Two weeks ago the Mets signed reliever Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million contract.
Today they finally announced the move, officially adding Francisco to the 40-man roster.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News joked that perhaps Francisco’s physical exam took 14 days to administer. He does have a pretty lengthy injury history, but realistically the Mets probably just delayed things so a 40-man roster move wasn’t immediately forced upon them.
In years past the Yankees have delayed numerous signings, sometimes for so long it becomes laughable, but if MLB isn’t going to do anything about it the Mets are smart to take advantage. When it comes to marginal players and 40-man roster spots timing often plays as big a role as talent in deciding whether or not they’re snatched up by other teams.
Francisco, who’s expected to be the Mets’ closer, saved 17 games with a 3.55 ERA and 53/18 K/BB ratio in 51 innings for the Blue Jays this past season. He doesn’t fit the “proven closer” mold as much as some other free agents, but that mostly just served to keep his price tag in check and he was one of the best relievers on the market this offseason.
On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.
The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.
Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:
While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.
Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.
It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.
With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.
Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.