HBT Weekend Wrapup

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What you missed while in a tryptophan and pie-induced coma.

  • Wally Backman goes on about how he thought he should have gotten the Mets job. In the process he says that there’s no difference between managing A-ball players and major leaguers. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that (a) fear that he’d talk out of school about this kind of stuff; and (b) delusions about what it takes to manage major leaguers are a couple of the reasons he didn’t get the Mets job.
  • Ever wonder what will happen to your local ballpark when the Zombie Apocalypse hits?  Wonder no more!
  • The Marlins sign Javier Vazquez. If he pitches poorly, this may be the last chance he ever gets. If he pitches well, the people who like to slam on the National League and pump up the AL East will become positively insufferable.
  • Billy Beane “was a little baffled” when news of the A’s offer for Adrian Beltre came out. Between its use by Jeter’s agent to describe the Yankees’ negotiating strategy and this, “baffled” is easily the top word this offseason.
  • Ohio State beat Michigan for the seventh consecutive time, rendering Rich Rodriguez a dead man walking. Some said that the Buckeyes’ dominance has rendered the rivalry uninteresting. I beg to differ. I believe it would only be enhanced by continued Ohio State dominance. Indeed, it will take at least another 15-20 straight wins before it becomes old for me, I believe. I may be a little biased about this, however.

One week to go until the Winter Meetings start. Here’s hoping every free agent signs between now and Friday. That way I can spend more time riding the Teacup Ride and Space Mountain down at Disney World next week instead of eavesdropping on conversations in the hotel bar while pretending to mess with my phone!

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.