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Belliard Involved In Extortion Case

Could this be part of the reason Ron Belliard still doesn't have a job?  The second baseman has been named in a federal extortion case.  According to federal authorities in St. Louis, a man tried to blackmail Belliard into paying $150,000 to keep an alleged affair and pregnancy quiet.  Belliard is married with two kids.

The details aren't confirmed and Belliard's agent denies his involvement.  With the second base free agent market pretty deep this year, all else being equal, this case could have been a reason to avoid Belliard.  Just speculating.

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This doesn't look like a reason to avoid Belliard to me. There are better reasons to avoid him than that he had sex outside of his marriage and is possibly the victim in an extortion case.

Of course, I used to see the Gansta of Glove shutting down the Landing in the Lou last year on nights before games. That's a good off-the-field reason to avoid him, but there are plenty of on-the-field reasons and it wasn't a great market for 2Bmen.

He and his Haawmies used to roll in Birds hats. It was funny. Not as funny as J-Rod wearing eyeshadow, but funny nonetheless.

Yeah, I head that about J-Rod. That is funny. I agree, not much of a reason to avoid him.

It is strange he doesn't have a job though; he is a pretty good hitter and fielder, isn't too expensive and is loved by teammates... He is one of the more happy-go-lucky guys around and loves playing the game, its a great change in this day and age. I can't imagine it has anything to do with some guy saying he slept around on his wife though, that's hardly major in compairison to problems other players have.

Oh, btw Adun there is a reaponce to you in the "Odds and Ends" thread which has now dropped off the front page but is the top story in the Jan archives...

Now would be a good time for Omar to swipe him while the market is... non-existant. I don't trust Valentin to hold down 2B all year, and I could hit better than A-Hern.

He has no leverage... go get 'em Omar.

Id rather stick hernandez in there. I dont care how bad he is. If he could find a way to hit .230 that would be fine. AHern just won the batting title for the dominican winter league playoffs, battin .402 with 1 HR, 12 RBI, and 22 R in 23 games. He batted .287 with 9 rbis in 25 games during the dominican winter league regular season, for what its worth. Its only winter ball, but its an improvement and I can live with a weak hitting 2B if he can run and field like Hernandez can.

*How bad he is at hitting*

You don't want to sign a free agent for one year when he might be going to court. He could miss a month or even more of the season - and it'll probably be late in the season when his potential employer will be in a playoff race and need him the most. It's just like avoiding someone for health reasons - he could miss a significant amount of time.

What about signing him for cheap then? Knowing he may miss a significant amount of time, you can use that as leverage to get a bargain type deal if he does play.

With so much on his mind he might not perform well. And taking a smaller contract this season might damage his leverage for future seasons and his ego. It'd be better for him to just take the season off due to personal problems, settle them, and get in shape for the 2008 season.

If he'll take a minor league deal with an out clause (if he isn't on the MLB roster by a certain time he's granted free agency if he wants it), I'd like to see the Red Sox make a play. It wouldn't hurt to have veteran insurance for Pedroia although I doubt he'd need it. With that said, Belliard is better off elsewhere if he intends to play through his personal problems.

I don't really see it affecting him all that much on the field. Its nothing that other guys don't go through, except that he was the VICTIM of a bribe offer. He did nothing legally wrong, so I don't really see the courts punishing him by making him leave a team for a month or more. Seems to me like he could just testify and be done with it. I am assuming that he is not the one pressing charges...and if thats the case I don't see why he would have to be there that much, except to testify once. I'm definitely not a lawyer though....

if he is the one pressing charges, and not the state(or however that works) than I can see him missing more time.

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