Rarely do teams within the same division swing trades during the season, but the Twins are all but officially out of the AL Central race and … well, they probably figure sending Delmon Young to the Tigers might actually make Detroit worse anyway.
Minnesota once gave up Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett to get Young from Tampa Bay, but in trading him to Detroit they get left-hander Cole Nelson, who was a 10th-round pick in last year’s draft, and a player to be named later. In other words, the Twins basically just dumped Young now rather than non-tender him for nothing this offseason.
Young had a breakout 2010 season, but took several steps backward this year and finishes his three-plus seasons in Minnesota with a .324 on-base percentage and .429 slugging percentage that were underwhelming enough without factoring in his awful defense in left field.
Young is still just 25 years old and he hits left-handed pitching well enough to provide some value to the Tigers, but his numerous flaws have kept him from becoming an above-average regular, let alone the middle-of-the-order impact bat many projected from the former No. 1 overall pick. For all the talk of his supposed power potential, he’s a swing-at-everything singles hitter with horrendous baseball instincts.
It’s a low-risk move for the Tigers, but Young’s name recognition is bigger than his upside at this point and the Twins smartly realized he wasn’t worth keeping for $6-7 million in 2012. Since he joined the Twins in 2008 the only player in baseball with more plate appearances and a lower Wins Above Replacement is Yuniesky Betancourt.
On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.
The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.
Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:
While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.
Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.
It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.
With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.
Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.