You may have seen a month or two ago that someone started selling red and blue t-shirts with the word “Barves” instead of “Braves.” As most of those kinds of things go, it was kind of clever and it became fun to call the Braves the Barves on Twitter and stuff.
And, as most of those things go, you knew it was going to cause MLB and its lawyers to get in the act. And they recently did, sending out a cease and desist letter. The makers of the shirts are desisting, because who needs that kind of legal hassle?
But it was almost worth it, if for no other reason than it led the Indian Country blog — which focuses on Native American news, culture and issues — to report on the cease and desist letter thusly:
… the Barves logo and shirts, it said, “dilute and/or tarnish the distinctive quality of the Braves Marks. Accordingly …(it) constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, and/or trademark dilution, in violation of federal, state and/or common law.”
Many Natives might concede that the MLB and the Braves have a point: You have to be careful when playing with logos and symbolism—you don’t want to dilute and/or tarnish anyone’s distinctive qualities.
That may be the sickest burn in the history of sick burns. I want to stand up and applaud the magnificent S.O.B. who wrote that right now.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.