I’ve had my issues with T.J. Simers in the past, but sometimes his curmudgeon act — though it may not be an act — is pretty damn funny. Like today’s column in which he eschewed the press pass and bought tickets to go see the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game the other night. The point, I think, was to try to understand what it was all of the Dodgers fans who aren’t going to games this year are missing. Or, rather, what’s keeping them away.
I gotta say, he makes a pretty good case for the stay-aways. It’s pricey and the product the Dodgers are putting on the field isn’t exactly thrilling. But the real reason to read the story is that there are a couple of howlingly funny lines. Like this:
I know this, the guy who owns this team must be really doing well — raking in all this money. The Dodgers announce a crowd of 30,000-plus almost every night.
I just can’t get over it — $70 to watch a baseball game! Throw in concessions, parking and kids — and why would anyone ever have kids if they intend to keep going to baseball games?
Or is it just me that finds that funny?
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.
The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.
The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.
The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.