U.S. Mint issuing first-ever “curved” coin to commemorate the Baseball Hall of Fame

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We heard back in April that the U.S. Mint was asking for submissions for the design of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. Well, a winning design has been selected and the result is something pretty cool.

In early 2014, we will see the first-ever “curved” coin issued by the U.S. Mint. The winning design, submitted by Cassie McFarland of San Luis Obipso, California, depicts a baseball glove on the obverse (heads) side. Meanwhile, the reverse (tails) side depicts a baseball. Thus, the curve not only simulates the pocket of a glove, but the look and feel of a baseball. It’s really quite nifty. Be sure to check out the interactive graphic on the U.S. Mint website.

You’ll be able to buy these bad boys in five, one, or half-dollar form while surcharges for each coin will be paid to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. If you’re into that. They’re not intended for practical use, but a neat keepsake nonetheless.

(Hat-tips to Dan Wohl of Cut 4 and Reddit Baseball for the link)

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.