Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Bautista hits two more homers, up to 18 for season

33 Comments

Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer off Brett Myers in the sixth and then a solo shot off Jose Valdez in the eighth to carry the Jays to a 7-5 win over the Astros on Saturday.

The three-run homer was only the second of the year for Bautista with multiple men on base.  One issue there is that the Jays haven’t gotten a lot of men on for him: their No. 1 and 2 hitters have amassed a .311 OBP.  However, Bautista entered the day batting just .179, albeit with 20 walks, in 49 plate appearances with RISP.  He was 3-for-14 with two or three men on base.

It was Bautista’s third multihomer game of the season.  He had nine last year on his way to leading the majors with 54 homers.

He’s currently ahead of that pace: on this date last year, Bautista had a mere 13 homers to his credit.

Bautista also singled and stole a base in the contest.  He’s batting a ridiculous .364/.509/.841 in 132 at-bats for the season.

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

2587958
3 Comments

If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.