Babe Ruth Red Sox

You could buy official jerseys in 1919. Cool. I think.

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I remember trying to get an official game-quality Tigers jersey back in 1983 or 1984. Even in Michigan it was a pain. My folks couldn’t find one anywhere in Flint. Just a bunch of cheapo-knockoffs with iron-on quality lettering and stuff.  The options were mail-order or to drive 60 miles to one of a handful of sporting goods shops down in Detroit who kept them in stock.  Maybe there were better ways we didn’t know about, but it wasn’t like you could just walk into any random suburban sporting good store and get one like you can now.

But you could in 1919!  Check out this ad for game-quality Red Sox jerseys over at Hauls of Shame. I’m guessing you’d be thought of as a hooligan for actually wearing one — my understanding of that time is that you would be beaten about the head and shoulders if you did not wear a hat, starched collar, wool suit and possibly a monocle — but the option was there for you.

Good point raised by the linked article, though: how many people have purchased vintage, putatively game-used jerseys from that era without realizing that there were identical-quality knockoffs floating around?

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.