Last week we passed along the results of an ESPN study of health code violations in our nation’s ballparks. Tropicana Field fared particularly poorly in that study. At the time I gave them the benefit of the doubt because the Marlins fared poorly too and maybe the violation tallies were more a function of tougher health code enforcement in Florida than elsewhere as opposed to greater filth. Old Gator — who knows more about his home state than I do — mocked me on this point.
Old Gator may have been right to mock. Check out this interview of a Tropicana Field beer vendor by Rays Index. The upshot: concession workers were told by supervisors to wash and reuse discarded beer cups.
The hippie environmentalist in me thinks that the idea of reusing beer cups isn’t the worst thing in the world. Those things are pretty durable! It could work!
The realist in me, however, knows damn well that unless that re-using cups is an actual stated-policy, there is no way that they’re actually being sanitized in a manner that’s up to code. I mean, last I checked, the beer stand doesn’t have an industrial dishwashers. If what this vendor is saying is true, you know that they’re just swishing these things out in the sink with a bit of Dawn and a dishrag. At best.
So, yeah, there’s that.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.