Join the Yankees Universe . . . now only $19.95!

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The Red Sox may have a nation, but the Yankees have a whole universe:

The New York Yankees today announced the creation of Yankees
Universe, an official fan club granting members exclusive benefits,
unique access and special savings. Membership privileges extend to all
aspects of the fan experience, including exclusive Web site advantages,
outstanding discounts on official Yankees Clubhouse merchandise, and
Fast Track entrance perks on game day, all for only $19.95 for a
membership valid through the end of the year. Fans may sign up for the
club on MLB.com or Yankees.com . . .

. . . “A membership to Yankees Universe gives fans the chance to
experience a world of new and unique team essentials,” said Christy
Lee, Director of Yankees Fan Club. “We are proud to offer Yankees
Universe to the best fans in the world.”

I like how they went straight to eleven with this one. I mean, how easy
would it have been to try to compete with the Sox by going with
“Yankees Nation” or to even trump them with “Yankees World” or “Yankees
Galaxy?” “Screw that,” they said. “We’re going straight to the
universe! Let them top that!”

Let’s see . . . the Yankees are (a) trying to instantly replicate
something that, in other instances takes decades to cultivate; and (b)
they’re charging for the privilege. How very . . . Yankees of them.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

Bill Hickey /Allsport
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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.