This is fun. Howard Megdal has a book coming out about the Wilpons and the Mets, and it contains a pretty juicy claim. The claim: that Fred Wilpon asked Bud Selig to put the kibosh on the deal he made to sell a stake of the Mets to David Einhorn because he was afraid of losing the team.
The report, passed along in the New York Post, is that after the deal was reached in principle, Wilpon got cold feet, realizing that Einhorn’s option to purchase a controlling interest in the Mets was way too obtainable. Wilpon, not wanting to lose the team, asked Bud Selig to intervene and strike portions of the deal in which Major League Baseball would assist Einhorn in taking over if the provision was triggered. As the Post puts it, “to play bad cop” as it were. This angered Einhorn and the deal quickly died. Major League Baseball sharply disputes Megdal’s reporting, calling him a self-promoter. Megdal stands by it.
This strikes me as one of those things we’ll never know 100% for certain because that kind of business — called in favors from friends, etc. — isn’t exactly documented in official reports. Megdal has a source or two telling him this. Baseball denies it. It’s just … business.
Juicy business, though.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.
The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.