have been smothered by the activity that preceded it. Could have been—particularly in light of the Yankees’ doings in signing Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury while letting Robinson Cano chase the dollars they weren’t quite willing to show—but weren’t. There are various takes floating about regarding the doings and undoings; here, for whatever they’re worth, are mine: