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.

Dodgers acquire Matt Kemp in five-player trade with Braves

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The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.

Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.

Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.