Great post over at Mental Floss today, covering a topic near and dear to my heart: the 1984 Donruss “Rated Rookie” set, in both words and pictures.
For those who don’t recall (or who are too young to), Donruss designated a handful of rookies in each set “Rated Rookies,” implying some great promise. The 1984 Rated Rookies were selected by Bill Madden of the Daily News.
As the Mental Floss post shows, however, Madden missed more than he hit. Some he got right: Joe Carter, Ron Darling and Tony Fernandez to name a few. Also included in Rated class, however, were the Yankees’ Brian Dayett, the Indians’ Mike Jeffcoat, the Braves Brad Komminsk and any number of other random fellows. Not making the cut for some reason: Darrell Strawberry, Don Mattingly and Roger Clemens.
Hey, nobody’s perfect. Even if the 1984 Donruss set is pretty damn close to it.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.