Ralph Nader attends the Time 100 Gala ce

Ralph Nader hates in-game ads on Yankees broadcasts, is completely ignorant

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Ralph Nader has done a lot of good in his life. I mean, if it wasn’t for him we’d probably all be driving boss-looking Chevy Corvairs right now but then dying in horrible wrecks later. So thanks, Ralph!

But the dude has often been off-the-mark in his latter years.  Today came another instance, and it involves the Yankees.

Seems he and his fan-advocacy group, League of Fans, hates the in-game advertisements during Yankees radio broadcasts. You know the ones: “Safely at second is Jones. And your family can be safe and secure with financial protection from New York Life Insurance Company.”

I don’t like those either, but they don’t get me all bent out of shape like Nader is. He wrote to the Yankees today, complaining about the ads:

“Have you no boundaries or sense of restraint?” Nader wrote, in his position as the founder of the sports advocacy group League of Fans. “Have you no mercy on your play-calling broadcasters? … Nader recalled growing up in Connecticut listening to Mel Allen call Yankee games “when the commercials were reserved for the commercial breaks—between half-innings.” Now, he said, the between-the-batter and between-the-pitch ads “have become a significant part of the broadcast.”

Nader liked listening to the commercials-during-breaks-only days of Mel Allen? Really? He liked those back in the ideal days of youth?  Well, he musta been listening to a totally different Mel Allen broadcast than anyone else, because the rest of the Yankees fans of his vintage heard Mel Allen dropping ads for Yankees sponsor Ballantine Beer, coining the term “Ballantine Blast.” As in “Mantle drives one to right … it’s gone! There goes another Ballantine Blast! How about that!”

At other times the Yankees were sponsored by Getty Oil. The announcers would refer to “Getty Goners.” As in “there’s another Getty Goner for Graig Nettles!”  Mel Allen may have done those too, though I’m told that it lasted into the 70s.

The lesson: most of the time, when people say that things were better than when they were kids, they’re full of crap.

Unless they’re Pirates fans over 30, in which case it’s accurate.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Phillies agree to minor league deal with Daniel Nava

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Daniel Nava #12 of the Kansas City Royals bats during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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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.