Just about every park has a fan who is kind of like a mascot. The guy who either dresses up funny or acts crazy or whatever and eventually comes to be thought of as an institution. The Yankees’ guy was Freddy Schuman, better known as “Freddy Sez,” the octogenarian who held up signs and beat on a frying pan outside — and inside — Yankee Stadium. Freddy Sez died yesterday at 85.
I always wonder how guys like Freddy Sez get their start. I mean, sure, 20 years after he began to bang on the pan it was kind of neat to have him around. But how did that go down on the first day? If a random person just started banging a frying pan at a game in, say, Houston, wouldn’t security make him stop?
Oh well: R.I.P. Freddy Sez.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.