As a rule, I’m pro-liquor. But then again, I don’t have to police 40,000 Red Sox fanatics 81 nights a year, so this may be a big fight:
As the Boston Red Sox prepare for their April 8 home opener at Fenway Park, the team is moving to expand the sale of mixed alcoholic beverages throughout the historic ballpark, drawing concerns from Boston police and Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Representatives of the Red Sox told the Boston Licensing Board last week that the team wants the right to sell mixed drinks, in addition to beer, “at a limited number of stations’’ throughout the 37,000-seat stadium and on Yawkey Way. Currently, hard liquor is available mainly at refreshment stands serving fans with upper-level premium seats.
Doesn’t seem fair that the richies have it already but the unwashed masses can’t. At the same time, everywhere I’ve ever seen liquor at sports venues — at least outside of the club level — it’s been in the form of sugar-laden froofy frozen drinks and other obnoxious concoctions, more often mixed by machines than man.
Boston drinkers I have known are a fairly discerning bunch. When it comes to liquor, they prefer it simple and close to straight, and it’s not as if the Sox are going to set up a conventional bar with Jameson’s bottles on the shelf. As such, I doubt this will turn into a big problem or, for that matter, a particularly desirable product. For the most part you’re still going to hear “Hey! Beeah guy! We’re wicked thirsty heah!”
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.