Yankees and Mets fans are unimaginative

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Freakonomics
— the book, the blog, the phenomenon — is basically about applying
economic theory to non-traditional things. Things like parenting and
sumo and the Ku Klux Klan and what have you. It’s pretty interesting
stuff, actually, that reminds people that economics is way more about
social and behavioral science than it is about money and numbers.

Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner was at the Mets-Yankees game last night, and he wonders why Yankees and Mets fans are so darn economically inefficient when it comes to their cheers and taunts:

A pattern quickly emerged. The many Yankees fans regularly broke
into their thunderous cheer: “Let’s go Yankees!” (clap-clap-clap-clap …
clap-clap). If you are a Yankees fan (we are; but we do not hate the
Mets), this was a sign of what might be called prideful hubris, or
maybe hubristic pride: we can come into your stadium and rock it very,
very hard.

How’d the Mets fans respond? Succinctly. In the space where the
Yankees fans did their rhythmic clapping, Mets fans shouted “Yankees
suck!” . . .This pattern was repeated all night. What surprised me is
that neither side found a way to improve their effort. I kept waiting
for the Yankees fans to fill in their clapping with some chanting that
couldn’t be hijacked by the Mets fans, and I kept waiting for the Mets
fans to either be proactive in their chanting or to move beyond
“Yankees suck!” But neither side budged . . . I fear not that we are
teaching our children to be coarse but that we are teaching them to be
uncreative and unskilled in the use of game theory.

I can think of no greater indictment of the new expensive ballparks in
New York than the fact that they have priced out one of the greatest
forces of nature in the universe: verbally abusive, yet incredibly
clever New York baseball fans.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.