Mariano Rivera bobblehead night turns chaotic at Yankee Stadium

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The Yankees were giving away Mariano Rivera bobbleheads to the first 18,000 fans through the gates at Yankee Stadium last night. Only problem: they didn’t have the bobbleheads. The truck delivering them broke down in New Jersey. The Yankees held the gates closed late but, when it became obvious that the bobbleheads weren’t going to arrive in time, they opened the gates, bobblehead-free. Vouchers were given out instead.

You can imagine how that went over at Yankee Stadium.

The merch arrived midway through the game and the team made an announcement that people with vouchers could line up to get their bobbleheads. The lines stretched down the concourses and, according to the Daily News, it took people several innings on line to get what they came for. Click through to the Daily News for your requisite angry New Yorker quotes.

A couple of thoughts:

1. Why did the Yankees limit the bobblehead giveaways to the first 18,000? I never get that. Is the idea to incentivize people to get to the ballpark early so that they buy more beer and nachos? Would it really cost the team that much more to make sure everyone who buys a ticket can get one? Imagine how much less chaos it would have caused if the Yankees just handed them out when people left the ballpark, the way teams do with free tickets for ice cream and pizza and stuff; and

2. Chaos aside, given how poorly the Yankees played last night, one would think that standing on line in the concourse waiting for a bobblehead would be preferable to the game, but maybe that’s just me.

Anyway: heckuva job, Yankees.

Yadier Molina will not enter contract negotiations during the 2017 season

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.

Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:

I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.

The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.

The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.