Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

A new potential Mets investor emerges


Unlike the Donald Trumps of the world, this seems plausible:

Paul Danforth, a former Mets executive who now holds a senior post at CAA Sports, the fast-growing sports division of the Creative Artists Agency of Hollywood, is a lead investor in a group seeking to buy a share of the Mets, according to a person who was briefed on the group’s interest.

He’s affiliated with his father-in-law who happens to be a retired investment banker.  The Times reports that at least three other groups have applied to Major League Baseball to see the Mets’ financial statements. All of them are some fun mix of investment banking types, Wall Street types or entrepreneurs.

Danforth may be more serious than others. He worked for the Mets for 13 years in sales and his father-in-law has banking relationships with the Wilpons going back a decade or more.  If the Wilpons are going to get someone to buy a minority share and nothing more, it may be more likely to be a friend. At the same time, if they do find it necessary to bake in some sort of option to take over into a minority sale, it may likewise be preferable for them to do so with a friend.

ALDS, Game 1: Rangers vs. Blue Jays lineups

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price works against the Baltimore Orioles during first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:

CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos

SP Yovani Gallardo

With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.

LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar

SP David Price

After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.