Rosenthal: Oswalt should be more flexible

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Ken Rosenthal thinks that Roy Oswalt needs to drop his demand that whatever team he goes to pick up his 2012 option. He also thinks that Oswalt needs to be more flexible about the teams to which he’d accept trades:

If Roy Oswalt wants to be traded – really wants to be traded – he should start acting like it.

That means dropping any demand for a potential suitor to exercise his
$16 million club option for 2012; his new team could compensate him for
waiving his no-trade clause in a less extravagant way.

It also means staying open-minded on which teams he would approve
for a trade; the Cardinals, his reported first choice, are not the only
club with a chance to win the World Series.

Remember, Oswalt asked the Astros to trade him, relaying his request
through his agent, Bob Garber, in May. Some rival executives find it
galling that the pitcher now seems to be trying to orchestrate every
term of his departure.

I see what Rosenthal is saying — and I’d agree with him wholeheartedly if Oswalt was out there complaining about the Astros not being able to find a trade partner or something — but I’ll note that no one ever expects teams to simply surrender the leverage for which they have bargained.  And I’ll also ask: in what “less extravagant way” could a new team compensate Oswalt for dropping his no-trade rights?  The minute he drops them, he has zero leverage to demand anything.

We certainly shouldn’t hear Oswalt to complain if the Astros can’t trade him given what he’s asking for, but in a world where teams can control where players work for the first six to twelve years of their career before the player even gets a bit of say in the matter, I have no problem with Oswalt using whatever means are at his disposal to get what he wants for the final handful of years of his career.

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.