R.A. Dickey

The Mets might think about trading R.A. Dickey this winter

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He’s been the brightest light in the Mets dim season, but R.A. Dickey is 38 years-old and will be a free agent after the 2013 season.  In light of that, Adam Rubin reports:

Despite knuckleballers often successfully pitching into their 40s, Mets officials appear wary of making a sizable commitment. That could lead Dickey to being traded this offseason if the right deal presented itself, since the Mets would have some starting-pitching depth to absorb his departure.

Trading a 20-game winner (and perhaps the reigning Cy Young winner) would not be a popular move among the fan base and could further erode attendance in 2013.

It would piss off every Mets fan around, but really, his value is unlikely to be any higher and it’s not at all certain that he’d be an important part of the next good Mets team.  The gamble, if they keep and extend him, is that his current production — or something close to the current production — is a new normal that will last for his age 39-42 seasons or whatever. Such a thing is not unprecedented, especially with knuckleballers, but it’s also not likely.

I have to wonder if there isn’t a team out there who wouldn’t overpay for an inexpensive, 2013 version of R.A. Dickey.  I bet someone would.

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.