Fenway

The Red Sox want to serve more liquor in Fenway. What could possibly go wrong?

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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!”

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.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.