The Nats are nowhere near signing Strasburg

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Last week Stephen Strasburg was lamenting the fact that he hadn’t heard from the Nationals. Seems that nothing has really changed:

The Washington Nationals are not on pace to sign top overall draft
pick Stephen Strasburg by the Aug. 17 deadline, a source close to the
negotiations told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez on Tuesday . . . The source said
that the Nats have had an ongoing dialogue with Strasburg’s adviser,
Scott Boras, but have made no offer other than the mandatory minor
league tender that all clubs must make to their picks within 10 days of
the draft.

As I said last week, the Nats shouldn’t cave in to Boras, but if they
can’t get this kid signed or at least make a strong, strong effort to
do so, the seven Nats fans that are left are totally going to bolt.

UPDATE: The Washington Times is calling the “no progress report” bunk,
though that’s coming from a team source that has every reason to paint
a rosier picture than actually exists. Of course, if Pedro Gomez’s
“source close to the negotiations” is with the Boras camp, then his
source has every reason to paint a more gloomy picture than actually
exists.

Damn, I can’t believe it’s only been a day and I’ve already
forgotten that “don’t believe half of what you see and none of what you
hear” rule.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.