I suppose this applies to me too. But seriously, this is a snakeskin jacket! And for me it’s a symbol of my individuality, and my belief … in personal freedom:
Baseball has become the first major pro league in North America to issue dress guidelines for media members, putting them in writing at the winter meetings. The no-wear list also includes visible undergarments, excessively short skirts or anything with a team logo.
“This is not in response to any single incident,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said Tuesday.
That sound you hear is every single baseball writer I’ve ever met breathing a sigh of relief over the fact that the dress code doesn’t prohibit pleated Dockers. That would be chaos.
Ain’t gonna lie, though: I’m probably more out of compliance than anyone. The threads are just fine, but I’ve been rocking my block-C Indians cap all week here at the Winter Meetings. It’s freezing and my bald head needs protection. I suppose it’s a bit bush league to wear MLB merchandise when I’m on the job, but it beats hypothermia.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.