– Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list due
to right shoulder weakness. An MRI showed no structural damage, but
manager Terry Francona mentioned that he likely won’t return anytime
soon, saying, “We have a lot of work ahead of us to get him back to
– Jeremy Guthrie tossed seven innings of one-run ball as the Orioles completed a sweep of the first-place Phillies on Sunday. The defending World Champions are now just 13-22 at home.
– Paul Konerko drove in the 1,000th run of his career on Sunday as the White Sox topped the Reds 4-1.
– Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd squashed rumors that Brad Hawpe might be on the trade block.
– Albert Pujols homered twice — including a grand slam — and drove in six as the Cardinals cruised past the Royals
12-5. Pujols now leads the majors with 26 home runs and 68 RBI. With
the win, Tony LaRussa joined Connie Mack (3,831) and John McGraw
(2,763) as the only managers to reach 2,500 wins.
– Brad Lidge is likely to be activated from the disabled list this week.
– David Ortiz homered again on Sunday, but the Red Sox defeated the
Braves 6-5 in walk-off fashion behind the unlikely Nick Green, who wrapped the ball around the Pesky Pole to secure the victory.
– And finally, the future of Steven Soderbergh’s “Moneyball” is in doubt.
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.
If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”
[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.
While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.
Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.
This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.
The club’s full complaint can be found here.