Another reason to hate Los Doyers

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Yes, maybe hate is too strong a word, but the Dodgers have done much to make themselves hard to like this year, a trademark crackdown being just the latest example:

After hiking up ticket prices and parking fees
during a less than stellar season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have made
another unpopular move: The team has trademarked the popular term “Los
Doyers,” outlawing vendors from selling unauthorized apparel bearing
those words.

For years “Los Doyers” T-shirts have been popular among fans, and a
big seller at Manny Morales’ Latin Lingo clothing stores. But as of
Saturday, these shirts are no longer for sale.

To be clear: I understand why the Dodgers are doing this: you have to protect your trademarks in this world, or else you’ll lose them. The shirts Manny Morales is selling are infringing on the Dodgers’ trademark, especially given the distinctive Dodgers script . The Dodgers couldn’t simply let things stand as they were.

But nor did they have to do what they did: shut down the sale of the shirts by Morales and start selling “Los Doyers” shirts themselves in what appears to be a cynical cash grab. I mean, it’s not like the Dodgers were selling “Los Doyers” shirts themselves and merely wanted to enforce their rights against an illegal competitor. It appears as though making and selling such shirts never occurred to them.

I’m not a trademark expert by any stretch of the imagination, but why didn’t the Dodgers get creative here and offer Manny Morales some kind of cheapo license/profit split deal that (a) protects the team’s script “Dodgers” trademark and allows the team to realize some money from its use; while (b) fostering fan appreciation
for the team and cultivating some goodwill among local business; and (c) rewarding Morales for coming up with a pretty nifty product no one with the team had saw fit to create before now?

You telling me that Manny Morales wouldn’t have been grateful to the Dodgers for not slamming him with a trademark suit? I’m guessing he would have carried and pushed a bunch more Dodgers merch if asked to in a creative deal. It also could pave the way for a lot more under the radar licensed sales deals in which Dodgers product was sold under the auspices of local, independent businesses instead of the MLB team shop. There’s a sector of the public that cares about such things, you know. The only question is whether trademark law or the Dodgers’ deal with MLB prohibits such a thing, but I can’t see how that would be the case. Please, someone tell me if I’m missing something here.

Unless informed otherwise, this seems like a situation in which the Dodgers are squelching the initiatives, however problematic, of
people who have some genuine affection for the team.  Couldn’t there have been a better way to handle this? One in which I could buy a “Los Doyers” shirt in good conscience? Because, man, if I knew those were out there I totally would have snatched one up before it became an Official Product of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball under what appear to be heavy handed circumstances. They’re pretty damn spiffy, no?

Astros sign Carlos Beltran to one-year, $16 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Carlos Beltran #36 of the Texas Rangers hits an RBI against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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The Astros have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent DH/outfielder Carlos Beltran for a one-year, $16 million contract, per ESPN’s Buster Olney. The deal includes a complete no-trade clause, according to a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Beltran elected to return to the Astros after fielding offers from the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Red Sox. He appeared in Houston during the second half of 2004, batting .258/.368/.559 with 23 home runs in 399 PA and making his first postseason run to the tune of a .435 average and eight homers as the Astros battled their way through to a seven-game loss in the Championship Series. Beltran also played with Houston manager A.J. Hinch and bench coach Alex Cora in separate stints with the Royals and Mets, which the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan cited as possible influences in the Astros’ decision to pursue the free agent.

In 2016, Beltran split the season between the Yankees and Rangers after getting dealt at the deadline for a package of right-handed pitching prospects. He was stationed in right field for the majority of his time in New York, but was almost exclusively utilized as a designated hitter over 52 games in Texas. Between the two clubs, he batted an impressive .295/.337/.513 with 29 homers and earned his ninth career All-Star designation to boot.

The veteran slugger is expected to fill a similar role on the Astros, who need a full-time DH but could use some additional support in the outfield corner. Olney envisions a lineup with Beltran in the five-spot, per an earlier report:

Rays and Braves reportedly interested in Welington Castillo

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits an RBI double in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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Catcher Welington Castillo was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks on Friday, making him one of 35 additional players to enter the free agent pool. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Castillo was drawing interest from the Rays, among a bevy of major league clubs, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien added that the Braves have “some interest” as well.

The Rays’ trifecta of catchers — Curt Casali, Luke Maile, and Bobby Wilson — did little to inspire confidence behind the plate in 2016, and with top free agent Wilson Ramos sidelined after suffering a torn ACL in September, it makes sense that they’d explore more affordable options. Castillo profiled well at the plate during his first full season with the Diamondbacks, slashing .264/.322/.423 with 14 home runs in 457 PA. Behind the dish, he placed third among all qualified major league catchers with seven DRS (Defensive Runs Saved), though his league-leading 10 passed balls weren’t anything to write home about.

Unlike the Rays, the Braves have a serviceable catching platoon in Tyler Flowers and Anthony Recker. Beyond that, their catching depth is fairly shallow despite the recent addition of former Mariners’ outfield prospect Alex Jackson. Jackson, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Bradley, has not played behind the plate since high school, though GM John Coppolella is reportedly interested in trying him there again. A.J. Pierzynski is also rumored to be seeking a deal elsewhere in free agency, which could open the door for a multi-year deal with Castillo.