When you get a $100 million contract "the first year is the most difficult"

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That quote comes from Vernon Wells. And yeah, I’m sure it’s an absolute drag.

OK, that’s a bit of a cheap shot, inasmuch as Wells was likely asked specifically about the pressure ballplayers face after getting huge deals, not the difficulty of life at large, but it is the kind of quote that turns your head a bit.

It comes in what is actually a pretty interesting article about guys in the $100 million club, most specifically Matt Holliday, who is adjusting to what must me a strange new world this year.  The best part: Scott Boras likes to have a “talk” with his big money guys after their first season as $100 million men is underway:

Boras called it the
“post-contract conversation” and he described how it’s impossible
to have it before a season starts or even in the opening weeks. It
takes a player experiencing the new reality of a big contract for
him to understand how to react.
“I usually let them get four weeks, five weeks into the season
and then we have the conversation,” Boras said. “There is no way to
prepare an athlete for this because so few athletes ever get there.

I don’t have pity for the $100 million men, but anyone who is thrust into a new world like that has to lose their gravity for a while, and losing one’s gravity isn’t pleasant, even if it is in comfortable circumstances.

Still, I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.  I imagine
it would be much like listening to Chinese or Klingon or something it’s
so far from our normal frame of reference.

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.