Good reading over at Deadspin today, as Barry Petchesky tells the story of a couple of people who have printed up anti-Yankees merchandise with the phrase “Evil Empire” on it and who have attempted to register the copyright. The Yankees, however, are none too pleased. Partially because it puts them in a bad light, but also because — oddly enough — they’re worried that people will be confused into thinking that the Yankees themselves are selling the Evil Empire stuff.
With the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry way less heated than it was six or seven years ago, this story almost seems quaint. But even if that part doesn’t jazz you, read it for the history of the phrase “Evil Empire,” which those of you who are old enough, will remember as a Ronald Reagan thing.
In other news: the Deadspin piece uses a picture of the Death Star from “Star Wars” with a Yankees logo on it, but doesn’t Yankee Stadium kind of look like the Death Star as it is?
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.