David Ortiz

The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Boston Red Sox

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The Best:  The Red Sox are always included in lists of franchises with proud and grand traditions, but even if they are a classic organization, they have mixed it up a little bit over the years.  Red hats, for one thing. Changing the lettering on the road unis from blue to red. All in all, I prefer the unadulterated classic, with the navy cap and the blue “Boston” on the roadies. Which, to their credit, they’ve maintained most of the time over the past 75 years.

The Worst: The Red Sox’ flirtation with doubleknit pullovers — while briefer than most teams’ — looked particularly bad for the same reason the Cardinals’ did: trying to update a classic. I know some of you feel differently about that, but that’s just because you’re in your 40s and you grew up watching those 70s Sox teams.  Sorry, it looked bad.  Beyond that, it’s possible to get a bit too literal with a team nickname. Still, the worst Red Sox uniform earns the title less due to aesthetic considerations than symbolic ones. In a word: pinstripes. Could you imagine that today? If the Sox announced a switch to pinstripes the city would be burning by sundown.

Assessment: When I did this a couple of years ago, the only suggestion I had was that they switch back to the blue “Boston” on the road uniforms. Which they have since done.  Behold the power of basement bloggers.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

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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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.