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Cal Ripken Jr. weighs in on Harper and Machado's free agency

Cal Ripken Jr. weighs in on Harper and Machado's free agency

Hall of Famer and lifelong Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. thinks Bryce Harper "is a fit anywhere."

On 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies radio show, Ripken also said the market is wide open for Harper and Manny Machado. 

"We’re not willing to give 10- or 12-year deals anymore, but you’re willing to go higher annual salary. So if that’s the case, you’re going to have more people that have a chance to kind of come in late and say, ‘well what about us?’ If you’re willing to sign one-year, two-year deal," the possibilities are endless, according to Ripken.

However, Ripken continued, "I got to imagine that both Manny and Bryce would sign five-year deals. But I don’t know that 10-year deals are out there anymore. If it’s a five-year or if you’re a team that wants to go really, really, high for one or two, you might tempt them."

With that being said, Ripken also noted the obvious: Haroer should go where he has the opportunity to win. 

"If I was Bryce, and you are looking for an opportunity, winning is the most important thing," Ripken said. "If I had one mini regret in my whole career, I wish I would have been in the playoffs more."

Ripken is also unsure when Harper could sign by, but suggests from experience it should be early in March.

After discussing his shortened spring training after the 1994-95 league strike earlier in the interview, Ripken raved about the three weeks of spring training players had and circled back when discussing Harper’s free agency timeline.

"I would think three weeks [of spring training] is a good time for a regular player. So I think Bryce has a little room to play with if he wants to push it. I would make sure I had three weeks to get ready for the season."

Getting to ballpark of the Palm Beaches by March 3rd would give Harper exactly "three weeks of facing pitchers and trying to get yourself from off-season mode, hitting off a tee and a machine to getting back to live pitching," the perfect amount of time according to 19-time All-Star Ripken.

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LeBron James calls out MLB commissioner over Astros cheating scandal

LeBron James calls out MLB commissioner over Astros cheating scandal

The Astros cheating scandal has gotten so big, LeBron James is chiming in with his take on how Major League Baseball has handled the situation. 

In consecutive tweets on Tuesday, James called out MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, telling him to listen to his increasingly frustrated players. 

Following the league's investigation into the Astros' sign-stealing scheme from 2017, the Astros were fined $5 million and stripped of their first and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 draft.

General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were also suspended from baseball for a year and subsequentially fired for their roles in the scheme. However, no Astros players were punished, inciting plenty of frustration and anger around the league. 

Nick Markakis said every Astros player, 'deserves a beating,' Howie Kendrick called out Manfred's handling of the situation and that's just to name the most recent cases. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger are some of the biggest names to voice their displeasure with the Astros and Major League's Baseball's shortcomings in the aftermath of the investigation. 

James is one of the most famous players in the world, no matter the sport, and is one of the more pro-player advocates in professional sports today. It's not surprising James is siding with the players on this one, but it shows just how big this Astros mess has become. 

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Howie Kendrick has no sympathy for Astros, criticizes Rob Manfred's handling of scandal

Howie Kendrick has no sympathy for Astros, criticizes Rob Manfred's handling of scandal

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Howie Kendrick has no sympathy for the Houston Astros.

Asked on Tuesday morning if he -- a veteran about to play his 15th season -- was concerned about how Houston’s scandal reflected on baseball at large, Kendrick explained his view in simple and direct terms. He also expressed his displeasure with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s handling of the situation.

“It doesn’t put baseball in a good light, and the Commissioner really hasn’t done a great job of trying to defuse the situation, honestly,” Kendrick said. “But if you cheat, you cheat. There’s no fairness in that. Obviously you have a choice. You either choose to do it, or you don’t. And obviously they chose to do it, and they should have to live with those consequences. Nobody’s going to have any remorse for you. 

“And going out and putting out public service announcements and things like that, I don’t think that’s really cool. You got caught doing something. I think you should just be quiet, go about your business and let your play talk. If you weren’t doing it, and you’re honest that you weren’t doing it. We’ll find out this season. They’ve got a lot of really good players, and obviously they win without doing a lot of that stuff. The fact they actually got caught doing it, it just makes them look that much worse.”

Responses in the Nationals’ clubhouse have varied. Some players, like Starlin Castro, chose not to comment on the Astros’ situation. Ryan Zimmerman reiterated his concern about the integrity of the game being questioned. Max Scherzer advised reporters to walk down the hall and ask the Astros questions about their cheating. Sean Doolittle worried about what jobs may have been lost because of the cheating.

Kendrick was also asked if the 2017 title should be taken from the Astros. 

“I haven’t really thought about it that much. I’ve heard a lot of guys say they should take it away, let them keep their rings and stuff like that. That’s not my job. That’s the commissioner’s job. But with all the details out there, obviously it went from the top to bottom. As a player, some of those guys probably didn’t want to do it. But who do you go to at that point? You either follow along, even if you don’t agree with it, because you really don’t have an avenue to go to. I do believe there were guys that didn’t want to do it, but what are you going to do about it when 90 percent of the people were doing it. That’s all I got to say about that.”

With that, Kendrick was done and subjected to jabs from his teammates for his Forrest Gump-esque closing remark. No matter the end, he can be added to the list of those irritated with the Astros, and the commissioner. 

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