The Royals to sell the naming rights to Kauffman Stadium

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Via some very well-put disappointment in the development over at Big League Stew comes word that the Kansas City Royals are on the verge of selling naming rights to Kauffman Stadium. Probably to a bank. Almost certainly not to Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, which is a cryin’ shame.

Does Kansas City have any anti-corporate activists hanging around? Can we not launch “Occupy Blue Ridge Cutoff?”

Eh, I can’t muster too much outrage. The ship on this stuff sailed, what, 15 years ago? Twenty?

I sold my soul to the corporate naming rights back in 2007. Back then the Indians were trying to sell naming rights to the then-Jacobs Field and were having trouble finding a suitor. I spent part of an afternoon looking at a big Cleveland business directory trying to find locally-based business candidates for them. I actually ended up liking the idea of “Progressive Field” better than other potential candidates. The fact that they ended up going with that a few months later probably means that I have no standing to complain.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.