Oh noes! All the criminals are wearing Yankees caps!

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From today’s New York Times:

Since 2000, more than 100 people who have been suspects or persons of
interest in connection with serious crimes in New York City wore Yankees
apparel at the time of the crimes or at the time of their arrest or
arraignment. The tally is based on a review of New York Police
Department news releases, surveillance video and images of robberies and
other crimes, as well as police sketches and newspaper articles that
described suspects’ clothing. No other sports team comes close.

“Yankees are number1 ! Yankees are number 1! Wooo!  Suck it Red Sux!”

Oh, wait, that wasn’t the point of the story. The point of the story was that this is a “curious phenomenon.” And a troubling one too!  If not, the Times wouldn’t have consulted “criminologists, sports marketing analysts, and consumer psychologists.” Could this be . . . .a disturbing trend?

Must be, because one of the “experts” in the article blames Jay Z, who — you may or may not realize — occasionally wears a Yankees cap. Even gives the trend a name: “The Jay Z Effect.” I think anyone who lived through the awful “big ass clocks around the neck” crime spree from 1989 and the and The Great Hammer Pants Heist from 1992* knows how serious this is.

Or, you know, maybe this is just a b.s. trend piece that, at the most, unwittingly identifies a correlation between criminals being on the young side and youth culture wearing a lot of sports gear these days, with the Yankees just so happening to be the most popular team in the city.

OK, that’s being cynical. This is the Paper of Record, so there must be something to this.  But maybe it’s not about the Yankees. Maybe the real disturbing trend here is the increasing unpopularity of skiing, based on the clear fact that there are far fewer ski mask-wearing crooks today then their used to be.

And you know, if they’re going to go with skiing, if they tried hard, they could even throw in a global warming angle too . . .

*Props to Jay Destro for the Hammer Pants line. He’s dope on the floor and magic on the mic.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”