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Sandy Alderson speaks out about Mets’ risky pursuit of Trevor Bauer

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PORT ST. LUCIE — Sandy Alderson doesn’t regret his team’s aggressive – and ultimately unsuccessful – pursuit of the polarizing Trevor Bauer.

He acknowledged, however, that the pitcher might have proven too tough to handle.

“It’s hard to know how it would’ve turned out, but we thought we could manage it,” Alderson said Monday in a Zoom news conference. “Maybe that was naive. We’ll see.”

Bauer signed a three-year, $102-million contract with the Dodgers in January last month, passing up a slightly higher offer (three years and $105 million) from the Mets; both deals featured opt-outs after both the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Since signing, Bauer has maintained his abrasive Twitter personality, punching back ferociously at his would’ve-been teammates Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman and voicing opinions about immigration and race. In the past, Bauer behaved questionably toward a female college student and didn’t police his rabid followers from doing the same.

Alderson said he never spoke directly with Bauer during the negotiations, although he spoke at length both with Bauer’s representatives and internally among Mets officials about this issue.

“We knew some of the risks associated with some of the social-media stuff, “ Alderson said. “We actually had some discussions internally with a group or groups in our organizations to talk about that, including women.”

Trevor Bauer with his new Dodgers teammates on Feb. 23, 2021
Trevor Bauer with his new Dodgers teammates on Feb. 23, 2021
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Alderson continued on Bauer: “First of all, he’s a quality player so we start there, and then we work our way through some of the other issues. We did a lot of homework on his social media. …Talking about his social-media presence and how that might differ than others and their social-media presence. Whether that presence was directed at a particular group of people or was just generally aggressive. We went through a lot of that. That’s not to say there weren’t still risks with it. 

“We talked extensively with the agent (Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba represented Bauer). I never talked to Trevor myself. We talked extensively about what would be necessary at the outset about taking responsibility for what had happened in the past and taking some responsibility for what might happen in the future.  

“It’s not foolproof. We spent a lot of time on it and felt that we weren’t being naive in that, ‘We can turn this guy around on a dime and turn him into something that he wasn’t before,’ but I did feel that we could manage it as long as we were communicating with him and being sort of attuned to what was going on. 

“We felt we could manage it. It’s possible we wouldn’t be able to but at this point, we don’t have to worry about it.”

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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