Royals predictably aren't playing Kila Ka'aihue

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When the Royals called up Kila Ka’aihue from Triple-A last week I wondered if they’d actually play him, guessing that the answer would be no because … well, they are the Royals after all.
Sure enough, Ka’aihue has started just once in five games since the call-up. Now, in fairness to the Royals they have Billy Butler at first base and Jose Guillen at designated hitter, so finding at-bats for Ka’aihue isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
However, in fairness to logic the Royals are 11-21 and have zero chance of even finishing .500 this season, so playing the 26-year-old Ka’aihue makes far more long-term sense than starting Guillen and Scott Podsednik every day. Unlike those two 34-year-olds, Ka’aihue might actually be part of the Royals’ next above-.500 team (assuming, of course, that such a team will eventually exist).
If any team is in position to give a 26-year-old career minor leaguer a chance to show whether he can hit big-league pitching it’s certainly the Royals and Ka’aihue has hit .283 with a .426 on-base percentage, .534 slugging percentage, and 35 percent more walks than strikeouts over the past three seasons at Double-A and Triple-A.

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.