Mets AP

The Mets set a record for cheesesteak eating in Philadelphia


Let’s face it, the Mets probably won’t make the playoffs this season. However, they can at least hang their hats on this little distinction. According to Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger, the team destroyed the one-day record for the number of cheesesteaks eaten in the visitors’ clubhouse in Philadelphia.

Yes, apparently they keep track of such things in Philly. They even have individual and team records for a single day or a series. As for the Mets, their amazing feat of eatery occurred on April 30 as the team was waiting out a rainout:

On April 30, over some ten hours, the Mets ate 103, they say, setting the new single-day team record. Though baseball may be a sequence of individualized events, this was the work of a collective. It was planned two cheesesteaks per person, or more for those that were willing to help out where other teammates could not eat their share.

By the time the Mets left for Denver, distended and at over-capacity, they were now record-holders, breaking the previous mark that stood somewhere in the 80s.

Before you ask, no, Vorkunov didn’t provide any evidence that Bartolo Colon played a significant part in setting the record. In fact, there’s more evidence to suggest that bullpen catchers Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill did most of the damage, as both have set individual records in the past. Anyway, that must have been a pleasant flight to Colorado.

The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.