Wally the Green Monster to take a tour of Japan

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I get a lot of press releases about promotional things, odd events, weird ceremonies, goodwill trips and the like. Most of them are kind of boring. This one is fun:

Red Sox relief pitchers Junichi Tazawa and closer Koji Uehara, who was named the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player, and Wally the Green Monster will visit Tokyo to share the 2013 Commissioner’s Trophy, presented annually to the World Series Champions, with baseball fans in Japan.

Uehara and Wally will present the World Series trophy and a Red Sox jersey to the Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Then there will be a reception with U.S. ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Then a fan reception and then a thing at at something I did not know existed: the MLB Café which is “an MLB themed restaurant serving a menu inspired by American ballpark food.”

Hope they have helmet nachos there. I’m never going to a country where I can’t be sure I can get helmet nachos.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.