Is Mike Lowell-to-the-Rangers once again possible?

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The first thought in most people’s minds after the Adrian Beltre deal was reported last night was what the Red Sox were going to do with Mike Lowell. OK, my first thought was “wow, Boras really misread the market for his dude,” but my next thought definitely was what to do about Mike Lowell.

Almost immediately, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick and others suggested that the Mets were possibly interested in trading Luis Castillo for him. Which makes no sense given that (a) such a deal would provide no cash relief for either team involved; and (b) there is nowhere for Castillo — a lifetime second baseman — to play in Boston.  But hey, at least someone’s thinking about all of this.

More plausible: late last night Yahoo!’s Tim Brown said that he had a source telling him that the Rangers “have not ruled out re-engaging on Lowell.”

Given the previously aborted run at this, and given Lowell’s recent surgery, you’d have to think that any deal sending him to Texas would have to be even more one-sided than the last one was. That had Texas sending catcher Max Ramirez to the Red Sox in exchange for
Lowell and about $9 million.

What would a new deal look like? Just the cash? More cash?  At some point it just becomes easier for the Red Sox to release the guy, doesn’t it?

The Braves cave, a little anyway, on their outside food policy

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On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.

The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.

Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:

While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.

Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.

Donald Trump may throw out the first pitch at the Nationals opener

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It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.

With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.

Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.