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February 1, 2011

Orioles unlikely to make a move with Simon until Feb. 26

The Orioles aren’t commenting on the Alfredo Simon situation.

They haven’t at all since the Orioles’ 29-year-old reliever was named as the primary suspect in the New Year’s Day shooting death of his cousin and jailed in the Dominican Republic.

But with news today that his attempt to get bail was rejected by a Dominican judge, it has become an almost certainty that Simon won’t be in Sarasota on Feb. 14, when pitchers and catchers are supposed to report.

That is a voluntary date, however. The mandatory date for all players to report to spring training is Feb. 26.

Although the Orioles aren’t publicly commenting, one can make the jump that they will keep Simon on their 40-man roster until then. Once he doesn’t report by the mandatory date, they can move him to the sport’s restricted list, which is for players unable to perform baseball duties for reasons other than injury.

That will free up a spot on the club’s 40-man roster. Simon could remain on the restricted list until he is ready to re-join the team, whenever that may be, according to a Major League Baseball spokesman. While on the restricted list, the player does not get paid and does not accrue service time, the spokesman said.

Andy MacPhail, the club’s president of baseball operations, usually does things by the letter of the baseball law. So the guess is that’s how he will proceed on this matter. I doubt you’ll see the Orioles making any move involving Simon before Feb. 26.

Phil Isaac, one of Simon’s United States-based agents, said his client’s playing career is not a primary concern at this time.

“Our focus right now is on the young man who is battling for his life. We don’t want to comment on baseball,” Isaac said. “At this point, our focus is on the case at hand.”

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 5:35 PM | | Comments (3)


Some on here have attempted to trivialize the authorities in the Dominican. If you have been there, this is not a third world country, like Haiti on the other side of the mountain range. Simon is in serious trouble and his baseball career is the least of his troubles. He will not pitch for Baltimore this year, and I hope that his story turns out to be validated, for his sake.

I concur, gil. I've never been there, but have talked to many people who have. They all say the Dominicans take their judicial system very serious. It isn't the wild west down there, but too may people in the States think just just because it shares an island with Haiti that it's like Haiti. It's not.

Good luck to Mr. Simon, I hope it works out for the young man.

This supposed case against Simon is absurd at best, and agross miscarriage of justice at worst. The evidence thus far against Simon amounts to his presence at the scene.

Most of you have not heard that the DA pronounced on Jan 2 that his case will be based on the ballistic report. To date, however, the report proved that Simon's gun did not fire the fatal shot. Most haven't heard that the police did not begin conducting their investigation--ten days later--until after the ballistic report of Simon's gun came back negative. Most haven't heard that the only witness who maintains that Simon fired the fatal shot is the decedent's brother--despite numerous others contradicting his statement. And, most haven't heard that the only reason for his insistence is monetary gain. Most haven't heard that witnesses at the scene told police that the decedent was in an argument with a man who later returned to the scene and fired shots.

I love the Dominican Republic like any other, but the country is undergoing a transition in the wrong direction. It's starting to remind me of Mexico. My business associates and I are constantly shaken down for money during our monthly trips there. The police set up traffic stops, and pull over cars with foreign passengers to ask for money. I once had a police official follow me and my associates to a nearby bank while we withdrew money. When I asked if he knew a certain justice of the peace, he hopped on his motorcycle and took off. And, finally, no one heard that while Simon was on his way to give a statement to police, that they threatened to arrest his father if he didn't give them a bribe!

So yes, the Dominican Authorities deserve to be trivialized. The only reason Simon remains in prison is for lack of financial resources--not for the crime he HASN'T been charged with, but for not having enough money to pay out bribes to the unscrupulus thugs charged with the administration of justice. I only hope that the protests today in favor of Simon's release receive as much coverage as all the negative press.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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