Stephen Strasburg

Sounds like someone put Icy-Hot in Stephen Strasburg’s jock

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No, that’s not some metaphor. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com tweets from Davey Johnson’s postgame presser:

Strasburg had one of his worst outings ever against the Padres, allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings in a 6-1 loss.  If, indeed, someone put this foul, combustible stuff in something that later touched his bits and pieces, well, it’s all understood. And all forgiven.

And of course, it would also mean that Strasburg has an almost 100% certainty of having a new nickname.

But this raises more questions than it gives answers. Who would perpetrate such a heinous act? Why prank The Franchise on a day he’s pitching?  And, dear lord, why is Davey Johnson sharing this with reporters?

UPDATE: Forgot about this. Maybe he did it to himself and he just wants to be like Roger Clemens. Both of them were in Washington, D.C. today. Maybe Rocket was giving the young, um, fireballer a little professional advice!

UPDATE II:  Turns out it wasn’t Icy-Hot!  Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that it was actually an ointment called “Hot Stuff.”  Tomorrow, Kilgore’s editors at the post will give him Bob Woodward’s old office and Carl Bernstein’s old typewriter in honor of his tenacious investigative reporting of this matter.

UPDATE III:  I suppose we’re obligated to call Strasburg a “fireballer” now, huh?

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.