Friday Bantering: Paxton, Ruiz and Open Thread

One of those days when there isn't all that much for news, spring training can't come quick enough.

Over in the Star Morgan Campbell tries to explain James Paxton's troubles. To give you the reader's digest version, as best as I can figure, Paxton has been suspended while the NCAA investigates his relationship with Scott Boras. Boras 'helped' in some way when the Jays and Paxton were negotiating with the Jays after we drafted him. The NCAA doesn't allow their players to have agents. So instead they have 'advisers'. The NCAA would like to talk to Paxton about it, Paxton would rather not talk to them, figuring, I guess, he has the right not to incriminate himself.  

Paxton sued to retain his eligibility, but lost the court case last Friday and now faces a choice: risk a suspension by speaking with investigators, or ensure one by maintaining his silence.

His problem is if he doesn't play this year he won't be drafted as high he would be if he played, costing him a lot of money.

Instead, Paxton, who remains in class and on scholarship, filed suit to force the school to reinstate him, arguing the suspension and investigation violated his rights under the university's student code. In court, he said it's the school's responsibility, not his, to prove to investigators that he hasn't broken any rules.

"How does the university get the facts if you don't tell them?" university lawyer Stephen Barker asked. "Apparently, they're getting them from a blog," said Paxton, a reference to the newspaper article that quoted a Jays executive talking about Boras.

I feel bad for him because all of this is hurting his baseball career. But then rules is rules. 

Over at Ghostrunner on First, Drew has a fancy graph showing that Randy Ruiz likes to chase pitches down and off the plate. We'll see if pitchers exploit this next year or if Ruiz make changes. That's part of why small samples are suspect, opposing teams don't get enough time to figure weaknesses and players don't have time to correct weaknesses. 

In news around baseball, the Met have traded for Gary Matthews, Jr, I'd imagine the Angels are paying a lot of his contract. the Mets also want Ben Sheets and John Smoltz. The Royals signed free agent Rick Ankiel, so the little fantasy that he could platoon with Bautista is over.

And in case you are wondering Murray Chass thinks your opinion is worth nothing unless you are a member of the BBWAA but here is a fun response to Chass from Patrick Sullivan of Baseball Analysts.

Not too much more of interest out there. Can use the comments as an open thread to talk about anything that interests you.

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