Day: April 15, 2014

granderson cleats

Curtis Granderson rocking “Thank You Jackie” cleats


Every player in Major League Baseball — it should be noted that four games have been postponed by rain — will sport No. 42 on Tuesday night to honor Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier.

Curtis Granderson is not in the Mets’ starting lineup against the host Diamondbacks because of minor rib cage, forearm, and knee injuries that he sustained in a collision with the outfield wall on Monday, but he will be sporting these custom cleats on the bench:

Wilson Ramos gets stitches removed from left hand

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According to beat writer James Wagner of the Washington Post, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos got the stitches removed from his surgically-repaired left hand on Tuesday afternoon and has now been cleared to begin basic rehab activities.

Ramos underwent left hamate bone surgery on April 2 and is still probably at least four weeks away from returning to Washington’s active roster. Chances are it will take the backstop another several weeks after his activation to return to full strength. Hamate bone injuries are notorious for sapping power, and Ramos had some of the best batted ball distance in the majors over the past few seasons.

The 26-year-old tallied 16 home runs and 59 RBI in just 78 games last summer for the Nationals.

Dustin Pedroia given cortisone injection for sore left wrist, aiming to return Wednesday

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Tests taken Monday on the sore left wrist of Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia ruled out major structural damage. He is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s series-opener against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, but ESPN’s Gordon Edes says Pedroia is aiming to return on Wednesday.

Pedroia was given a cortisone injection Monday in Boston for the painful inflammation in his left wrist.

Jonathan Herrera is starting at second base and Ryan Roberts is playing third base on Tuesday.

One study: teams named after Indians are costing themselves millions by NOT changing their mascots

Chief Wahoo guy

I feel like there are about 100 other factors that go into what this study is purporting to measure, but I throw it out there because it’s interesting.

Two researchers have looked into the impact team mascots and names have on the bottom line. They studied colleges who changed their nicknames and mascots away from Indian names and symbols and on to something else and then looked at the growth in revenue for Indian-named pro teams compared to their non-Indian counterparts.

The results: college programs experienced a small, short term reduction in revenue but over time saw revenues increase. For the pros:

Examining the financial performance over the past dozen years for four teams—the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins in the NFL, and the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians in Major League Baseball—revealed the eye-opening result that having a Native American mascot appears to cost professional sports teams millions of dollars in annual revenue—at least $1.6 million per year in the NFL, and $2.6 million per year for MLB’s Braves and Indians.

The linked story talks to the researchers and explains their theories about their findings.

Like I said, I question how exact this sort of science can be and whether a lot of other factors aren’t accounting for them. For example, there is mention of a revenue bump when the Washington Wizards changed their name from the Bullets. Which, yes, did happen. But it also coincided with that franchise getting a ton of good young talent in the mid 90s, winning more games than it had and moving into a new arena. The impact of the name may have caused some people to get new t-shirts or maybe even to patronize the team’s games more often. But winning and new facilities had to be a bigger factor.

One thing here is indisputable, though: the bottom line will drive a business’s decisions more than anything else. And, this study aside, if the Indians, Redskins, Braves and other teams experience a revenue drop off they themselves attribute to their nicknames and mascots, they will change.

Darnell McDonald joins Cubs front office two weeks after retiring

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Earlier this month journeyman outfielder Darnell McDonald announced his retirement via Instagram and he’s already landed a good post-playing gig in the Cubs’ front office as a baseball operations assistant.

McDonald was the Orioles’ first-round pick in 1997 and went bust as a prospect, but then stuck around in the minors and wound up playing parts of seven seasons in the big leagues. He totaled 854 plate appearances for six different teams–including a brief stint with the Cubs last year–all but 45 of them after turning 30 years old.

He also played 16 seasons and logged 6,175 plate appearances in the minors, so McDonald is definitely a baseball lifer and it makes sense that he’d want to jump right into the off-field side of things.