FDNY Hat

The Mets want to wear special caps next 9/11 and every 9/11 after that

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Absolutely no one is happy with Major League Baseball’s decision to disallow the Mets’ first responder caps on yesterday’s 10th anniversary of 9/11. And the Mets are chief among those who are displeased. But they’re not just sitting and stewing. They’re pushing Major League Baseball on the issue. But the last sentence makes me feel somehow less moved by it all:

Mets player representative Josh Thole hopes to come to an agreement soon with Major League Baseball on a policy that would allow his team to wear emergency service-department caps during games on Sept. 11 every year. Thole called the players’ association Monday, a day after the Mets were denied their request to wear caps honoring first responders on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. He said he wanted to discuss marketing and licensing possibilities but had not heard back.

Well, if marketing and licensing possibilities are on the table I assume someone will actually listen now.  Sure, bring in New Era and Majestic and Bud Light and everyone else and I’m sure that someone will see fit to allow Mets players to wear FDNY and NYPD caps. Why didn’t you say so? Not that I’m blaming Thole or the Mets here. They probably realize that marketing is the only language baseball speaks on this matter and are doing the best they can within the system.

Sometimes I hate humanity. And that’s most of the time.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.