Sandy Alderson

No, Sandy Alderson is not too old for the Mets job

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Matthew Artus of the Star-Ledger is a bit concerned about the guy the Mets will presumably hire as their next GM:

Should the Mets coerce Alderson to become the Answer to all the questions left behind by Omar Minaya, they would also make him the oldest General Manager in the game by 4 years . . . When I look around the front offices of MLB now and see the young guns like Theo Epstein of Boston, Jon Daniels of Texas, or Andrew Friedman of Tampa Bay succeeding where the Mets perpetually fail, my first instinct emphasizes the age. It’s not because I need their agile frames to hit fastballs, but rather the youthful perspective that can ideally inject some life into a morose franchise.

Artus goes on to wonder if the Mets aren’t simply hiring a big name to appease fans as opposed to finding “the next great baseball GM.”

This seems off to me. Sure, the trend is to find a young guy with a fresh perspective, but a pretty strong argument can be made that every single one of the guys Artus names above — and indeed, every new GM in the past decade or so — is either a direct or at least an intellectual heir to Sandy Alderson.

Baseball’s young guns? In a sense, Alderson taught them all. He was the first of the new breed of  ivy league guys who rejected the old conventional wisdom and thought it a positive thing, as opposed to a threat, to surround himself with the best and brightest he could find. The Mets should hire someone from “the new breed?”  Alderson bred them for cryin’ out loud.  He’s Yoda to their Luke. He’s Ramius to their Tupolev. He’s Felson to their Lauria.

We should worry about this choice?  Damn, man, this is the first time in ages the Mets seem to be set on making the absolute best choice possible. Let’s give them credit for it rather than wring our hands.

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.