UPDATE II: Never mind. Seems the Nats are out.
UPDATE: All kinds of mixed news on this Cliff Lee/Nats stuff. Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that, according to a Major League source, the Nationals are going to offer Lee a seven year deal and that the Yankees will not go seven. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, however, just followed that up by saying that, while negotiation might happen and the Nats could make a big offer, “a seven year offer won’t be made.”
Either way, I think it’s important to remember one thing here: even if the Nats did go seven years, there’s nothing to suggest so far that it would be bigger on a dollars-per-year basis as a six-year deal the Yankees could offer. The upshot: this is all fun, but let’s not get too crazy until we hear numbers attached to this stuff.
10:02 A.M.: Buster Olney just tweeted that there is “growing speculation among rival agents and executives that Nats are going to throw a HUGE number at Cliff Lee.”
Like I said earlier this morning, I can’t really see Lee wanting to go to Washington. But of course, I couldn’t see Werth wanting to go to Washington either. And I couldn’t see Washington going all Dr. Evil and offering billions of dollars to free agents for some damn reason either.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
Video with sound is not currently allowed to be embedded, so click here for that.
As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.