Silverado Strong

UPDATE: MLB and Chevrolet pull the “Silverado Strong” promotion

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UPDATE: Wiser heads have prevailed: the “Silverado Strong” promotion has been cancelled.

Michael Albano, Chevrolet Spokesperson issued the following statement:

“Earlier this year Chevrolet launched the all-new 2014 Silverado. The launch is supported by the campaign, “Strong”,  which celebrates the strength of hardworking, honest and dependable men and women. Chevy has carried this theme throughout the 2013 MLB Playoffs and the World Series. Chevrolet had planned to continue the campaign tonight through an interactive in-stadium promotion.  However, following today’s rehearsal we realized there was the possibility that we may offend some of the very fans we were trying to honor, for that reason Chevrolet and MLB decided to cancel the promotion.”

Well, whether Chevy had a campaign going beforehand isn’t the point. They can do whatever they want with the campaign. It’s the intersection of the “Silverado Strong” and “Boston Strong” in dueling on-field World Series promotions which was the problem.

Either way: that’s a smart call. Of course, how no one considered that this was tacky until just before game time is beyond me.

ST. LOUIS — When I got to the ballpark today I noticed a bunch of little pieces of cardboard on the lower level seats. Some down by the left and right field lines are clearly the MLB logo.  From where I’m sitting I can see the third base line and can clearly see the word “Strong.”  “Hmm, ‘Boston Strong,'” I thought? A nice gesture, but it seems a bit out of place in St. Louis.

But no, it’s not a tribute to Boston and its post-Marathon bombing recovery. It’s about trucks that are second to none. This pic via Reddit:

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From MLB.com, explaining it:

Leading into the top of the 3rd, Ozzie Smith will recognize Chevrolet’s commitment to growing youth baseball in a video played on the scoreboard. He will prompt fans in attendance to hold up placards in front of them, which will unveil an image of the words “Silverado Strong,” Chevrolet’s theme for the launch of the all-new 2014 Silverado, with the Chevrolet and MLB silhouetted batter logos on either side. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2013 World Series will receive a youth baseball field makeover in a U.S. location of their choice and a 2014 Silverado High Country. This is a continuation of Chevrolet’s year-long SILVERADO STRONG campaign. For more information, fans can visit ChevyBaseball.com.

Commitment to youth baseball is admirable. But the slogan and placards seem to be just as much if not more of a commitment to advertising Chevy trucks.  And while the city of Boston doesn’t have a trademark on the word “strong,” they did have the words displayed on their field first, and for purposes that don’t mix the good cause with the commerce:

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Wondering how the folks in Boston will take this. Wondering whether anyone at MLB or Chevy realized that, maybe, this wasn’t the greatest idea when it comes to large, on-field sloganeering.

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.