Hideki Matsui reacts to Guillen's comments on Asian/Latino ballplayers

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And it’s about as even-keeled as you would imagine.

Hideki Matsui was only “vaguely aware” of what Ozzie Guillen said over the weekend, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, but after being informed of the context of his remarks, he said the following through his interpreter Roger Kahlon:

“I think the circumstances might be a little different for us vs. Latin
players. If Latin
players came straight to the big leagues after playing in professional
leagues in their own country like Japanese players do, then I think they
would be treated exactly the same as Latin players in those
circumstances.”

“I think there’s a good chance the circumstances may be a little similar
for Cuban players who played professionally there then defected and
came over here.”

Can’t argue with any of that. Matsui also mentioned the disparity between Asian and Latino ballplayers, and how most of the time, Latino players have a built-in support system, while Asian players do not.

Matsui has only had one Japanese teammate (Kei Igawa, sometimes) during his time in the major leagues, and as we recently learned with Hideki Okajima, he has battled with loneliness and homesickness due to the cultural divide. In other words, nobody has it perfect.    

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.