Frank McCourt’s debt addiction got him and the Dodgers into their current dire straits, so it makes total sense that, as May payroll loomed yesterday, he continued to borrow in order to avoid a takeover by Major League Baseball. It’s just what he does.
That according to ESPN’s Molly Knight, who reports that McCourt met payroll by taking cash advances drawn from the team’s corporate sponsorship deals. Knight reports that the sponsors — unnamed at the moment — took discounts on their annual bills and on luxury box seats in exchange for the up front cash.
Of course, as was reported last week, June payroll is going to be way bigger because Manny Ramirez is owed a deferred compensation payment, so the inevitable has only been delayed. Which just means that, thanks to McCourt and his financial irresponsibility, whoever owns the Dodgers next will have their revenue streams needlessly diminished.
Doin’ a heckuva job there, Frankie.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.